I started this deck project in 2017.
I want to share my experience with you especially if you are planning to build
a deck yourself and you will find this helpful. I am pretty sure you will have a
lot of questions and you will face the same problems as I did. Okay, let’s get
started I am using this software called sketch up personal edition. It is
absolutely free, it was owned by Google many years ago. This is not a deck design software, so it will not help you to calculate the materials. Instead it is a
3D modeling software. In my opinion that’s exactly what I needed.
Yes, there is a huge learning curve but it does help a lot to visualize your
project. After you created your design you should have some technical questions.
The first one is how far the footing should be spaced. The generic answer is 8 feet. In my case I have 22 posts. Something to keep in mind when you are
doing the planning. You want to visit your local hardware store to see if they
actually carry the lumber you are planning to use. Not all the stores carry
2×10 in 20 feet for example. Now let’s talk about design there are many
resources on the internet but I want to tell you one design trick. You always
want to create a focal point otherwise your deck will be very boring. In my case,
I built a pergola and a bridge. One important key is that the focal point
needs to be seen from inside of the house usually the kitchen You also want to define the space that
serves different purpose. In my case I have a sitting area under the pergola in
front of me. A fire pit and a couch would be perfect. On the other side, I
have a dining area. Because it is too open, adding a privacy screen will give me the right balance. To make the contrast even stronger I was planning to
use composite or PVC from day one because I can use two-tone color. I learned all this from HGTV host Paul LaFrance, he is the master of deck creation he inspired me on this project and I
actually went to meet him personally and got his autograph. Enough talking, we are
ready to do some work. I got several bottles of marking paint and started to
draw on the grass This is my way to mark the post. First,
put the stick into the soil and mark the cross using a piece of cardboard or
some throwaway packaging like what I did. Then you cut a circle from another
cardboard, punch a hole in the middle and slide it down to the ground.
Simple as that. For 22 holes, of course I would choose the helical screw piles
system. The most famous company in Canada of course is TechnoMetalPost. But they
did not respond fast enough to get my business
TechnoMetalPost is more expensive because they spent so much money on
advertising. So, I went with another company called GoliathTech. I am a
technical person and I compared the technical details between the two I
found that GoliathTech is the better choice. I will cover this later and
explained why. There are couple of points you need to consider. Make sure that the steel piles are up to code, better not made in China and they are galvanized steels.
If you live in the newer subdivision like mine, you need to ask if their
machine is able to get to your backyard. There are different sizes of pile to
choose from. 1 7/8″ is being the smallest and the next one up is 2 3/8″.
I used 2 3/8″ for all my piles. For DIY people, I recommend paying a bit
more to get the adjustable saddle. For GoliathTech, they have an anchoring
system to prevent vertical uplift in case of tornado, where TechnoMetalPost
does not have such thing. If you have good eyes, you will see the
logo “YourDeckCompany” on the guy’s t-shirt and also on the boxer machine.
The owner of this deck building company bought the franchise from GoliathTech.
In other words, this guy’s and professional deck builders. There was one big problem I did not expect. I asked for 22 piles, but only 20 were installed
because 2 of them hits the rock deep down at around 4 feet. They did not have
an excavator and it was not their job to be fair. There was no plan B at that time
and I could not change my design right at that spot. So, I told them I would
figure it out myself. Don’t repeat my mistake you need to have a plan B, in
case this happens to you Unlike using sonotube and concrete, you
can control the position of the saddle before they dried. It seems like it is
very hard to get the post perfectly aligned.They do have a solution for this
adjustable saddle. It is called offset bracket. Look the screw thread is not on
the center. The guy told me you have to be very creative when it comes to
framing. Okay…. As you see, they have two screws to
prevent uplift. Now, there is one screw that is for making this head unit more
stable. For the adjustable saddle the whole length of the screw is 7 inches.
I was told by the guy that you have to put at least one inch into the head unit,
so it gives you 6 inches of adjustable height. That’s more Techno Metal Post. They put all the technical details on
paper including the torque load capacities and how far they drilled. As
you can see, they drilled more than four feet. Most of them at least 5 to 5.5
feet into the ground. Tile piles are not going anywhere for sure
there was no mess and installation was fast. Took around a half a day, I think
many of you may want to ask, what is the damage? It’s $5,500 Canadian tax included. That’s for 20 piles, not 22 I originally planned. Will
I used it again? The answer is definitely YES. Okay, the next challenge is to install
two more post that they couldn’t do it How did I solve that issue? Yes,
concrete! But there were so many unexpected problems. Stay tuned, for the
next video. Remember to subscribe! If you find this helpful, please give it a
thumbs up. If you have any questions, leave them in the comment section and I
will try to answer them. Thanks for watching and see you next time!