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petegz28
05-26-2008, 12:57 PM
Ok I am putting in a 14x12 deck, 48inches off the ground. The guy that is doing it spaced my 4 posts with the following spaces between posts...

post 1 - post 2 = 36 inches...ok
post 2 - post 3 = 32 inches...hmmm ok I guess...
Post 3 - post 4 = 23 inches...WTF?

I get told since there will be a 2 foot cantilever I would not notice it.
Also the posts are going to get mounted on 8 inch concrete blocks.


Am I smoking crack or does this just not sound right?

Let me add I think the only reason we are doing a cantilever on a 12' deck is because he is trying to use the 2 previous concretere piers for the new deck.

Bwana
05-26-2008, 01:02 PM
Heh, at least you won't have to worry about the drainage, but you may want to use a bungee cord to hold your BBQ to a deck post.

petegz28
05-26-2008, 01:03 PM
Heh, at least you won't have to worry about the drainage, but you may want to use a bungee cord to hold your BBQ to a deck post.

What's that mean in english? And by english I mean Planet englis? :hmmm:

Bwana
05-26-2008, 01:08 PM
What's that mean in english? And by english I mean Planet englis? :hmmm:

I'm just flipping you a little shit peregz. I can weld like a wild man, but you wouldn't want me building your deck if you catch my drift? I would ask Phobia or someone that is a hell of a lot better with working with lumber than I am. :doh!:

Good luck with the project and post some pictures when it's complete.

stlchiefs
05-26-2008, 01:13 PM
post 1 - post 2 = 36 inches...ok
post 2 - post 3 = 32 inches...hmmm ok I guess...
Post 3 p post 4 = 23 inches...WTF?



Your guy is smoking some stinky green.

Post 1-2: 36 inches, makes sense, things are clear and going ok.

Post 2-3: 32 inches, spacing out a little, 32 to is close to 36 and damn they look about the same distance when you stand back a few feet.

Post 3-4: toked, he reversed his already wrong numbers and hence you ended up with a 23 inch space. :bong:

petegz28
05-26-2008, 01:15 PM
Your guy is smoking some stinky green.

Post 1-2: 36 inches, makes sense, things are clear and going ok.

Post 2-3: 32 inches, spacing out a little, 32 to is close to 36 and damn they look about the same distance when you stand back a few feet.

Post 3-4: toked, he reversed his already wrong numbers and hence you ended up with a 23 inch space. :bong:

If you were paying someone would you tell them to fix it or live with it? Seems to me that is sloppy work and I know since I hired a friend against advice of others, I am stuck eating the costs to re-do it. But I can't see leaving posts spaced improperly like that whether you can see it real well or not. Just sounds like shitty work to me.

Phobia
05-26-2008, 01:16 PM
No comment.

petegz28
05-26-2008, 01:17 PM
No comment.

Oh come on!!! You are the one I am going to come running too more than likely!!! ROFL

If you want a shot at my kitchen floor pitty me now!!!!!

Valiant
05-26-2008, 01:33 PM
Seems to me he just eyeballed it.. As for post 3 to 4, is there some sort of angle going on for the deck to where he would do that??

blueballs
05-26-2008, 01:36 PM
he's thinking too much as the work progresses
mainly about the size of women you entertain

Brock
05-26-2008, 01:37 PM
Went with the low bid.

Phobia
05-26-2008, 01:42 PM
Cantilevering a deck is perfectly acceptable practice - in fact, it's probably even preferred because you are hiding posts underneath the deck.

Placement of those posts doesn't have to be precise so long as the rules of 2 feet support for every one foot of cantilever are followed. Your beam doesn't need 3 posts so I'm confused by that.

It sounds to me like he's slightly lazy because he'll have all his equipment out to dig a 3rd piling so how much more effort would be required to dig the TWO required pilings with precise placement? That part confuses me based on your description but it's kinda hard to critique a man's work without the following:
1. Seeing the site or at least a drawing.
2. Hearing the rationale of the other contractor.

I don't like to second guess another contractor unless his work is very clearly shoddy and he's giving the rest of the us a bad name. He may have perfectly legitimate reasons that are not being adequately conveyed to you.

But if he's doing it wrong you should NOT be required to pay him to take it out and do it correctly. He should do that at his cost. However, if his support is adequate according to code and you're asking him to redo it simply because you don't like it then you should have to pay him.

It's hard to say without seeing the site.

petegz28
05-26-2008, 01:47 PM
Seems to me he just eyeballed it.. As for post 3 to 4, is there some sort of angle going on for the deck to where he would do that??

Nope..he just through his boxes down and eyeballed it. He didn't pay attention if you ask me. That is what worries me.

petegz28
05-26-2008, 01:49 PM
Cantilevering a deck is perfectly acceptable practice - in fact, it's probably even preferred because you are hiding posts underneath the deck.

Placement of those posts doesn't have to be precise so long as the rules of 2 feet support for every one foot of cantilever are followed. Your beam doesn't need 3 posts so I'm confused by that.

It sounds to me like he's slightly lazy because he'll have all his equipment out to dig a 3rd piling so how much more effort would be required to dig the TWO required pilings with precise placement? That part confuses me based on your description but it's kinda hard to critique a man's work without the following:
1. Seeing the site or at least a drawing.
2. Hearing the rationale of the other contractor.

I don't like to second guess another contractor unless his work is very clearly shoddy and he's giving the rest of the us a bad name. He may have perfectly legitimate reasons that are not being adequately conveyed to you.

But if he's doing it wrong you should NOT be required to pay him to take it out and do it correctly. He should do that at his cost. However, if his support is adequate according to code and you're asking him to redo it simply because you don't like it then you should have to pay him.

It's hard to say without seeing the site.


Well if I knew how to upload pics here I would show you some. And I agree I don't need 3 and he is trying to squeeze in 4. Nevertheless I have 2 posts 1+ foot closer together than 2 others. That seems to just be not right to me.

And what about these 8 inch concrete blocks? That seems to be a little excessive as well.

Phobia
05-26-2008, 01:55 PM
I glazed over the 8 inch concrete blocks because that completely confuses me. I honestly have no idea what that's all about. If he already has pilings, then why is he installing 8 inch blocks?

This scenario sounds like an endorsement for permits. If dude has no idea what he's doing a drawing and inspection would have solved all these problems. But if you're trying to evade the inspection process, at least have an experienced contractor about whom you would have no concerns or trust issues. If your buddy is moonlighting as a contractor and he can't place the posts properly.... well, you probably don't need me to draw you a map.

petegz28
05-26-2008, 01:56 PM
I glazed over the 8 inch concrete blocks because that completely confuses me. I honestly have no idea what that's all about. If he already has pilings, then why is he installing 8 inch blocks?

This scenario sounds like an endorsement for permits. If dude has no idea what he's doing a drawing and inspection would have solved all these problems. But if you're trying to evade the inspection process, at least have an experienced contractor about whom you would have no concerns or trust issues. If your buddy is moonlighting as a contractor and he can't place the posts properly.... well, you probably don't need me to draw you a map.

I know. I know. :huh:

cdcox
05-26-2008, 02:05 PM
Well if I knew how to upload pics here I would show you some. And I agree I don't need 3 and he is trying to squeeze in 4. Nevertheless I have 2 posts 1+ foot closer together than 2 others. That seems to just be not right to me.

And what about these 8 inch concrete blocks? That seems to be a little excessive as well.

My dad built a 3-level deck on the back of his house more than 25 years ago. I helped quite a bit. For the footers, he dug a hole about 12" in diameter and about 12" deep. He poured concrete several inches deep in the hole and let it dry. Then, he poured concrete into KFC buckets and imbedded the post anchors in that. Once those had dried, he sat them on top of the concrete in the holes, then he back filled around the part that came out of the bucket until about 4" were sticking from the ground. The deck is still standing. Overall, I'd prefer a footing that goes into the ground and has a mechanical attachement to the wood, rather than a block sitting on the gound with the post sitting on it.

petegz28
05-26-2008, 02:08 PM
My dad built a 3-level deck on the back of his house more than 25 years ago. I helped quite a bit. For the footers, he dug a hole about 12" in diameter and about 12" deep. He poured concrete several inches deep in the hole and let it dry. Then, he poured concrete into KFC buckets and imbedded the post anchors in that. Once those had dried, he sat them on top of the concrete in the holes, then he back filled around the part that came out of the bucket until about 4" were sticking from the ground. The deck is still standing. Overall, I'd prefer a footing that goes into the ground and has a mechanical attachement to the wood, rather than a block sitting on the gound with the post sitting on it.

Ok I should clarify. I have 4 holes with 36 inches of concrete in them with an 8 inch block on top of that.

Brock
05-26-2008, 02:11 PM
Ok I should clarify. I have 4 holes with 36 inches of concrete in them with an 8 inch block on top of that.

What's the block for?

petegz28
05-26-2008, 02:13 PM
What's the block for?

The post will sit in a footing on top of the block.

Phobia
05-26-2008, 02:16 PM
Ok I should clarify. I have 4 holes with 36 inches of concrete in them with an 8 inch block on top of that.

We think you have 36" of concrete in them but they were existing - so if the last guy short cut it, by trusting his work you're putting your faith in somebody else's hands - somebody you've never met and who probably was the lowest bid for some builder.

This whole situation is bunk. If it were me, I'd bring my sledge and start with a blank slate.

For the record, Pete emailed me pictures. My reluctance to second guess somebody else is now gone.

Phobia
05-26-2008, 02:18 PM
The post will sit in a footing on top of the block.
Except.... Heh - look at this picture. If he doesn't hit the circle in this concrete everything else is going to crack away....

Valiant
05-26-2008, 02:18 PM
Well if I knew how to upload pics here I would show you some. And I agree I don't need 3 and he is trying to squeeze in 4. Nevertheless I have 2 posts 1+ foot closer together than 2 others. That seems to just be not right to me.

And what about these 8 inch concrete blocks? That seems to be a little excessive as well.

There is an attachment file that looks like a paperclip.. Took me months to find it..

Your welcome..

Valiant
05-26-2008, 02:20 PM
I glazed over the 8 inch concrete blocks because that completely confuses me. I honestly have no idea what that's all about. If he already has pilings, then why is he installing 8 inch blocks?

This scenario sounds like an endorsement for permits. If dude has no idea what he's doing a drawing and inspection would have solved all these problems. But if you're trying to evade the inspection process, at least have an experienced contractor about whom you would have no concerns or trust issues. If your buddy is moonlighting as a contractor and he can't place the posts properly.... well, you probably don't need me to draw you a map.

You glazed over a 8" what??? Ohh... blocks, I thought you said...nevermind..

Phobia
05-26-2008, 02:20 PM
Here's the picture of what Pete is describing.

Does anybody else feel confident this deck is going to be done correctly?

cdcox
05-26-2008, 02:20 PM
What's the block for?

Looks something like this where the concrete block is serving as #2 in the picture. My complaints would be 1) I'd rather have a solid peir (stronger than a concrete block and 2) does the post base attach to the concrete block?

I'm also guessing that the holes dad dug were wider and deeper than I described them. It's been a loooong time.

Phobia
05-26-2008, 02:22 PM
Pete - there's a dozen bits of evidence in the 04 picture that tells me that the guy is clueless. Don't waste another moment of time.

cdcox
05-26-2008, 02:23 PM
Well, based on the pictures Phobia posted, never mind.

Valiant
05-26-2008, 02:24 PM
Here's the picture of what Pete is describing.

Does anybody else feel confident this deck is going to be done correctly?

Am I a meth user or not?? Need more info on how drugged out I am...

|Zach|
05-26-2008, 02:25 PM
Went with the low bid.

LMAO

Valiant
05-26-2008, 02:25 PM
Pete - there's a dozen bits of evidence in the 04 picture that tells me that the guy is clueless. Don't waste another moment of time.

Did he show any pictures of previous work??

Did you hire the CP member who built the dog ramp??

stlchiefs
05-26-2008, 02:29 PM
Here's the picture of what Pete is describing.

Does anybody else feel confident this deck is going to be done correctly?

From the looks of it this guy can't even build a good Washers box or space the boxes correctly. :p I would not trust him with your deck.

stlchiefs
05-26-2008, 02:31 PM
Did you hire the CP member who built the dog ramp??

He's not trustworthy either, IIRC he steals from Big Movie.

go bowe
05-26-2008, 02:42 PM
Here's the picture of what Pete is describing.

Does anybody else feel confident this deck is going to be done correctly?heh, helen keller could do better work than this...

if you're local and you plan on keeping the house a very long time, you should fire the idjit and hire phil to build you a proper deck that will probably last longer than the house...

and i can vouch for phobe's work...

remember, you get what you pay for, mostly...

petegz28
05-26-2008, 02:47 PM
heh, helen keller could do better work than this...

if you're local and you plan on keeping the house a very long time, you should fire the idjit and hire phil to build you a proper deck that will probably last longer than the house...

and i can vouch for phobe's work...

remember, you get what you pay for, mostly...

Truer words and all that.....

Phobia
05-26-2008, 02:49 PM
Appreciate the kind words, GB. I don't care who he hires just as long as he gets rid of this guy. I'm pretty busy. I'm sure he could be worked into the schedule but it's not like I'd just say anything to get the work.

go bowe
05-26-2008, 03:22 PM
Appreciate the kind words, GB. I don't care who he hires just as long as he gets rid of this guy. I'm pretty busy. I'm sure he could be worked into the schedule but it's not like I'd just say anything to get the work.i dunno...

it's hard to imagine you saying anything just to get a job...

and besides, you aren't the one lauding the quality of your work, it's me...

however, i am expecting a check for my enthusiastic endorsement of your work...

just make it out to go bowe and pm it to me...

thanks... :D :D :D

NewChief
05-26-2008, 03:38 PM
Why the hell would that guy go about it like that? I can understand (sort of) wanting to use the existing pilings, but those concrete washer boxes are all kinds of screwed up. It wouldn't have been that much freaking work to dig up the old pilings and pour new ones. If he really insisted on using the existing pilings, why not just those concrete blocks with the cutaway for post. I don't think that would be perfect either, but it would be better than that, right?

Phobia
05-26-2008, 03:38 PM
i dunno...

it's hard to imagine you saying anything just to get a job...

A lot of people do.

The PM check is in the mail.

go bowe
05-26-2008, 03:56 PM
A lot of people do.

The PM check is in the mail.thanks...

now i can take the wife out to dinner to celebrate memorial day...

i wonder how busy mcdonalds is today...

petegz28
05-26-2008, 04:01 PM
Why the hell would that guy go about it like that? I can understand (sort of) wanting to use the existing pilings, but those concrete washer boxes are all kinds of screwed up. It wouldn't have been that much freaking work to dig up the old pilings and pour new ones. If he really insisted on using the existing pilings, why not just those concrete blocks with the cutaway for post. I don't think that would be perfect either, but it would be better than that, right?

Well to me it just seems like overkill. Well intentioned maybe for building sturdy deck but 4 posts and 44 inches of concrete per post for a 14 ft wide deck seems to be extreme to me. Plus WTF wants 8 inch concrete blocks on in their yard? Yes my neighbors can see under the deck.

DenverChief
05-26-2008, 04:03 PM
Ok I am putting in a 14x12 deck, 48inches off the ground. The guy that is doing it spaced my 4 posts with the following spaces between posts...

post 1 - post 2 = 36 inches...ok
post 2 - post 3 = 32 inches...hmmm ok I guess...
Post 3 p post 4 = 23 inches...WTF?

I get told since there will be a 2 foot cantilever I would not notice it.
Also the posts are going to get mounted on 8 inch concrete blocks.


Am I smoking crack or does this just not sound right?

Let me add I think the only reason we are doing a cantilever on a 12' deck is because he is trying to use the 2 previous concretere piers for the new deck.

Ordinarily when you make glue, first you need to thermoset your resin and then after it cools you mix in expoxide. Which is just a fancy shmancy name for any simple oxygenated adhesive, right. Then I thought maybe, just maybe you can raise the viscosity by adding a complex glucose derivative during the emulsification process. And it turns out, I was right.

Valiant
05-26-2008, 05:28 PM
Ordinarily when you make glue, first you need to thermoset your resin and then after it cools you mix in expoxide. Which is just a fancy shmancy name for any simple oxygenated adhesive, right. Then I thought maybe, just maybe you can raise the viscosity by adding a complex glucose derivative during the emulsification process. And it turns out, I was right.

What movie is that??

DenverChief
05-26-2008, 05:33 PM
What movie is that??

Romy and Michelles High School Reunion

tmax63
05-26-2008, 05:34 PM
I'm just a rank amatuer(emphasis on rank) but even I could do a better looking job than that. My problems arise in overbuilding and using way more materials and making it way stronger than neccessary costing a lot more because I don't know all the codes.

Phobia
05-26-2008, 05:57 PM
I'm just a rank amatuer(emphasis on rank) but even I could do a better looking job than that. My problems arise in overbuilding and using way more materials and making it way stronger than neccessary costing a lot more because I don't know all the codes.

It's a whole lot better to overbuild than the alternative. As long as you're not wasting a ton of money for ridiculous stuff I don't see how that could be wrong.

The exception? Using too many fasteners in framing members, which will actually weaken your structure instead of what you were intending to achieve.

RJ
05-26-2008, 05:59 PM
I get at least one call a week from someone looking for us to complete or repair a bad job. The only way we'll do it is to start over. It rarely happens because....

A) That adds quite a bit to the cost, and...

B) The person who is calling isn't inclined to spend much money in the first place, thus creating the problem.


I don't know jack about decks but if you really want it done right you should just accept the loss and get a fresh start. Hopefully with a lesson learned.

mikeyis4dcats.
05-26-2008, 06:17 PM
is this contractor your buddy that you were price-checking the other day?

thats a shit job.

The reason you should put in 36 inch deep footings is to get below the frost line. If you only go a few inches deep, as frost sets in, it makes the soil swell and then subside upon thawing. This will make your deck move up and down, and eventually it will have worked the structure back and forth and loosen everything.

In northern climates (like NY, MI, WI, etc. the frost line can be 6' or even more.

petegz28
05-26-2008, 07:03 PM
is this contractor your buddy that you were price-checking the other day?

thats a shit job.

The reason you should put in 36 inch deep footings is to get below the frost line. If you only go a few inches deep, as frost sets in, it makes the soil swell and then subside upon thawing. This will make your deck move up and down, and eventually it will have worked the structure back and forth and loosen everything.

In northern climates (like NY, MI, WI, etc. the frost line can be 6' or even more.

Oh he went 36 inches deep...and 8 inches on top of that.

Baconeater
05-26-2008, 07:15 PM
Here's the picture of what Pete is describing.

Does anybody else feel confident this deck is going to be done correctly?

What. The. ****. :doh!:

Phobia
05-26-2008, 08:07 PM
Oh he went 36 inches deep...and 8 inches on top of that.

The 8 inches above grade doesn't count.

petegz28
05-26-2008, 08:09 PM
The 8 inches above grade doesn't count.

I'll buy that for a $1. I don't understand it really and it seems no one else really does either.

Phobia
05-26-2008, 08:13 PM
I'll buy that for a $1. I don't understand it really and it seems no one else really does either.

Just like Mikey said - you have to take footings down 36" in this area of the country. That measurement is the depth to which the earth will freeze during a particularly cold winter. If the earth is freezing and thawing, freezing and thawing you're going to experience expansion and contraction which will cause any structure attached to the piers to pitch and heave. For the pier to be solid, it must reach a depth of 36".

My point was that any concrete above grade doesn't really count for anything at all.

petegz28
05-26-2008, 08:26 PM
Just like Mikey said - you have to take footings down 36" in this area of the country. That measurement is the depth to which the earth will freeze during a particularly cold winter. If the earth is freezing and thawing, freezing and thawing you're going to experience expansion and contraction which will cause any structure attached to the piers to pitch and heave. For the pier to be solid, it must reach a depth of 36".

My point was that any concrete above grade doesn't really count for anything at all.

I agree. If I have 36" already that he poured..why pour another 8? It's really an eye sore or seems it would be to have these big 8" concrete blocks that serve some unknown purpose.

Phobia
05-27-2008, 11:33 AM
I agree. If I have 36" already that he poured..why pour another 8? It's really an eye sore or seems it would be to have these big 8" concrete blocks that serve some unknown purpose.

Well, you do want them sticking up a little over grade just so water won't get trapped between your post and the concrete. He probably chose 8" because he was sitting them on top of previously poured piers. In any case, I think it's obvious to anybody who looks that dude had no idea what he's doing. I'll be in touch soon.

petegz28
05-27-2008, 12:19 PM
Well, you do want them sticking up a little over grade just so water won't get trapped between your post and the concrete. He probably chose 8" because he was sitting them on top of previously poured piers. In any case, I think it's obvious to anybody who looks that dude had no idea what he's doing. I'll be in touch soon.

Well sure. Code says they have to be and they were previously 1" above ground level with a slope for drainage.

He overshot that by 7" and didn't slope it. Eitherway he is gone and the bids are being accepted.

mikeyis4dcats.
05-27-2008, 06:20 PM
so was this your buddy? you never answered that...

petegz28
05-27-2008, 06:56 PM
so was this your buddy? you never answered that...

Yes

mikeyis4dcats.
05-27-2008, 06:58 PM
Yes

don't envy your position in that regard.

good luck...

petegz28
05-27-2008, 07:00 PM
don't envy your position in that regard.

good luck...

Yeah I have been pretty stressed about it all weekend. To the point of sore chest and stomach. I didn't tell him I was canning him from the job for sloppy work. Told him I wanted to go the more legit route plus he isn't insured and stuff. And that part is very true. Just feel he knows what kind of work he did and didn't need me to point it out.

That being said I know the guy can build decks. I think maybe he got big in the head and such. Either way it sucks really.