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Composite Decking Debate...

18 years ago

I have been reading the message boards regarding composites for the last few weeks. We have a 336 sq ft deck with a 154 sq ft smaller deck to the side holding our hot tub. We bought the home 2 years ago and have had to stain each summer due to wear and weather. (Gets full sun.) We wanted to just screen in the larger portion but with the costs of reinforcing the sub-structure to support a roof the deck floor has to come up as well. So we decided to replace it all and try to get away from splinters and staining. With that said... the choices have come down to Procell and Timbertech. Anyone used either?

Procell has no wood fillers and says it is not suseptible to the mold problems that I have read about Trex. It comes with a lifetime warranty and shows very extensive comparisons on its website against Trex for stains, durability and splitting. But, I am not sure I like the look of it. Timbertech looks more appealing... has a 25 yr warranty and says it resists heating and fading. With both I am concerned about the fading difference between the covered part and the uncovered part, I know there will be some difference with any product. I am concerned about the hot tub and any staining that may occur from water spots, etc. I have also read about the sealing debate, there is nothing on either website about sealing- only cleaning. My contractor says he has no idea of what I am talking about! Any info there? Do all composites have to be sealed and why? He also says Evergrain is a good product, any info about that.

Lastly, this is an expensive project for my husband and I and I don't want to have any regrets. Please give it to me honest. I have my heart set on the lowest maintenance possible, my husband travels and it is difficult for him to take time off for large home projects, like staining.

Thank you!

Lisa

Comments (71)

  • 18 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Excellent information.

    Not sure of the color - in the "after" picture it looks like grey (which is one of the colors they offer).

    Any other photos would be great.

    One further question: Have any of the decks you have been called in for been sealed previously?

    Thanks,
    - Tony

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Tony's building a case... I see him pacing a court room putting an exhibit A on the picture above.
    He calls gorillabuilder to the stand... "you hate trex don't you? Admit it. You found it sleeping with an ipe board and stormed out of the house. Admit it. You also have a thing for unpaid lattice don't you"..

    Gorillabuilder, "Yes yes yes!!!!! I did it! I put the mold on trex!"

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  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Well, I see some things never change. Sorry, I have nothing but anecdotal evidence about Trex, in a positive manner.

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Demark, I love my gray Trex Accents.
    I think ALL decks need to be cleaned every year, afterall they live outside for 365 days a year. A bath once a year might be a good thing. Trex's website has info about proper cleaning.
    Personally I thin you should go with a PT deck at this point in your life. Young kids are gonna scratch anything you put down, some worse than others.

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have a 70+year-old house and the original porch is so bad that State Farm is going to cancel my insurance. My contractor stopped by today with two samples of composite. One was EverGrain and the other was Tendura. Tendura has been in business since 2001. Tamko, which makes EverGrain, is a family-owned business since 1944.

    The salesman at the lumberyard was pushing Tendura, but my contractor was not too familiar with Tendura. Tendura gets mixed reviews in these forums.

    My contractor installed an EverGrain deck once and had problems with the railings or some sort of component made by EverGrain. He contacted EverGrain and they assumed he did an improper installation, but sent someone to check his work and determined that the material was defective and corrected the problem to his satisfaction.

    From what I've read, EverGrain is a good product and now I know they are a reputable company.

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    There is a post on the Deck Forum page over at www.homeressources.com that makes an intersting read for anyone thinking about using composites. Its under the heading.. finding recent post buired deep.. over there we have the Randy who is the man who keeps everything up to date and can find a lot of info on posts under the same topic. That site dosent have the little trick of bringing the most recent post to the frount of the page like they do here. Anyway this is good info, first hand testamony from down the road composite users. John

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I know that I'm late to this discussion, but I wanted to share my experiences with two composite decks - front porch (covered) and back deck (adjacent to a pool).

    Our back deck is Trex - it's 7 years old. Yes, it gets green in the shady parts. Every year we power-wash it, and it looks like like new again. I don't want to use harsh chemical cleaners next to my pool or shrubbery. Water works just fine. It gets lots of hard use and it still looks great. I'm perfectly happy with it.

    We just replaced our front covered porch with Procell last spring. I really like it. That side of the house gets lots of afternoon sun, and I have not noticed any fading. It's a breeze to clean. It has a very "clean" look that goes well with the look of the house. Does it look like siding? No, I don't think so. It looks like all of the solid-stained decks around here, except that I don't have to stain it.

    YMMV.

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    This thread should not die.

    Anymore observations in regard to composite decking?

    Thanks.

  • 17 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I see not much is different on these forums than anywhere else lol!...characters and debates...always stimutaing to say the least.

    Hi, this is my first post and although I note that most of the debate centers on Trex I'll start by saying that I chose another product, LB WeatherBest.

    I have about a 1500 square foot deck thats about 2-1/2 years old at this point. The railing top is clear western cedar. Its a north side deck with a large Japanese maple over a portion. Needless to say after about two winters it needs a cleaning. Leaf stain, some mold and just plain dirt.

    I bought myself a nice DeWalt pressure cleaner (2800 Psi, ~2.9-3.0 GPM according to the CAT pump people) for xmas. I am doing extensive reading before i lay into the deck. I'm interested in composite deck cleaners and note that a number of them are sodium percarbonate based but I'm intrigued by the use of other cleaners. I'm asking for help as a beginner and recommendations on how to clean and what cleaners to use.

    thnx Ti

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    My 12 month old Weatherbest deck is flaking at the screw heads( trapease especially designed for weatherbest) and irregularly fading. Anyone else with problems with weatherbest please contact me directly at kfmutch@aol.com
    thanks

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I just settled on Fiberon Pro Series Brown for a new deck I'm having built. The screened porch floor will be wood, not composite, but for the exterior deck, I chose composite. The contractor I went with uses Fiberon the most and it seems as though his customers have had good experience with it. I went with the Fiberon largely on the advice of the contractor and a better price---and I liked the darker color as I'm sure it will fade and I'm concerned that leaves will stain the deck and it will be less obvious on the brown than on the lighter colors. ProCell/Azek deck was also very nice and if the contractor had no opinion or if cost wasn't a factor, I would have specified that material. It is lighter, but I think it would resist stains. The 100% plastic means it would hold up better over many years too. Both are nice products. Evergrain looked good too, but wasn't reversible.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have to comment on this thread. It is one of the most lively ones I have read in a while. I haven't been on this forum for quite a while, but when I built my two decks about 5 years ago, I visited quite often.

    For what's its worth, I am a design engineer with a Masters Degree from MIT, I will share my conclusions on deck materials. I will also add that my two neighbors built desks the same time I did. One built with IPE, one with mahogany, and I used composite. I don't even remember the exact brands of composite I used.

    IPE in my opinion is the overall best material to use for a deck. I think it does require some maintenance, but you basically get a work of art for your effort. I think when stained or finished they are beautiful. I also love hardwood floors for the same reason. My neighbor has let his go grey and I don't think it looks anywhere near as good as a stained deck. His deck has required very little maintence and is holding up really well. The IPE really doesn't splinter or check very much. It is good stuff.

    My neighbor with the mahogany deck is the only unhappy one, his builder talked him into mahogany because the builder didn't like composites, even though my neighbor did. Mahogany checks and splinters and requires sanding and refinishing. It looks really good for a while then really starts to look bad. Once refinished, it looks great again.

    My composite decks I am very happy with. I didn't want any maintence (my boat is my second job). My 16 X 12 deck I used 100% plastic with hidden fasteners. I have a grey house and grey deck with white vinyl railings. I have washed it 3 times in about 6 years and it looks brand new. Its one major problem is we do get static shocks at times from it. Its not that big a deal, but noticeable. This deck has a smooth surface and my son really loved it when he was young. On the negative side, it gets really slippey with snow and ice on it.

    My smaller deck is a composite deck, I think Weatherbest. It is also grey with white vinyl railings. I chose the composite for this deck because it has a heavy texture and we go on and off this deck a lot in the winter. The texture makes a huge difference in grip and it is fine when wet and with snow and ice on it. This deck has some light green mold on it in the shady spots and I have to clean this one every year or so. Although most of the deck looks pretty good and is relatively maintenance free.

    Here is the bottom line, I got educated and new the issues with the materials I choose. Nothing is perfect, and my choices gave me the things that were most important to me and I liked the look of what I bought.(the all plastic looked really bad in some colors, but the grey looked OK) I am very happy with it, as will the Trex guy who keeps posting a lot. My IPE neighbor is really happy as well and he likes the "greyed" look of his deck. My other neighbor is the only unhappy one, he let the builder talk him into something that wasn't right for him.

    Go look at the different materials, get educated on them, and decide what you like. Then find someone who is good to build it for you (don't get talked out of what you decided on) or do it yoursef. You will be happy with the finished product.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We just finished our third summer with our Trex deck. I can find very little to complain about. It is great on the feet (does not get nearly as hot as our old pressure-treated wood deck), no splinters -- I love being able to be barefoot on this deck. My little girl got two slivers in her toes this summer on my sisters wood deck.

    As for mildew -- it does and it is not a big deal. Our deck gets full afternoon sun (SE MI) -- the northern end of the deck does get mildewed. Once a year we wash the deck with Behr deck cleaner (I think it is just a $3.00 bleach solution) and a push broom. I don't see why people make such a big deal out of this. I would imagine a deck that faces north and never dries out after rain would have a bigger problem.

    As for stains, fading and scratches -- I believe it could happen. I had a few spots (birdies that ate berries I believe) but either the cleaner got rid of them or they faded. I would believe a greasy hamburger could stain it but again, the cleaner would probably help. The deck has faded - we had a children's Little Tykes playhouse on it and the deck faded around it. We sold the playhouse this summer and the fading "caught up" and you can't tell anymore it was there. Lastly, I am sure it would scratch if you dragged something sharp across it.

    All and all, I would never have a "real wood" deck again.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Good to read that at least some are happy with composite. My deck project is almost done---and the Fiberon brown looks fantastic. Hopefully it will wear well.
    The porch side still needs rain gutters put on and some final trim and paint touch-ups. All in all, the project has gone well. My contractor estimated a four week build time and it's more like 8 weeks at this point, but I won't be using it until Spring of '08 anyway. It's interesting---I noticed what looked like tree sap or a few drops of varnish of some sort on the composite railing and ran out there to clean it up. I noticed that area was left a little darker and I started thinking, "oh no, this is what they're talking about with composite." Then the reality struck me that if it had been natural wood, it would have been the same exact situation. We've gotten defensive on the composite but the fact is, bird droppings, grease, etc., affects whatever it hits, including car finishes. What are we supposed to do, encase everything in glass and use Rain-X to add even more protection? It's wood, plastic, etc. and being weathered is part of being outdoors. I don't see the big deal either. Elsewhere, there is posting going on about IPE being delivered with small holes in it from insects (insects dead on arrival, but still...). Everything has its advantages and disadvantages.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    hello all

    i dont hang out on these sites too much but just had ton read the above comments and toss my hat into the ring. people talk about pressure treated decks, this, that and the other thing. now we have had our deck probably about 1100 feet gets 75% direct sun, all screwed down sits 7 feet off the ground i initially stained the floor and painted aftrewards. its still in fantastic shape even after 20 years. look at it this way, we paid 400 bucks for this 20 years ago so how about that return on investment? yes it does have a few splinters, but no warpng, splitting on and on. so to all the experts, how is this possible?
    who says the more you pay you get a better product?
    thanks fred

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Fred my Man,,,,,it very possible your project looks as good as you think, after 20 years, very possible but not likely. However You are Happy with it and the $ you have in it sounds like you got your 400 out of it.

    Its also very possible a lot of Folks would not be happy with it,altho a $400 project is not really the normal over here I cant even fire up the truck for that.
    The Business of Deck Building has come a long in the past 20 years bringing me along with it I also have 20 year old projects out done in old growth redwood that dont look all that bad really. Im proud of my frame/foundation job and I love cvg redwood But we just cant use it now days its just off the scale. So enter stage left the Composites and enter stage right the S American lumber. I have a 10 year old Ipe project out over here in Cow Town that looks the same as the day I built it.
    I also am doing the service work on a 15 year old Preasure Treated deck that dont look too bad either with the given we have done hmmmmmmm say $7500 work on it thats still better than the $25,000 to replace it. Its got splinters,cracks,the miters are seperated things like that but if a Person is ok with that your right the $ is good.
    John

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You're right about that old redwood. Tore off a 22 year old redwood deck this summer. The wood was in really good shape, so much so that I just used it to repair a buddies boat dock down on the coast. Can't complain about the price either as I got paid to tear it off. He only wanted a few more years use of it til he can afford a new boat dock, figured it had that in it.

    I can't see a 20 year old TP deck lasting here in Austin without being splintered all to heck. The boys at AWDS have a 16 year old PT deck @ the entry. Left it there just to prove a point, it looks like crap. Their 10 year old ipe deck right next to it looks great. Premier composite deck on the front of the store looks like new, it's about 5 years old now. They got some old Trex in the boneyard that is literally falling apart.

    Al

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Is it true though that older pressure treated lumber had "better" chemical protection that is now effectively banned? I've heard that previously, the more toxic chemicals protected the wood better but the EPA has determined that it was unsafe. I know someone with a 20+ year old pressure treated deck. It was in good shape except for splintering and fading of the floor. He flipped the floor boards over and it looks good again. No UV exposure, didn't get excessive water---actually looks like about a 3 year old deck now, not a 23 year old deck!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    No one has ever determined cca pt material is or was unsafe including the epa mafia. The chemicals in acq pt lumber are more toxic than cca in a number of ways. In the 80 years or so cca was in service no one was ever proved to have been hurt by it, so lacking any proof the green mafia went after cca in the press with total fool stuff about playground swings. One study found a child would have to eat a teaspoon of dirt right next to a cca post 3 times a day for several years before the kido came up to the same risk as drinking 3 glass hit of water 3 times a day.

    The pt money folks saw a good thing,just switch to acq,charge a little more,give a major bunch of $ to the SS fastener market,cut down on the actuall chem in the lumber, everyone makes more money.

    The problem with fliping pt decking is the structure of the wood is gone,it just looks good below. In a very short time the same faliure will happen to the flip side. John

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    hello all

    john yes you maybe right in my eyes i may see diamonds and yours see lead. the only point i was trying to make is the product was good for me hey it might not be a cadillac but i dont need all the bells and whistels just looking for something blue collar decent price that will give us some years. doe sit make sense shelling out 30000 for a ipe or other deck my eyes say no. but thats me.aand denamrk well said with many good pointers fo those that are willing to see others view. just my 2 cents. thanks fred

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Fred, If you don't want to spend your hard earned money on more expensive decking & the TP works for you that's great. I've built many a TP deck for folks like yourself. I just don't like the way it warps, shrinks & splinters. I had a call back on a one year TP deck where the 2x6 deck board bowed so bad it was below the level of the joist in the middle of a 24" centers. On the same deck there were 3/4" gaps at the butt joints in some spots, I know they were tight when built. Some other folks this spring had me tear off 8 year old #1 TP decking & replace with cedar. It looked pretty good, I think they just didn't like the color of the semi-transparent stain that was on it. I'm getting some good use out of those boards, scaffolding, replanking my trailer, & made a landing for my deck too. Point being not all TP is created equal, the #1 KD after treatment TP holds up much better than #2 no KD after treatment stuff.

    Al

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    A good portion of the decks I do are still PT. The main issue is of course the affordability. However, I have noticed over the last two years a decline in the quality of the wood itself that they treat. I only use #1 KDAT PT, and I have an increasing number of problems with premature splitting, splintering, and warping. Many times, I have to change out deck boards before I'm even done with the job.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Our home sits on a hill 1/3 of a mile from the Pacific Ocean. We built a Trex deck on the ocean side of the house 5 years ago. Everything on that side of the house rots, molds, corrodes, fades, flakes, or otherwise deteriorates - except for the Trex.

    In the five years we've had the Trex, it has had olive oil, salmon drippings, cigar ashes, wine, polyurethane, bird droppings and god knows what else spilled on it. With the exception of the polyurethane spilled by a careless painter, everything cleaned up beautifully. The polyurethane was eventually mitigated by sanding.

    We are currently replacing a 15 yr old rotted redwood deck (builder ran out of treated nails)on the land side of the house. We were in a discussion about which composite to use. Our carpenters' usual suppliers each recommended competing products while trashing Trex with all the usual lawsuit talk etc.

    We've compared our friend's decks (Trex and Fiberon) they both have their defects but, we've decided to stick with 'the devil we know' as opposed to one we don't. The only thing that I will do differently this time is to seal the Trex so I don't have to go running for a rag and solvent everytime somone's little darling drops a hot dog.

    Regarding the acrimony in some of the posts - this site is no different from any other Internet forum: The Internet just promotes 'fanboyism'. Don't know what a fanboy is? Go to a cellphone forum and search for "Buy Motorola Razr". You'll find an abundance of posts from Nokia (or Sony or ??) fanboys claiming that 'Razrs suck' while touting their favorite phone and maybe 2 or 3 posts from actual Razr users talking about the good and the bad of the Razr. Same thing with Sony PS3 vs Xbox, Audis vs BMWs etc. and I'm sure the reverse is true if you ask about buying a Nokia. Some folks just like to go negative when there is no accountability.

    Bottom line is that through the acrimony, I realized that MY observations are really the only ones that matter to our project. Thanks for a positive experience.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The thing I hate most about composite is the marketing done on it. It is a man(or woman)made product. Good and bad results. Unknown future results. I'm sick of companies throwing products out on the market and using the public as guinea pigs to test the long terms effects. At least with wood you can pretty much predict the results. As for me COMPOSITE SUCKS! I am trying my best to be an educated consumer and not some sort of experiment for corporate America.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Decker My Man I could not have said it better my very own self. I wonder if Lemmy has seen the trex brazilla black spots post on this site. John

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I just don't get it. People buy this trash at twice the price. Suckered into the great aspects of it. So what's the first thing they do? Seal it!!!! Why, if it's so good. I get the impression that the folks that have it are trying to justify the choice that they made, even with the drawbacks. Who cares. Thanks for the compliment John. I've got friends out your way. Are you in Oklahoma City? I'll stop in sometime. Natural wood rules.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yup OKC the ol Cowtown. I get the same idea sometimes.

    The latest class action has been brought against Choice composite. I used some left over choice on my upper leval stairway years ago,several coats of twp. The top dosent look bad but underneith the stuff is crumbling I can actually scrap chunks of it off with my fingernail.

    John

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I would like to chime in with my anecdotal Trex evidence:

    http://momsfork.blogspot.com/2008/04/beware-of-trex.html

    {{gwi:2031361}}

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We are getting ready to replace our cedar deck with a composite one and are considering using Procell. Anyone have any experience with it? Did you use the Tigerclaw fastener system? how has it held up? I am in NH and mark from NH posted awhile ago that he used this product. Just wondering how it looks now?

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We are considering a composite deck in the Atlanta area but are concerned about all we read about the mold/mildew problems. We had a composite deck in Ohio that we loved. Anyone had experience with Universal Forest Products Latitude Decking?

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Really enjoying the debate? Was thinking trex but I'm now leaning toward a ceder deck and just letting it grey. Has anyone heard of rhino decking. How doies it compare with other composites? Thanks for the great info.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have installed my Latitudes composite deck and railing and it was easy to work with. My deck turned out beautiful, especially using the Equator Hidden Fastener system by Latitudes. No visable screw holes! This deck is virtually maintenance free. I've hosed it off a few times and that's it.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Latitudes Decking & Railing

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Unfortunately I selected Trex based on comparison of products at Home Depot and other home improvement chains. After selecting grey wood pattern Trex decking, I was disappointed to find significant color variations in addition to significant wood grain patterns in some boards while others had a barely discernable pattern. Home Depot said that you needed to wait at least three months (in direct sunlight) for the boards to fade to an even pattern. After one year, the deck still has significant color variations. I would say that if you want a mediocre looking deck, pick Trex. I find this product to be a big disappointment.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Dear Urabadfish2:

    I am a representative of Trex and direct you to our claims department. They can be reached at 1-800-BUY-Trex, and they will help address all your concerns.

    If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me at question@trex.com or 800-BUY-Trex.

    Pat - M

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I know this debate is for composites, but I saw some mention of PVC decking. However, I didn't see anything mentioned on the PVC/Vinyl/plastic product I used for my deck project. Its called Quadra (also known as Aurora) decking. I took some pictures and wrote up some commentary on my decking building project which I am very pleased with. decksummer08.shutterfly.com

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Trex so far has replaced 37,000 faulty decks as noted in this Forbes article.
    http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2008/0721/056.html

    If you are considering purchasing composite decking from Home Depot you should consider Veranda--less expensive and a much better product.

    As for PVC--have fun washing off the chalk every week.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Veranda website

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    2 odd thoughts not seen elsewhere (apoligizeifImissedit)
    1) We chose a local (New England) composite type for our new backsteps and I like it, the color isn't available in trex and it better matches our stuccoed foundation. However it is so uniform that its hard to see where one step leaves off and another one starts in certain light when descending. I just have to remember (and tell others) to step on the cracks since each step is 2 boards with a crack in the middle. Never had this problem with my old wooden steps.
    2) The steps were part of a back porch fix up and our contractor tried to convince us to change the old porch deck and use this also. My dh felt very strongly that would be incredibly wasteful. And since we are screening the porch in why would we want holes in the floors for mosquitos to come in (and trust me they would). We will sand and paint our old (now patched) tongue and groove boards thankyou!

    Photo of our steps. Work not done on porch clearly. Steps are wet from rain, and cleared off for winter :( We did big scale to better match the house and so we would still have a place to hang out outdoors when the porch is screened.

    Related to this, I looked at some attractive new condos in our town kind of hoping to get my mom to move into one someday and just wondering what they are like. The nice porches overlooking the fields and woods were composite so that the one above had holes (the big spaces between the boards)where things could fall into the porch below! Not only dirt from shoes by spilled anything. What were they thinking?
    kathy

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    That is a very unsafe/non code passing set of stairs no matter what decking is used. J.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm puzzled that John would say that they are "non code passing." I mentioned it to my dh who wanted to answer him. kathy
    Here he is:

    I believe that they are fully code compliant and safe. In NH the applicable code is the International Residential Code, 2006. The stairs have a uniform riser height (about 5.5") and tread depth (about 11") and appropriate profile (nosing) conforming to R311.5.3. R311.5.6 states that "Handrails shall be provided on at least one side of each continuous run of treads or flight with four or more risers" (which is the case). The height, continuity and grip size of the handrail (seen on the left of the photo) all conform to the code. The deck of the porch is less than 30" above grade so no guards are required on open sides of the porch or stairs per R312.1. One thing that may not be apparent is that when we finish screening in the porch the top landing of the stairs (below the porch level) will become a 42" deep landing outside of a 36" screen door (with hinge on the right, away from the handrail), conforming with R311.4.3, exception 2. Functionally these stairs are very easy to traverse even in the total dark, because of the easy rise and the handrail that is right on the edge of the regular path of travel to the driveway. What might I be missing?
    BTW the deck material is Correct Deck, which is PVC free, made from 40% recycled hardwood sawdust and 60% polypropylene, with an excellent grip even when wet.

    Here is a link that might be useful: www.correctdeck.com

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Missing is the part when the folks dont use the grip rail on the right and stumble off the rest of it. Man if Folks are not falling off it I never argue with sucess functionally they might be but no way would they pass code even in Cow Town and not even a chance in a Com project. In order to make that thing safe a rail system needs to be placed in the middle and on the other side, but what the hay.

    No problem with correctdeck its another man made little come a long poking its head up latley. J.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    My dh again: What code are you talking about? What requirement? The International Building Code is the mostly widely used in this country, rural and urban, and it does not require handrails on more than one side of a set of stairs in one and two family dwellings, regardless of width. It is true that for other occupancies, such as commercial uses, handrails are required on both sides of stairs and in intermediate locations "in such a manner that all portions of the stairway width required for egress capacity are within 30 inches of a handrail" (IBC, 2006, sec. 1009.10 and 1012.8). Even in a commercial application though, stairway width in excess of required egress width is not required to have intermediate handrails. For example, the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC:


    Me again: While dh was writing the previous post, I was thinking about all the big public places with big steps and decided to look for a pic of the met. It is an very good public space, always full of people and I've never seen any one fall down them.
    kathy

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Rail down the middle like I was saying and no 90 degree point like your stair has. Thats mainley the place the permit store woudent go for over here they go by national code then add local requirements as needed pretty much how all local guys do it.

    If you guys like it, I love it. J.

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    If you are replacing your deck with composite, be sure to check if your existing wood contains the chemical arsenic. This wood must be disposed of properly - it's a hazardous waste and causes cancer!
    Check out my site for home test kits
    Zach

    www.arsenichometest.com

    Here is a link that might be useful: Arsenic Wood Home Test Kits

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The Composite movement is a huge "false green" farce! The plastics and sawdust used for the manufacturing are destroyed in the process. There is no known way to deal with this junk when you are sick of the stains and scratches. It is a landfill product or incinerator fuel. It ages poorly and has no known way to refinish/restore it. Building codes may require extra framing if you use it. It expands and contracts to make noise and break fasteners. Don't believe the hype from the manufacturers, this stuff is JUNK!

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    So, is CorrectDeck CX the most acceptable composite at this time?

    John

  • 15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi All,

    Do you have a deck made with Trex wood-alternative material?

    Trex lost a lawsuit a few years ago because their deck materials didnt stand up as advertised. Now, other homeowners are seeing their Trex decks rot, warp and fall apart.

    I work with a law firm that filed a lawsuit against Trex for misrepresenting their materials and then failing to help homeowners with repair costs. The suit represents everyone who has a deck made from Trex materials and are experiencing rot, warp or degrading of any kind. Anyone whoÂs experienced problems since 2004 can join. ItÂs worth checking out.

    You can learn more about the case by visiting the Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro website and selecting Trex Company under the list of Featured Cases.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi all,
    I have had a Fiberon Deck for 3 years, and it has been stained for 2.5 of those years. It doesn't seem to get better despite all the cleaning with special products we do. The worst we have ever spilled on it is kids' blowing bubbles. My question is: Are more Fiberon customers having bad, dark stains on their decks? Thank you in advance for sharing.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Rose, You will have this staining problem with any pure comosite deck product. Trex, Fiberon, Timberteck will all stain if you spill red wine or a greasy hambger and there is not much you can do about it. They are all coming out with some new capped composite products that have a high densisty polymer coating. They are not as expensive as the PVC decking options and have a 25 year stain and fade warrenty. These are fairly new but from the ones that I have seen they have a great wood grain look and seem to hold up better then the traditional composite decking.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I just put down an ipe deck this summer and the only splinters I got were when I was handling the boards and sliding my hands along them without wearing gloves. But that would happen no matter what wood I used. I walked on the deck all summer barefoot with no issues.

    ALthough the splinters were pretty painful, the good thing about ipe is that you're able to pull them out pretty easily since the wood is so hard. (the splinter won't break or anything while it's still under the skin) :) you can pretty much grab it and extract it easily

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We put down a trex deck on east side of our home with lots of shade 3 years ago. No problems with mold until we had a very wet spring and summer in minnesota this year. I expected to have to wash and maintain this low maintenance deck. We had lots of mold staining everywhere on deck. After tring Behr deck mold and remover with no luck I was extremely unhappy. Tried Simplying Green full strength with no luck. After pulling out my hair and complaining to my husband about why he wanted composite instead of wood I told him I would have been better off spending 2 days staining a real wood deck. After lots of reading on various threads on composite decking problems and trex websites on how to clean it,I finally found a product that working amazing! I used Mold Armour ez deck wash from Home Depot. I know the product contains a bleach solution but it worked in a matter of min. I did wet down the surrounding areas with a water hose including the railings and grass. Wet down the deck boards first before applying the product with a soft brush in an ice cream pail. No scrubbing was required but I had control with application by this method. I did small section at a time and rinsed off after only 5 min or so. You can see the product work! Be careful not to let solution on boards to long because it does contain bleach and bleach will fade anything it comes in contact with. I did this project on July 4 and want to see how long mold stays away. I plan on buying a more eco friendly product in future like Corte Clean but didnlt try it this time because no stores in our area carry it and it is quite expensive. You also have to watch expiration date and have to buy it on line. Has anyone had luck with this product with mold spots and how long does the mold stay away with Corte Clean or Mold Armour? By the way my deck looks amazing and has no structure problems like some I have been hearing about. My husband built deck himself and followed all the proper guidllines to install. We also used hidden fastener system for instalation and used proper support system underneath. We have the saddle color with accents brand. Hopefully the mold issue will be a controllable one since we plan on staying ahead of it this time and not wait so long to wash it. We also had alot of snow this winter and I didnt always get out there to promply to remove snow. Let me know if you have had better luck with other products as I dont want to use a product so often that contains bleaching agents. Still wish my husband would have agreed with me to use cedar but I lost the battle and had to settle for composite. I keep telling him I told you so about composite and I am stuck with an $8,000 deck that is not low maintenance. I appreciate any feedback on a sealer or something to put down so i only have to wash deck to maintain and keep mold spots at bay. Any luck with sealers or stains?

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