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Old 02-22-2014, 09:23 PM   #401
DiggertheDog
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

1. Top 5 things you like about your home improvements


2. Most important piece of advice to survive home improvements

Last edited by DiggertheDog; 02-22-2014 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:48 PM   #402
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Enjoy the break, bb. You've earned it.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:36 AM   #403
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Quote:
Originally Posted by DiggertheDog View Post
1. Top 5 things you like about your home improvements


2. Most important piece of advice to survive home improvements
1) House (hopefully) will no longer be a neighborhood eyesore
2) I can wash/dry clothes without having to bend into impossible positions
3) No more ceiling damage from roof leaks
4) Don't have to worry about front of house falling down
5) Hopefully I can have more than 4 soon

2 - Accept that it will take a lot longer and cost a lot more than you think it will.
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:31 PM   #404
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

OK, so my outside plugs aren't working. I put brand new ones in.

I'm getting power to the first plug. The plug doesn't work but the wire in is definitely hot. I'm pretty sure I wired it correctly. Hot on brass screws, white on silver. Only it didn't work. I got a 3 pack so I put a different one on. Still doesn't work. So, I looked at the back and the incoming hot is going to the screw that says "LOAD CHARGE". My hazy memory says it really shouldn't matter. But, for the sake of troubleshooting I switch the wires. The receptacle works. However, no power downstream. Logically I'm thinking it must be a bad receptacle. However, I've tried 2 different ones.

Taking a break to think this through.
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:43 PM   #405
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Found an old receptacle in my electric junk drawer. Worked fine.

Confirmed - 2 of a box of 3 brand new receptacles bad. I kept thinking I was doing something wrong.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:21 PM   #406
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

OK, so I was wrong. The "LOAD CHARGE" screws are not for the incoming hot. They are for the outgoing. So, I hooked it up wrong. However........, when I switched it to be right it still didn't work. Maybe I blew out something in the receptacle? Seems like a not very good design if this is possible? I dunno.

Anyways, got the plugs all hooked up properly, and the lights. Woohoo - the deck is now lighted again. No more flashlights. No more cord running from the garage to the cable box.

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Old 02-23-2014, 09:27 PM   #407
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

My goal (in addition to getting the wiring going) was to touch up all the places where I got white paint on the siding. Did that.

But, the bigger goal was to get my windows clean.

Long story but when I painted the house years ago, I had the siding sandblasted. Don't ever do this. In addition to sand everywhere in the house there was a bunch in all the windows. I've really never gotten it all cleaned up. So, that's what I'm gonna do.

Additionally, when I painted I put paper around the edges of the windows but didn't cover them completely. That was a mistake. I used a paint sprayer and you can see in the pic the result.



Yes, they've been that way for about 10 years. I'm pretty sure I can get it off the window with a razor blade. Not so sure on the screen. The girl at Lowe's recommended some stuff but I got so behind today I didn't get that far.

I was able to clean 2 windows pretty well but they didn't have that paint thing going on. Just getting all that old sand out of them was pretty time consuming.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:42 PM   #408
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

The lights are on ....but is anyone at home?

Just jokes.

#Biggerproblemsolver.

p.s. I am complete tech/engineering failure so you know it is just jokes.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:57 PM   #409
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Quote:
Originally Posted by DiggertheDog View Post

p.s. I am complete tech/engineering failure so you know it is just jokes.
Well, I'm completely lost reading your blog. So I guess we got each other's half brain or something.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:17 AM   #410
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

biggerthedog

Or Diggerboat?
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:58 PM   #411
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Today I went to the city to find out what is required to replace my front porch.

To refresh everyone's memory, I did not put this on the original permit because I didn't know I'd be tearing it out. By the time the siding was finished it was almost time for the permit to expire. I really wanted to get some closure on the siding so I went ahead and got that taken care of instead of trying to add the porch and get an extension.

Anyways, after waiting in the obligatory line to have your name put in the queue, Juan came to greet me.

I briefly explained what was going on and the conversation went something like this.

Juan: You removed your porch?
Me: Yes
Juan: Why did you do that?
Me: So the foundation guys could do their repairs
Juan: Why didn't you put that on the permit?
Me: I didn't know I was going to do that.
Juan; You could have added it
Me: Yes, I know but the permit was about to expire
Juan: You could have gotten an extension
Me: Yes, I know but I wasn't sure what all was involved
Juan: You should have gotten an extension
Me: Well, I didn't so here I am

Juan then pulled up my file and got that stare that they all get when they look at my file. After about 5 minutes of clicking Juan starts talking again.

Juan: So you are replacing your porch
Me: Yes
Juan: Is it covered?
Me: Some of it. Let me show you a picture
Juan: So you are replacing this
Me: Yes
Juan: Exactly like it shows in this picture?

This is where I need to learn how to lie. I know this. But I'm incapable.

Me: Well, see that little curved part? That's concrete. I'm replacing it with decking. The decking will have straight lines, not curved.
Juan: Oh, well, that's an addition.
Me: OK. What does that mean?
Juan: You need to fill this out.

"This" is an 8 page form that has questions like "Does this site have a Board of Adjustment variance?" and "Tax Parcel ID" (which requires research in the county system since the city won't tell you) in addition to a detailed list of the square footage of every possible thing you can think of that might be on a residential lot.

Now, in addition to that form that I had already filled out 6 months ago, I had to submit lot plats, 2 different sized sets of elevation drawings (to a specific scale) and 2 different sized sets of room layout drawings.

So, my next question was

Me: Do I need to submit all those drawings again?
Juan: Why would you need to do that?

The urge to punch Juan at that moment was overwhelming.

Me: So, you just need the application?
Juan: No, we need a framing diagram.
Me: A framing diagram?
Juan: Yes
Me: Could you give me an example?
Juan: Yes, let me go get it.

Juan left for a bit and came back with a 20 page document titled. "Prescriptive Residential Deck Construction Guide", which, after reviewing later says nothing about a framing diagram.

Juan: Just so you know, these are the 2005 rules. They changed the rules in 2012. You'll need to find out what the changes are.
Me: (Unable to speak due to intense concentration to attempt to fire lasers from my eyes through Juan's head).

I can't say Juan was completely evil. He did pull up my original application and print it out for me so I could copy everything.

So, I left with my new 8 page application, my old 8 page application, my 20 page deck construction guide, and just a guess on what they need for a framing diagram.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:41 PM   #412
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

It needs to look something like this,

http://koxyli.net/framing_plan.pdf

and have as much detail as you can stick on there about how it complies with this,

http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...2_5_sec002.htm

and this,

http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...2_5_sec007.htm

It can be hand drawn. You don't need to learn CAD to do it. A $3 architect's scale should be all you need.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:58 PM   #413
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Awesome. Thanks.

I've been using google sketchup. It's a little wonky but I've been able to make it work so far. I think I can do that with it.

Last edited by biggerboat; 02-26-2014 at 10:00 PM. Reason: Probably take longer to draw this than build it.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:30 PM   #414
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Dear Biggerboat,

It has come to our attention that you have been adding to your blog without the proper permitting. If you do not provide an amended applicaton for an extension to your blog in 30 days from the date of this letter, you shall be in breach of Section 1 B, sub clause d (iv) of the 2+2 Blog and Posting Guidelines Act 2014.
You can find copies of the application at your local Blogging Bureau in Austin, Texas. Please be advised that the application process has a number of fees for the process and amendment of Blogs (according to Local Regulation and Management Act 2012) which you will be expected to pay upon lodgement of your amended application. Should you fail to do any of the above you shall be subject to further fees and penalties.

Yours Sincerely

Diggerbureaucrat.
Supervisor of Blog Adminstration and Maintenance Bureau
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:50 AM   #415
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

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Old 02-27-2014, 09:39 PM   #416
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Help!

OK the first thing I'm not sure about is how to do the steps. The deck will be about 16" off the ground and I plan on having two wrap around step levels. Steps will be 18" wide. Pretty much like this picture here.

My first problem is how do I do this and comply. Like, the bottom step is basically on the ground (well the joists sit directly on footings). Everything in the guide says you need a beam on a footing. Pretty much impossible. I mean, I know how to make it work because I did it. I just don't know what the damn city wants.



My second problem is how to read this chart. I just don't get it.

The top numbers I thought represent joist spans. What are the numbers below? Beam length? Doesn't make sense to me that the longer the spans the shorter the beam? Actually none of it makes sense.



Aye aye aye, this is going to be a challenge.

The deck in the picture I built. It looks bad in the pic just because it's in serious need of stripping and re-sealing/staining. But the damn thing is solid as a rock. I can't imagine the city making me do anything better than I'd do it my way.

/gripe
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:55 PM   #417
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

This got me to thinking about having someone do it. After looking around on Angie's list to see what people are paying for decks, I think I'll be doing it myself. Not cheap.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:00 PM   #418
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

The footing chart is telling me for a 6 ' beam span I need a footing 15" diameter and 6" deep. Every footing I've ever poured was from those tubes and they aren't anywhere near 15". wtf?

Seriously wtf on this whole document. The damn deck is 6 x 12.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:06 PM   #419
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

I made a frame! Woot!

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Old 02-27-2014, 11:57 PM   #420
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

are you a wizard?
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:25 AM   #421
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

For the steps, you need to use joist hangers so they are at the same height as the beams instead of sitting on top of the beams. And obv. your beams can't be higher than your step height, which effectively means you're using 2x8s whether you like it or not.

If the joists are longer they will be carrying more load. The code assumes worst case scenario, like you're having a party and 50 of your closest friends are all on the deck. If the joists are longer you have more people per joist = more weight per joist = more load per beam carrying that joist = shorter allowable beam span.

The footing issue is just a terminology thing. A sonotube would be used for a pier to elevate the structure, and yeah you certainly will never need one that big. A footing is a big flat thing that a pier would sit on, usually below grade.

Used to be you could just pour the pier and be done with it, but in some soils (like the muck east of the escarpment you're probably on) piers will tend to sink over time because of their small surface area on the bottom. So now they require footings to help the structure 'float' on bad soil. In your case, you can build 15"x15"x6" frames at the height you need for the beams to sit on, fill them with concrete and skip the piers entirely.

I hope most of that makes sense. I slept late today and I'm still working my way through the AM coffee.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:02 PM   #422
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

I still don't understand that chart but the footing/pier explanation makes a ton of sense.

So, basically, every part needs to be supported by a footing, right? Even if the beam just sits directly on the footing.

My steps are going to be about 5 inches tall, if that. Can the bottom of the joists/beam for them be below grade? As long as they sit on concrete?
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:07 PM   #423
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Yes, every part of the deck will bear on a footing (unless it's being supported by the house), and the beams can sit on them directly. Code does allow treated lumber to be in contact with the ground, but it's not a great idea if it can be avoided. Actually, you might want to clear that with the inspector before doing it.

The obvious question there is, "Then how the **** do I get my first step to work?!?", and there really isn't a clear answer or common practice. Sometimes that first step is detached from the deck and just sits on the ground. Sometimes the framing touches the ground. Often the ground is dug out just enough to keep it away from the framing, and then after a decade or so the hole fills in anyway. Decks are a PITA.

I wish I was better at explaining the beam span chart. The more deck a beam has to support, the shorter that beam can be.
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:39 PM   #424
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Thanks zikzak. I think I have a good start. I've sorta learned that with the city they really don't tell you what they want, you just give them stuff and they tell you what is wrong.

Today was trash day 1. Got a dumpster. I had a bunch of brush in the back yard but the main thing is the trash pile below.

One of the expenses you might not think about (I didn't) is trash removal. I've spent over $1000 on dumpsters so far. Pretty big expense.

I'm not a hoarder I don't think, but it pains me to toss any sort of construction leftovers that might be usable. I had a bunch of sheathing pieces that I really didn't want to toss but I really don't want them in my garage. I was struggling with throwing away anything really, pieces of my wood flooring, hardi pieces, perfectly good drip edge, etc. I know I'll probably never use it but still.

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Old 03-02-2014, 12:29 PM   #425
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Sunday is sort of my day to chill in the morning. Drink a few cups of coffee, read the paper, make a nice breakfast, etc.

Turned on the local news and find out a fairly strong cold front with rain is a'comin'.

Tough decision - enjoy my morning and work in the cold rain later or get my butt out there now before the bad weather. I chose the latter.

Got the bulk of it cleaned up. I haven't done anything with the yard this year so there's a ton of leaves. I figured I have a dumpster, might as well get some of that cleaned up too.

I could feel the instant the front hit. That first cold wind. I went from sweating to sort of cold in about 5 minutes. I'd say the temperature dropped aboutt 20 degrees in 30 minutes. Stopped when the rain hit.

Not sure if I'll continue today. I'd really like to get some more done but the goal was to make the best use of the dumpster and I've done that.
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