Key tips to build a Deck to last a Life Time.

 The footings are the first step. By now you have already designed your deck and have located the footings you require. Spray paint, string, and a measuring tape will help you properly locate the footings. Dig a hole in a bell shape to a depth of 24 inches. In the bottom of the hole lay four pieces of rebar tied together in a square shape. Shim it off the ground with small stones so it is a couple of inches of the bottom. Now vertically drive two more pieces of rebar into the center of the footing location. You are ready for concrete.  

 I like to mix a couple of bags of premix concrete and pour into the footing hole evenly covering the rebar. This will be the base of the footing. While the cement is wet push in your 8 inch sauno tube into the required location. I always make the tube longer than I need at this stage. Repeat this step until all the footing you have are done and let set for 24 hours. Now you can level the hieght that your tubes. You need to cut the tubes for your beam to be level. Working on one footing at a time, top up the tube with concrete and set the proper galvanized beam sattle aligned for the beam. For decks above a couple of feet off the ground you will use a 4X4 presser treated post and then top up the concrete. Make sure your tube hieght is above the ground level making sure the post does not touch any ground. This is key to prevent rot. Apply a bead of roof tar around the post and concrete to prevent water penitration. 

 Now you are ready to install the beams. Check the span codes to be sure your safe. A 3 ply 2X12 is common and you should laminate them with wood glue and 2 1/2 inch deck screws. I install them a little longer than I need so I can cut them to length after the deck joists go in. Attach the beam to the footing or the posts on the footing. Berfore you lay the joists flash the beams with aluminum or galvanized flashing to prevent water getting in between the laminated beam. Depending on your design you either have 2 beams and you are cantlevering the deck up to the house or you have 1 beam and you are attaching the deck to the house. For the first option, lay and square the 2X10 perimeter joists first and attach them to the 2 beams with 3 inch deck screws. Now fill in the rest of the joists at 16 inch centers. Block framing your joists is always recommended. For the later you will need to attach your perimeter joist directly to the house. This means you have to remove any siding in the way and attach directly to the house frame work. Now you can attach your perimeter joists and fill in the rest of the joists at 16 inch centers. Now you have a solid substructure to finish your deck surface and railings. There are many options to finish the surface and railings. What ever you choose you will have a deck substructure to last a life time.

How to build a Framless Glass Tiled Shower.

 Remove the existing tub or shower. Access the plumbing feed and drain lines and rough in for the new design you have. Remember the p trap for the drain because that stops the sewer fumes. Make all the framing alterations as per your design. This may reqiure patching all your drain accesses and a curb with a minimum framed hieght of 4 inches from the floor. A bench or a recess is a useful addition to you shower design.

 The selection of a shower valve is important. This controls the water volume and temperature. Also the shower valve  feeds the variaty of accessories, being it a slide bar, pan head, or jets. Get a brand name you know and a company that has been making faucets for decades.

 Now you can prepare the shower for tile. You will need a rubber shower pan liner large enough to line the bottom and go up the sides 6 inches and over the curb. You are ready to sheet the stud frame with 1/2 inch cement board. Use fiber tape and thinset to join all the seams. Pour a sand mix base at least 2 inches thick and slope towards the drian. You may need to skim it with thinset to get it right.

 You are now ready to tile. Select a floor tile and a wall tile. Small tiles for the floor slope and a larger tile for the walls. You can change it up a bit with a different back wall tile or a decorative strip of tile. A layout of where the tiles will go is crucial to get the right finished look. Tile the floor first then your first couple of rows on the walls. After the lower wall tiles harden you can stack up the rest to a determined hieght. Grout in the color of choice and seal with the right product.

 The 10 ml glass used for frameless glass system can be ordered after the tile work is finished and final measurements can be taken. You can finish the shower trims and install your slide bar. You can drill thru tile with a concrete drill bit and a hammer drill. To finish you new shower caulk with a transluscent silicone in all the corners and around all the shower fixtures and wait 24 hrs before you enjoy your new shower that will last a life time. 


Recessed Flat Screen Feature Entertainment Wall

The first thing is the gas fire place and there is normally wasted space above the gas fire place. If it already exists get the specs on your gas fire place model to determine your clearances. Knowing your clearances to combustables you can rough in the opening to the unused cavity above the fire place.

The cavity space is usually 48 inches in width and 36 inches in hieght. Now you got this far you will need to factor in not only room for the T.V. but the components that go with it. You can add a recess on each side or floating shelves also work to house your components. Having your final design you can rough in your electrical, speaker wires, and all your specialty cords. Your specialty cords might need to be replaced so tubing in your wall from point A to point B will allow you to fish in replacement cords easily in the future.

Cabinetry is the next step. The best way to go is to design units that insert into to your framed rough in openings. Think about what wood and finish you want and also casings, mantel, doors with glass, or what ever your design requiers. While your cabinets are being built you can repair the drywall, prim coat and paint two coats, maybe a new feature wall color. 

Now the cabinetry can go in. Reinforce some backing to hold the weight if you are mounting the flat screen T.V. Finish your plug recepticals and plates. A good tip is buy vinyl blank covers so you can easily drill a hole to the size you need to pass your cords through. You are now ready to have your freinds over and enjoy your new custom feature entertainment wall.