Decks/Expert Profile

Daniel Humphrey

On Vacation
returns 12/31/2016

I can answer all questions concerning design and construction of outdoor wooden decks and stairways, particularly those suitable for timberframe homes, and especially for colder climates where snow is a factor.

Experience in the area

I've been a timber framer for 20 years, working as a general contractor who designs and builds custom timberframe homes, working as much as possible with local materials, from foundation to finish. I've made massive decks for commercial lodges and small decks for houses in town. These decks have varied in style from round timber to Victorian ginger bread. I also have studied and tried out enough deck styles that I know which kinds are the most cost effective and easiest to make to meet code requirements. I also have expertise in designing, building, and setting up pre-fab remote camp facilities on terra firma or temperate glaciers for research and expeditions, using helicopters for support.


B.A., M.F.A.

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Christina01/28/1310Thanks Daniel!
Mary01/24/12101010Not only was this a great answer .....
Andrew07/24/10101010Thank you very much. Will plan on .....
George 07/20/10101010 
George06/16/10101010Thank you for your very timely response

Recent Answers from Daniel Humphrey

2013-01-27 joist question:

Christina,    I understand your concerns about having so many screws. You can still go with the 12" OC joists but set only one screw every two feet, alternating edges of the deck board. Since ipe wood

2012-01-19 conflicting design:

Dear Mary,    Once you select the actual rail pattern, you can probably find a style of lattice that doesn't conflict. I've noticed that lattice under a porch tends to be subordinate anyway. A couple of

2010-07-23 Steps to brick patio:

Dear Andrew,    Your plan would work to support the bricks, as long as you provided supports beneath the plywood no more than a foot apart. Marine plywood topped with thinset mortar and cement board should

2010-07-20 new deck:

Dear George,    The chemical treatment goes through, more or less, but the stain does not. Sanding will change the appearance and you will need to re-stain the boards.    It doesn't matter much whether

2010-06-18 Deck block spacing:

Dear Travis,    I would put down concrete blocks in a 5-foot grid and lay treated 4x4 beams over that, and then use 2x4 joists crossing over those 4x4s. That would be three concrete blocks supporting each


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