Q. I'll be replacing the pressure treated boards on my elevated deck in the near future, and rather than leaving a gap between the new deck boards, was thinking about butting the edges up tight, maybe even caulking between them, to create a fairly water tight surface which will provide a sheltered storage area below for bikes etc. Do you foresee any problems with this? What do you think?Like I said, I don't know what a SEER is. What is the difference between the three options? Those posts were treated the newer copper based preservative that replaced the arsenic compound previously used and it eats aluminum and ferrous metals that come in contact with it especially out in weather. I would consider using a vinyl wrap-- itíll look good and will last and wonít dent as easily as aluminum does. Remember any fasteners that you put into those posts have to be stainless steel, copper or hot dipped galvanized or they too will deteriorate just like the aluminum wrap did. While the wrap is off take a look as to what type of fasteners were used to attach the posts to the carport and make sure they are compatible with the postís preservative.
A. It might work for about a week. I can certainly understand your desire for additional storage space especially for things like mowers and outdoor tools and sports equipment that tend to take over the garage or force you to consider something like adding a shed.If you use new pressure treated lumber and butt the edges tight they will open up to about a quarter inch between the boards in a year or so as they dry out. When I used to build decks using pressure treated lumber we would hold the edges tight knowing they will open up, giving the deck drainage without overly wide spaces. Using composite deck material may have different consequences and some are required to be spaced as they will swell ever so slightly in the weather. And with any manufactured product, you have to follow manufacturers installation instructions to the letter or void any warranty that may come with the product. Beyond that there is a consideration of drainage. We used to pitch our decks away from the house so water that landed on the deck made its way to the joists underneath the deck through the spaces. The pitch-- usually just under a quarter inch in fall to the foot of joist length-- would encourage the water to drain away from the house structure. The majority of the newer decks I see these days are set dead flat so the potential of water ponding on such a surface if made impervious is great. What Iíve seen done to gain under deck dry storage is the fabrication of a lightweight pitched roof placed just under the deck using the joists to suspend it. Normally folks will take lightweight corrugated plastic sheeting and light framing lumber, like 2 by 2s, to frame this roof. Another approach you might consider if you are wedded to the notion of using the deck as a roof is to do just that. You might get away with doing that using the old decking if itís still pretty sound by applying a rubberized EDPM or PVC sheet roofing material over the decking. Then consider putting an indoor/outd oor carpet over that because that stuff can be slippery when wet. You may also have to get permission to do this if there is another adult in the house who aesthetic opinion rules in matters such as these.