Joist / Ledger Question

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Old 08-27-13, 03:59 PM
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Joist / Ledger Question

In the middle of an addition with a deck.

The deck builders (I use that term loosely) came and 'built' the structure. The most obvious clue something was wrong was when they wanted to attach the ledger directly on top of the siding. Luckily I stopped them from doing that - but I wasn't able to watch them all day.

When I came home, I realized they hadn't bolted the ledger to the addition, just nailed. You read that right, just nailed. At that point, I sent these guys on their way and I'll finish the deck myself.

It's been a couple of weeks and I'm just starting to wrap my head around what they have built so far so I can proceed. Luckily it's not all terrible. However, this afternoon I noticed something very strange. It seems they bolted the ledger to my existing concrete foundation - but then set another ledger board on top. Then, they toenailed the joist on top of the joist. Crazy. Since I'm ripping it all out - that's fine - I'll fix it. I've been trying to understand why they did that and they only thing I can think of is that where they wanted to put the 'actual' ledger is on the brick veneer and not solid concrete. The ledger underneath is anchored in solid concrete.

If I could go back in time, I'd make the deck freestanding but I'm trying to figure out the best way to work with what they've already done.

Any ideas on how I can attach either a larger or second ledger so that I can hang the joists at the right height knowing it will over the brick veneer?
 
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Old 08-27-13, 06:14 PM
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I'd leave the ledger they installed making sure it has the correct type, size spacing, location and number of bolts in the foundation. You wouldn't want to attach a ledger to the brick. Then use hurricane ties to tie the joists to the ledger.
 
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Old 08-28-13, 06:39 AM
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Yeah, hurricane ties are a good idea. I did have another idea last night.

The 2x6 joists they used are not ideal - wish it was 2x8s or 2x10s. I was thinking I could go back and put in a 2x10. I could notch it over the existing ledger and then use a 2x10 hanger to tie the ledger and joist together.

The flip side of that would be that I would have to notch the 2x10 over the triple 2x10 beams on the other side - about 8 feet away.

In my head it all makes sense - but I wonder what the downside is to a notched joist?

EDIT: Decided to draw a picture to better illustrate the above idea.
 
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Old 08-28-13, 06:51 PM
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The 2x6 joists will do the job , spanning 8'. I never like notching a joist as it compromises the strength. You could sister another 2x6 to the joist for strength.
The 2x10 hangers really don't add much for strength.
 
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Old 08-30-13, 09:07 PM
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A few comments:

1. What you're calling "brick veneer" looks more like an extension of the concrete foundation wall, with form liners used to replicate brick. The lack of visible vertical mortar joints in the picture (which would be present at the ends of each brick, if real bricks were used) is what makes me think this. Lightly tapping with a steel-handled hammer will tell you if it's brick veneer or concrete--the latter will have a slightly higher-pitched "ring" to it.

2. Notching any horizontal load-carrying member is not a good practice. As others have alluded to, it can cause stress-risers and grain-line splitting at the re-entrant corners. For the short (8') span you're dealing with, 2 x 10s would be total over-kill and a waste of $$$ anyway. Your original 2 x 6 joists should work, although they may result in a slightly "bouncy" deck. The IRC DCA6 Deck Construction Guide requires ledger boards be a minimum of 2 x 8, so you'll want to replace your 2 x 6 ledgers with the larger size.

3. The ledger pictured appears to be a bit skimpy with respect to its attachment bolts. Again, the DCA guide should be followed when installing new 2 x 8 ledgers.

4. Although joist toe-nailing is allowed by the DCA guide, I never like to see it done, as splitting of the joist ends at the bottoms is usually the result--not good in these high-shear and critical bearing areas. Joist hangers are far better, and better yet is resting the joists on top of the main beams, using short cantilevers at the joist ends. I guess what I'm suggesting is to go with a free-standing deck during your rebuild, which should be easy since you're ripping out most of the junk work done by your original "carpenters." While you're at it, you should check on what they built for footings (size, depth, and concrete quality). If you find things deficient, now is the time to make corrections, not later when the deck starts to settle.
 
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Old 08-31-13, 02:55 AM
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Just to add to the great information already given....it appears they used expansion bolts to hold the ledger up. I can only see one, so you may need to determine the location and number of fasteners and bring them up to specs. Here's a reference to the deck code Bridge referred to (revised 2013)that may help you a little: http://www.awc.org/Publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6-09.pdf
 
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Old 08-31-13, 08:33 AM
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The other thing that is often omitted are the lateral load devices, as shown in figure 23A of that publication. That's a fairly new addition and a lot of companies aren't up to speed on that. And then it needs at least 2 hold down tension devices that meet the standards listed there. In other words, they don't want a deck to become a kite.

The use of post anchors and hold down anchors as shown in figures 25, 26 are also fairly new and improved standards.
 
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