Extending an existing deck


The rule, at least here in the US, is a cantilever can extend no more than 1/3 the supported length (so, you could go ~3 feet further). Personally, I try to keep cantilevers no more than 2 feet, regardless of total supported length: while it might be OK structurally, it will likely sag the further you go, and can feel bouncy.

To do the best job, get some 12 foot 2x8s and sister them with the existing joists (run them the entire length, nailing with galvanized nails at the top and bottom every 16 inches). Then put a double joist hanger at the ledger against the house.

One of the critical things with a deck cantilever is how you attach the railing posts at the end of the cantilever. You will be nailing a 2x8 rim joist at the end to finish the deck, but you need to make sure the posts for your railing are tied in securely to the joists, and not just the rim joist. The method can vary depending on whether your existing railing posts are notched into the decking or...

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At this point, you may be using your imagination and having daydreams about entertaining on your new extended deck. As much as we hate to burst your bubble, we have to recommend that you check on your local building codes and permit requirements. Do this early in the process so that you know what limitations it may pose. The codes from your local building department or homeowners association might limit the size or location of your expanded deck (perhaps that's the reason why it's so small to begin with!). You'll also need to contact your utility companies and ask them to send someone out to your house to mark any underground utility lines.

Before widening or lengthening your deck, it's vital to ensure that the original deck is structurally sound: Check the framing for any signs of rotting, cracking or other degradation. If the deck is attached to the house (not freestanding), make sure the ledger board is properly secured to the side of the house. Also, inspect the posts...

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A deck is one of the most pleasant ways to expand a living space. As an extension from your house, it's a way to relish the beautiful outdoors while still enjoying the convenience of being just a step away from your home. It's also one of the most popular ways to entertain a big party: A deck not only increases the available space, but it also gives guests the option of staying inside or enjoying the outside. However, if you're stuck with a house that has a small, cramped deck, it won't help much with entertaining. Finding yourself frustrated with the limitation, it can be all the more distressing to discover how expensive it will be to tear down and rebuild.

However, the good news is that if the original deck is structurally sound, you could consider simply extending the existing deck. Make no mistake: This is not a job for the average do-it-yourself enthusiast. It takes advanced skills and some experience with similar projects. Seriously consider hiring a contractor to do...

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by Jim
(Mechanicsburg, PA)

I have a 12 x 10 deck. the deck comes off the house 12' and is 10' wide.

I would like to add on the deck and make it 18' off house x 16' wide. My question is about seams joining the new section of deck to old section.

It would be nice to try to make the deck addition consistent with existing. Any suggestions?

Editor's Comments

This is a good question and a common challenge many people face when they want to increase the size of an older deck.

The answer could get quite detailed head off in a number of directions. So I will just touch on a couple important points and then if there are other builders out there who would like to say something, please carry on where I leave off.

To make an addition seamless will require a bit more work than simply framing another rectangle and setting it up on some beams and bolting it on to the old deck.

In fact, that is not at all how I...

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This article will not get you from A to Z with rebuilding an existing deck. But reading it ought to save you some time, sweat, aggravation, material, and money. Your old deck - which has given you many happy moments on the chaise lounge sipping mint juleps - has seen its best days. So, on a Saturday morning you wake up, step out on the deck with a cup of coffee, and have a great idea - Today’s the day to give this deck its much-needed facelift! In seventeen seconds, you have your measuring tape and you’re ready to attack your 16x20-foot deck. Replace a couple of rotted floor joists and by dinnertime you will have a beer in one hand and grille tongs in the other enjoying the new deck!

If this is you, here is my Number 1 Deck Rebuild suggestion…

Go back into the house. Forget that you have a deck. Make other plans for the day. Then, the following day, in a quieter moment, read the rest of this article with a calendar, a calculator, a pad and pen, and the weather report...

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Start with a complete copy of the gear from its source tree.

J2EE application names must be unique. You must change the name of the gear in the gear definition manifest file, which is found at the top level of the gear module directory. For example, the gear definition manifest file for the Document Exchange Gear is found at /Portal/docexch/docexch-manifest.xml. Change the name in the name attribute of the tag.

Java classes for the new gear should be packaged separately from those for the original gear. Rename the Java source tree directory structure and edit the source to change the package definition statements at the top of each source file.

Of course, you will also have to make any Java code changes required by your new gear’s different functionality.

ATG configuration files in the CONFIGPATH should be separated. Rename the directories in the CONFIGPATH that hold properties files for your new gear.

Edit the properties files for the new gear,...

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If your existing deck is a couple of decades old and looking worn and small, you may reach a decision that it’s time to go for Deck Version 2.0. This can entail demolishing the original deck and starting over, or adding an extension to increase its size. As with the original construction of your deck, planning is nine-tenths of the battle.

Inspect the substructure of the deck -- the posts, beams and joists -- looking for splits in the wood, or sagging or leaning members that indicates insufficient engineering and support in the original construction, which may not have been to code. If you find problems, your best avenue is to remove both the deck boards and the substructure and start over. If the substructure is sound, you can keep it in place and add a new section or sections to it.

Consult your local planning department on its requirements for permits for deck additions or replacements. You may be required to provide plans for the work with a stamp from a...

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Before you decide to add on to an existing deck you should talk to your local building department. This may not be allowed in your area for a number of reasons. You may want to bring a few pictures of the existing deck along to help explain your situation. The inspector will usually want to review the permit and inspection records for the existing deck and may call for an as built framing inspection to verify the condition of the deck before issuing a permit.

Most decks are not built with a future addition or extension in mind. Because of this your frost footings are probably not large enough to support the new loads created by the addition. We recommend framing the new deck addition independently of the existing frame. In order to do this you will need to install new beams and footings to support the addition.

Some deck builders choose to sister the new joists back over the existing beam and install a new beam in front of the existing deck. The sistered joists are...

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A deck is an important part of any home, follow this guide to extending a deck to help add space and value to your house. Most people are quick to say that they need more space. Whether you are having a party or simply grilling out for dinner, a small deck can be a hassle. If you ever thought a guide to extending a deck would be complicated and confusing, you were wrong. Follow this simple guide to extending a deck and you’ll add living space to your home in no time.

Reasons to Extent a Deck

Do you really need a reason to start extending your deck? Of course not, but you may have to give one if someone asks. A deck extension will add value to your home and impress your friends!

Types of Materials

You will want to match the material of your deck extension to your existing deck. Decks can be made from pressure treated lumber, redwood, cedar, and plastic, wood composites such as Trex. If you don’t know what material you have, it’s best to unscrew a piece...

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By Bruce W. Maki, Editor


Ensuring Level Framing:

In fact, I want the deck to have a slight slope away from the house, so this dimension, about 1/8" lower than the old deck, is just fine.

At the other corner the dot landed on 2 inches, so I loosened the clamp and raised the rim joist by 3/8 inch.

Ensuring A Square Layout:

I needed to adjust the frame so this longer dimension would shrink by more than one-half inch. I just picked up the frame and shoved it over a bit, then re-measured the diagonals. They were within 1/8" of being the same, which is good enough for something like a deck.

Except that this was WRONG! I decided to deviate from the original plan and put the support posts 6 feet apart, like the old deck, instead of 8 feet apart, as originally planned. But this would cause problems later, so I reverted back to the original plan.

This entire process was kinda tedious. If the tamper handle...

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By Don Casey

Revised by BoatUS editors in April 2012

No one looks forward to taking a saw to his or her boat, even if the purpose is improvement. But if you want to install a hatch, a ventilator, or a deck plate, that is exactly what you must do. Exercise care and follow these few common sense rules, and the outcome of this particular trauma will be better than satisfactory.


Wherever you plan to install the hatch or deck plate, the first requirement is to know what is on both sides of the surface. If, for example, you have selected a spot on the deck for an additional hatch, don't just guess where the cutout through the cabin overhead will be. Find two features that already pass through the deck--a mast, hardware mounting bolts, the corner of an existing hatch--and measure between these and the cutout outline on deck. Then use those measurements to draw the same outline in the same position on the cabin overhead. In some cases it is better to use...

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