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Posted: 9/5/2013 9:38:40 AM EDT
So, we bought our first house in March, or April, or something like that.  The deck on the house is about 13-14 years old, and is probably ready to be replaced.  I don't want to replace the deck, but the decking boards are sagging when you walk across it and some of them are starting to split.  I figure I'll probably have to do it myself because we can't really pay someone to replace it, and I'll probably use Trex or some synthetic because the sun beats the snot out of them here.  The paint was mostly there on the deck when we bought the house, but since then it's pretty much all peeling off.  The house is a two-story with walk out basement.

I've thought about making the area under the deck basically an extra room on the house, to use as a work room.  I've been trying to do a little research but haven't come up with a lot.  How difficult would this be, would it be worthwhile for resale, and is it something you can do yourself?  How would it work?  Do you build a small extension, and just frame a deck over top of it?  I have to worry about snow loading and so forth, so I'm not completely sure how to go about it.
Link Posted: 9/5/2013 1:51:32 PM EDT
If you can't pay someone to rebuild the deck, you won't be able to afford an addition, even if you do the work yourself.  Costs include plans, permits, good concrete footings or foundation walls, floor joists, framing, roof trusts, exterior sheeting, siding, shingles, electrical, windows, a couple doors, etc.

Now if you're just talking about a cheap 2x4 and plywood entryway like what you see on some single wide trailer houses, costs will be a lot less but it will seem like you live in a trailer.  You most likely won't be in compliance with code (which means no building permits or violation of permits), and you may have to pay fees for the lack of a building or violations.  You may also decrease the value of your house.

If you are living in a trailer house, you could probably get away with a cheap entryway since trailers are meant to be moved so many cities and trailer parks over look cheap and disposable entryways.  You might also get away with it if you live in the country, but you will still face issues if you need to sell the house.  Also, a cheap entryway won't last that many years.

IMHO, you would be better off putting the money on a decent deck.  Decks are nice and increase home value.

Edited To Add: Ignore most of what I said above.  I realized that you were probably referring to closing off the space under a second floor deck.  I would strongly suggest not doing it.  You would pretty much need a flat roof to maintain a useable deck.  Flat roofs are a major pain and are a big cost.
Link Posted: 9/5/2013 6:37:11 PM EDT
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Edited To Add: Ignore most of what I said above.  I realized that you were probably referring to closing off the space under a second floor deck.  I would strongly suggest not doing it.  You would pretty much need a flat roof to maintain a useable deck.  Flat roofs are a major pain and are a big cost.
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I would think it would be cheaper and easier to build a large storage type shed, install a sub panel and run electricity to the shed.  A "shed" roof is cheap and easy to build, and way better than a flat roof.
Link Posted: 9/5/2013 9:36:50 PM EDT
OK, I was thinking the flat roof would be a problem.  I would probably do most of the work myself.  I haven't actually built a deck but from what I have done I'm fairly confident I can do it, and electrical isn't a big deal.  I was pretty worried the flat roof would be a major issue.  I plan on doing all the basement remodeling myself.  I've helped out with remodels and done a fair amount of DIY stuff.

It is a "second story" deck in that it is over a walk out basement, so it's a story above grade but technically the first floor.  I haven't had a quote to rebuild the deck so I need to get one, but I think the previous owner (we have paperwork) was charged $3-5k to build it 14 years ago, so I can only assume the cost has gone up considerably.  We just bought the house, and it will probably need to be repainted next summer.  I just figured if I was interested in doing it, should probably investigate it before I replaced the deck.  I've actually thought about putting a garden shed under the deck.  There's enough clearance for it height & width, but not sure I could have enough working space.

I like to do various wood working projects, and I'd just like to keep the dust and stuff out of the basement.  What I will probably do is rebuild the deck and maybe install a sloped water guard under the deck, or one of those kits that makes the bottom of your deck a rain proof area.  That way I can do my sawing/drilling/etc on the patio and not worry much about rain--but cold will be an issue.  We have a concrete patio that extends the width of the rear of the house (it is under the whole deck).  There's actually a sub-panel on the exterior there for the PO's hot tub, but that will probably just come out.  We won't really need the big open space in the basement for some time, so I can continue to use it as an indoor work area.
Link Posted: 9/6/2013 3:14:03 PM EDT
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I would think it would be cheaper and easier to build a large storage type shed, install a sub panel and run electricity to the shed.  A "shed" roof is cheap and easy to build, and way better than a flat roof.
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Edited To Add: Ignore most of what I said above.  I realized that you were probably referring to closing off the space under a second floor deck.  I would strongly suggest not doing it.  You would pretty much need a flat roof to maintain a useable deck.  Flat roofs are a major pain and are a big cost.


I would think it would be cheaper and easier to build a large storage type shed, install a sub panel and run electricity to the shed.  A "shed" roof is cheap and easy to build, and way better than a flat roof.


There are a number of companies that make roof systems for under decks.  I dont know if they work with an actual "room" but a storage space would be doable.  Here is one: http://www.drysnap.com/index.html
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 10:01:08 PM EDT
If your deck isn't 12" on center then Trex will sag (unless you lay them directly over the old deck which will make the deck taller than your doors).
Personally, I will never use another one of those expensive, heavy, synthetic piece of crap products again.

I just did a walkway for my dad (handicapped ramp is next) & used pressure treated 5/4 from Lowe's.
I made several trips & picked out the best boards from the pile (the reviews say that you get a lot of unusable junk when you have it delivered).
I also put the boards flush against each other - after 2 weeks in the sun they shrank & left me with the 1/4" gap I wanted.

PT (5/4 x 6 x 12) = $10 each
Trex (1 x 6 x 12) = $30 each

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As for making an extra room, water is going to get in unless you put some sort of roof & drainage system under the deck.
It won't help your resale if you don't have the proper permit & CO (it might actually hurt you unless you tear it back out).
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