real people with real-world installations
70 year old senior happy with his second installation and the improved GratedeX® fastening system.Read Full Story
In the summer of 2010 my wife and I built our first GratedeX® deck in Olney, MD. We selected this system at that time because the deck would be maintenance free for the rest of our lives. In the summer of 2012 we moved from Olney, MD to Hudson, WI. Because of the success of the first deck, we decided to use GratedeX® for a second time.
The existing Wisconsin deck was about 80 sq. ft. Our Maryland deck was 440 sq. ft. In Maryland the backyard was flat and open but in Wisconsin the backyard pitched downward at an angle that heavily favored cloven hooves and it was covered with scrubby oaks and buckthorn. The good news was there was little to no grass to cut in this Wisconsin home; the bad news was one could only look at the backyard from inside the house. Only a large deck could provide a level surface to enjoy the outside.
Closing in on my 70th birthday and recovering from congestive heart failure, I was not in the mood to heft the 2x12 joists into place, especially on a slope that dropped at about 45 degrees. Younger carpenters were hired to do that chore. The deck is 42 feet long and 12 feet wide except for a third of it which was 15 feet wide, a total of 545 square feet. The joists were covered with window flashing sealant applied by my more agile and nimble spouse. The deck has entrances on the north and south sides plus the sliding glass door from the lower level of the house.
After we were done building the deck my wife thought we should have made it bigger. However, while we were laying the GratedeX® underlayment panels and tile I wondered why we made it so big. But with Wisconsin being a more northern climate than Maryland we were in a race to complete the deck before snow.
During the process of placing the GratedeX® panels, I fell through the deck and ended up with emergency surgery to relieve internal bleeding. I hired a carpenter to help lay the tile but laid most of the GratedeX® panels myself and some of the tiles; I buttered the tile backs and kept my carpenter helper on the deck laying them. This assisted process made everyone happy.
This second installation of the GratedeX® system had been improved. The GratedeX® panels now have a recessed notch. The new Bite-Tite® fasteners drop into the recessed notches with only the screw drawing them into position and flush with the surface. These new clips are definitely an improvement especially the two holes which help to secure a better access to the joists. Also the clips seated into the slot without a fuss or coaxing. (As you know, in construction the solution to most problems is a bigger hammer. At least for me it is. And I didn't need a hammer at all.) The screws seemed a little soft as I stripped the heads on a couple of them. My carpenter helper had an impact drill (Bosch) which worked flawlessly not like my 18 volt DeWalt which liked to power out the square slot.
We placed porcelain tile on the grates which we bought at the The Tile Shop, the same franchise and same design we bought when we built the first Olney deck. It's not that we lacked imagination, we simply liked our first choice. Regardless of what Total Quality Management says, you cannot improve on perfection. Right?
For railing we used 6x6 rough cut cedar posts and Westbury Aluminum railing both purchased from a local lumber yard.
Very pleased again with the results.
DexSystems was the former entity name for ODF Inc. Early production GRATEDEX® panels were 48”x48”.
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