Tim Copeland Construction
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Why do decks collapse?

A quick look at some of the most important elements that hold up your deck. Mandatory viewing for homeowners with elevated decks.

"Sweat Equity" TV show

One of our decks was featured on the cable TV show "Sweat Equity" on the DIY network. Decks are well-known to have a great return on investment; over 100% in some cities.



One Minute Deck

Time Lapse view of building a deck, every step after footing installation.


Cable Rail

Deck #460: Featuring Cable Rail instead of spindles. This stuff isn't cheap, so don't ask for it if you want an economy job!

Big Steps

A dramatic hillside to the lake that needed stairs. Green treated lumber, minimal railing

Big Multi-Level + Testimonial

Jerry & Betty talk about the deck they wanted, as priced by Home Depot and then by us. It was a difficult job site to design over; lots of trees and a slope down to the lake.

Adding Space, Stairs, & Privacy

Dave wanted a little privacy on his deck, plus a better set of stairs and more space. We replaced all the railing but left the decking on the upper part, added new vinyl railing and privacy wall and replaced his rickety stairs with a solid new, safe set.

Bad Architecture

One mistake I see often is resting cedar on top of cedar at the bottom of stairs. In this case, it was compounded by having decking under the stairs, where pine needles and other debris accumulated and always stayed wet. Of course, the support eventually rotted away. We rebuilt the staircase property and replaced a lot of boards that had gone bad, mostly on the ends from debris accumulating at the seams and destroying the support of each plank.

End of "One Man, One Deck At A Time"

The first job where my son Joe joined the 'team.' Also has a short testimonial from the homeowner.

Green Treated Rail, Composite Decking ( + testimonial)

This deck is economical green treated lumber on the railing, and composite "Veranda" decking, which is a Home Depot exclusive product in this area. Also features a short testimonial from the homeowners.

Adding Onto Existing (+ testimonial)

The new deck looks like it's added onto the existing, but it's really just right next to the old one with a little bridge frame built between them. This allowed us not have to depend on the footings of the old deck to hold up part of the new one.

Ipe Decking with Cedar rim and rail

Deck #474, featuring Veranda 'Ipe' composite decking available at Home Depot, with a cedar skirt and railing.

Timbertech with border color

Using a border with composites is a way to hide the ends, which may be unsightly, unfinished like the surface, or even hollowed in appearance. Using a different color on the border is an option too.


Manufactured Aluminum Sections between wood posts

When you want aluminum or wrought iron sections that include the top and bottom rail, we place posts at logical intervals to the lengths available from the vendor, and then cut them to fit with minimal waste. Here's what it looks like.

Grey Trex™ decking, cedar railing & rim, copper post tops

Grey Trex™ decking with cedar railing, rim, and decorative post tops. Note that the posts don't actually go through the top rail. The post tops are sold separately at most home centers.

Basic Framing Alone

This can get a bit tricky at 10 or 11 feet. Using a laser level really helps.

Deck Over a Flat Roof

The trouble with having a deck over a garage is that stuff falls between the deck boards and sits in moisture. So it starts to grow. We used a vinyl tongue & groove board to solve that. We also put some L-shaped covers around the outside edge to make it look nicer and also prevent debris from falling in in those areas. Finally we replaced the railing with an all-vinyl product. This video also features a customer testimonial.

Step by Step

My customer "Computer Bob" provided me with these step by step photos of the project on his house. This is basic green treated lumber. The job included replacement of the ledger which had rotted out due to improper flashing, This is a very common reason decks go bad. Once the ledger is bad, the whole deck is bad.

Iron River, Michigan - Deck on Cabin
Relatives of the owner helped out on this deck. The most memorable part of it was how hard the digging was. In retrospect, we should have rented a power auger. In this frozen zone, the depth necessary to get frost protection was 60". We used some of the excavated dirt to mount up around the holes get by with a little less.

Renovated Cedar Deck in Lino Lakes+ Testimonial

Different spindle pattern, unusual shape, and lots of extra detail on this big cedar deck with aluminum spindles. Also has some comments from the homeowner, Kevin.

New Small Cedar Deck with Black Aluminum Spindles + Testimonial in Lino Lakes

Deck #506
Completed May 2013.

Aluminum Decking - Mahtomedi

Deck #570
Completed Dec. 2015

eDeck Playlist

All our videos, one after the other.