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1. We use more expensive concrete because these concrete (RapidSet Concrete Mix) sets within half an hour and reaches 3,000 psi compressive strength within 1 hour. This avoids having to come back in a week, waiting for the concrete to properly cure enough to put load on the deck.
2. We use a maximum of 7 ft spacing between concrete piers (tighter than 10 ft average, providing more strength), and post lumber (4×4, 6×6, depending on the height and strengths needed).
3. We use double 2×10 or 2×12 lumber for beams, tied together with coated structural deck screws, and the top of the beam is coated with waterproofing material to seal the gap to prevent water from pooling between the beams and causing rot.
4. We use 2×6 or 2×8 lumber for joists, depending on the needed joist span.
5. Joists are framed at about 12” on-center spacing, as suggested by all composite decking material producers. In case of hardwood decking, joists are framed at 16” on-center spacing.
6. All deck framing lumber are “ground contact” rated treated lumber made of Southern Pine (stronger and more uniform chemical treatment permeation). All joist and rim joist tops, and beam tops are covered with deck joist/beam flashing tape (waterproof, rubbery butyl tape that prevents joist/beam rot).
7. The Simpson Strongtie hardware are all about making secure attachments:
a. Posts are tied to concrete piers (which are at least 5” above ground). With post base connector (part number ABA44Z), ½” anchor bolts and nuts.
b. Beams are tied to the posts with post cap connectors (part number BCS2-2/4Z).
c. Joist framing above the beams is tied to the beams with hurricane ties (part number H1Z).
d. Rim joists are connected and squared by 4” L-angles (part number ML24Z), and joists are connected to rim joists by 2×6 joist hangers (part number LUS26Z).
e. Guard rail posts are secured onto the deck by tension ties and lag screws (part number HTT412-3/8”) to keep tension tight when the wood expands or contracts depending up on moisture content.
f. All hardware-to-wood connectors are made with Simpson StrongDrive Connector screws, either #9 x 1-1/2” for straight perpendicular connection, or #9 x 2-½” for skewed connections (latter only for joist hangers and post caps).
g. All hardware and connector screws are hot dipped galvanized or are mechanically applied Zinc coating parts and have increase corrosion resistance, as well as avoiding galvanic (dissimilar metal) corrosion between connector screws and hardware.
8. Our composite deck boards are fastened with polyethylene clips and stainless screws into the joists between the deck boards, leaving the deck top free from screws or any potential pop outs. This also allows the deck boards to expand and contract freely. Hardwood deck boards are also fastened with a similar system.
9. The borders/outer frame of the deck boards are cut and mated with 45-degree miter cut, as a standard design element, unless otherwise specified by the customer.
10. The railing and welded wire mesh panels are fabricated onsite and stained to match the dominant composite deck color (if separate color chosen for border/miter boards).
11. The composite decks are backed by a 20-year product warranty against integral structural weakness, water damage, rot or insect damage. Just because the warranty is 20 years, doesn’t mean the service life is only 20 years. It can be a lot longer, if the deck is kept clean with just monthly brushing and rinse with water.
12. Hardwood deck boards do not carry the same 20-year warranty, as it is a natural product and life expectancy varies greatly depending on post-construction maintenance. However, with proper maintenance, service lifespan of hardwood deck boards often reaches or exceed 20 years. With proper maintenance, a 30+ year lifespan has been anecdotally common.
13. We will not compromise these details, because deviating from these details can weaken the deck over time.
14. If we determine the existing framing meets updated code, and are strong enough and rot free, we will utilize the whole or part of the original framing.
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