Diamond Pier: decks without digging machines

Diamond Pier Photo Wise Home Building blog

When dealing with deck additions and renovations one point is extremely difficult to address: the excavation needs to support the code rules to have a stable and strong foundation.

Decks causes of failure can vary from a bad connection with the house to a foundation block or post that is not designed to support that amount of weight. And to have a good foundation we have to dig a hole with huge machines sometimes. Not anymore.

Pin Foundations, Inc., manufacturer of the Diamond Pier, has been designing and manufacturing foundations for over 25 years. And their idea to design a better product is that the Earth is the actual foundation, and soils, in their natural undisturbed state, have the strength and structure to do the job.

That’s why they designed Diamond Pier based on Pin Pile TechnologyPilings keep the Earth’s existing soil strength and structure intact and are easy to install if they do not need to go too deep. Traditional footings spread loads more widely, but the digging breaks apart the soil, weakening it and blocking or exaggerating water flow.

By grouping short bearing pins, which can easily be driven into intact penetrable soils, and setting them at angles to work more like a shallow footing, a sound foundation can be constructed that requires no excavation. This high-strength, precast component is a driving guide, a pin piling lock, and a structural connection all in one.

As a driving guide, the pier maintains the pin angles so that their capacity is definable and consistent. As a lock, the pier is designed to increase its grip on the pin cluster when loaded up, down, or side- ways—getting stronger and tighter as loads increase. And as a connection, an embedded anchor bolt and precast, post-matching shape make it a simple and proportional complement to its supported structure.

The Diamond Pier provides a solid, stable, economical foundation that both captures and preserves the supporting strength and natural functions of the Earth’s soil and, in turn, solidly and simply connects to and protects the permanent structures above.

The only limitation we have to use them appears when we deal with a rocky soil.

If you want more information about that, contact us.

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Deck railing: pay attention to the rules

timbertech-banner-deck railing Wise Home Building blog
TimberTech Radiace® railing system

Regulations and codes are a pain in the neck for builders. But they are necessary, and some of them are really important to make your house a safer place to live. Deck railing codes are really important, and remember them when building your deck (if you are not using a contractor)

All decks higher than 30″ above grade must have a guardrail. But if your deck is lower than 30″ and you would like to install a railing system you must still meet code requirements. The International Residential Code (IRC) for single family houses requires guardrails to be at lest 36″ in height measured from the deck surface to the top of the rail. You are allowed to build taller guardrails as long as they conform to all other requirements stated in the code (click here to check all code recommendation for deck construction).
Deck Cantilevers

cantilevered-deck-crop Wise Home Building blog
Image credit: https://boston-decks-and-porches.com

Instead of putting a girder at the end of the joists, you’ll need a beam under the joists, so they can extend past that support. This framing style is called post and beam, and the overhang is a cantilever. If you would like to have a a cantilever deck the code have the rules in Section R507.5. Deck joists can cantilever up to 1/4 of the joist span. But you’ll notice when you look at the portion of the span table for joists with cantilevers that the joist span for decks with a cantilever is often less than the span for the same sized joist without cantilevers. The next subsection requires that solid blocking is required over the beam when there is a cantilever.

Even if your local code jurisdiction hasn’t adopted the 2015 IRC, most building officials will look favorably on an ICC sanctioned code provision. So run the table by your building official for approval before using it. And stick with a builder or contractor that understand the rules and local codes, of course.

House decks: a simple guide for you

Summer time is coming, and if you don’t have a deck in your backyard probably you’ll be jealous of your neighbor.

If you think about having a deck in the future, one of the most important aspects for the long term durability is the type of material you’ll use for the floor. We’re living in a time of abundant choice – even a water in the restaurant is never only a water (still or sparking, with or without ice…and even water with flavors). When you think about options for your deck it involves decision about the beauty and aesthetics, maintenance and price.

Trex Deck Composite Wise Home Building St Stephensen Roswell website
Photo credit – http://www.ststephensroswell.com/mold-on-trex-deck/

1. Composite deck: Composite decking represent the fastest-growing decking materials sold today. They are durable, the maintenance is easy and the options of colors can be fantastic to meet your aesthetics needs. Composites like Trex and TimberTech, to name some of most well-known, are composed primarily of wood fibers and recycled plastic. They are extremely weather-stain-resistant board that won’t splinter, warp, rot or split. They are more expensive than regular wood, of course, but it is worthy. Normally they have a 25-year warranty.

2. Plastic lumber – like Azek DeckForeverDeck and Leisure Decking – are similar to composite, but they are made from 100 percent plastic (recycled and/or virgin). It contains no wood fibers, and are also highly resistant to staining and decay, and free of knots, cracks and splinters.

3. Pressure-treated lumber – Most pressure treated decking is milled from yellow pine, and then chemically treated to resist rot, fungus and wood-boring bugs. The two most common sizes of treated decking are 2 x 6 and 5/4 x 6-­in. planks. Occasionally 2 x 4 are used, but typically only on small decks or railings. The popularity of this type of deck lumber isn’t surprising: it’s affordable, readily available, and easy to cut and fasten with nails or screws. It is also the cheapest option.