Deck joist and ledger questions

Reply

  #1  
Old 07-29-15, 03:20 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 434
Received 17 Votes on 10 Posts
Deck joist and ledger questions

Hello. I'm working on fixing up my deck. Frankly, I would like to tear it down and have it rebuilt, but the cost is prohibitive. So, I'm trying to extend its life for a few years by replacing the decking and repairing railings.

The original decking was plywood, and was crumbling when we bought the house. The joists underneath appear to be sound, with no indication of rot. However, they're aligned parallel to the ledger board and house, which I've never seen before. Coming off the ends of the ledger are 2x10 rim joists, and the deck's joists are run between those. Additionally, the previous decking was screwed into the top of the ledger. There was no flashing on the ledger, which I intend to correct. But then if I screw into the ledger again, it defeats the purpose of the flashing. I'm thinking about hanging another joist a few inches from the ledger to fasten in to instead. Thoughts on this whole situation?

Secondly, the ledger seems to have styrofoam sheathing behind it. It seems to be fastened to the house by means of about 6 lag screws, and nails. There is no basement access to the house's rim joist in that area to use through-bolts. The 6 lag screws doesn't seem like it's enough for a ledger length of about 12 feet. Should I liberally connect some more lag screws, LedgerLoks, etc?

Again, I know I'm doing a half-arsed job on this, and it's torturing me to do it halfway. I'm trying to buy a couple of years before I can afford a proper replacement.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-29-15, 03:58 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 153
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It sounds like the piece that's attached to the house is really just a joist rather than really being a ledger. Since it's not really supporting a whole end of the structure, the existing lag bolts may be sufficient in the short term (although the whole thing is probably nowhere near what code would require), although if the foam has much thickness that could be dangerous even with more lag screws since it'd put a lot more bending through the lags (and the supporting wood) than what they should be carrying.

Is there any other support for that member? Also, what's holding up the 2x10's and how are the other joists supported (are they on hangers attached to the 2x10's?

Depending on the local codes where you are, it might be better to just tear out the whole works and re-build a deck on piers (in CA, there's some legal issue which is simpler since using a ledger makes the deck a part of the house rather than a detached structure but it may also have to do with property tax assessment rather than permits) but with an edge very close to the wall. Re-surfacing a significant area properly with boards can get expensive fast, and just replacing the ply won't hold up for very long.
 
  #3  
Old 07-29-15, 05:46 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 434
Received 17 Votes on 10 Posts
No other support for the "ledger." The joists are connected via hangers to the 2x10s, the 2x10s are connected by hangers to the "ledger," and the 2x10s are on three 4x4 posts each. The deck itself is about 12ft x 14ft.

I would love to tear it down, because there's so much that I know is wrong with it. However, my financial situation just doesn't allow it. I'm able to get new deck boards for a couple hundred out of pocket, after some gift cards I received. Estimates to have it professionally torn down and rebuilt have run between $8,000 and $14,000.
 
  #4  
Old 07-29-15, 08:09 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 153
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
How far are the nearest posts supporting the 2x10s from the side of the house? It sounds like those may be the real support for the deck, in which case you might even be able to remove the lags through the nearest joist. If the nearest posts are within about 2 ft from the wall, you probably don't have much load being carried through into the house, and shouldn't worry too much if this is a short-term fix.

12 ft seems like a long span for the joists without a middle rail unless they're spaced at 12 inches on-center, does the middle of the deck sag noticeably if several people stand together near that spot? If you're just going to re-surface the thing for a short term fix with the plan to get it rebuilt within 3-5 years, then just putting down new plywood should probably get you there; I wouldn't put in the cost of planking since they probably won't re-use that wood if you get it professionally re-built anyway unless you can get a really great deal on the boards. The real problem with sheet goods for covering a deck is drainage, though; I'm not sure if there's any good way to create that with a flat surface

In any case it'd probably be a good idea to put a couple coats of exterior primer on the undersides of the wood you do put down and maybe look into some kind of high-durability paint or other coating (not sure if truck bedliner will bond to wood, but that'd give you great weather protection)
 
  #5  
Old 07-29-15, 10:50 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 434
Received 17 Votes on 10 Posts
The nearest posts are about 4 ft from the house. No middle beam, but no noticeable sagging either. The joists are also 2x10, 16" on center.

I've thought about re-decking with plywood too. Would run me about $240 to put 3/4 inch plywood down. About the same price for 5/4 inch decking, maybe a wee bit cheaper. Installation would be much quicker for the plywood I think, but there's the drainage issue -- which is surely what got the current decking into its current poor shape.
 
  #6  
Old 07-30-15, 12:25 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 153
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
If it's 4 ft to the posts, I wouldn't worry about the lags into the house as they are, but I also wouldn't think it's definitely safe to remove them. If nothing's sagging and the existing framework is in decent condition it's probably OK for the near term. Just don't try to put a ton of furniture/gas grills/people etc out there at one time and you should be OK.
 
  #7  
Old 07-30-15, 03:13 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 434
Received 17 Votes on 10 Posts
Sounds like I'll just leave the "ledger" as is. Thanks!

One last question. I'm going to have some butt joints on my new decking. I'm thinking it's easier to avoid having them butt on one joist. If I want to sister the joists up to provide a nailing surface, what's the best way to do that? Replace the current joist hangers with a double hanger and run a second whole length 2x10, or can I get by with nailing or through-bolting some blocks for nailing onto?
 
  #8  
Old 07-30-15, 09:30 PM
BridgeMan45's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,196
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I'm not a professional deck builder, but I wouldn't see a need to run full-length sisters if all you need is an occasional nailer block. Unless you have a bunch of extra joists laying around that you don't know what to do with.

Just keep in mind that full-length sistering creates potential rot zones, because moisture (and dirt) getting into the close joint between the joist and its sister can't get out or evaporate easily. Makes a perfect home for colonies of wood-destroying insects and organisms.
 
  #9  
Old 08-03-15, 01:37 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 153
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
2-by joists should be plenty wide for butting planks together, since that's the size of interior joists even back when sub-flooring was done with planks which needed to be butted together like that.

Since you've got the planks running 14 ft, I'm assuming you're going to have each row made up by a 6-ft and an 8-ft piece or 10-ft and a 4-ft; with 16" joist spacing, any pieces under 4-ft may not be useful which you should make sure to account for in your calculations for buying the planks (if you're getting 8' boards, you'll need 2 per row regardless, if they're 10' then you would be able to get 2 4-foot pieces from one so three boards per two rows), although you should have one gap where a pair of joists would only be 8 inches apart which could give some flexibility. Just make sure to stagger the joints so they're not all in a row on a single joist, this may lead to some variation in the lengths I mentioned above (figure 6-9 inches either way).

Also, if you've got a good corded drill or an impact driver, 2-1/2" or 3" deck screws would be a much better option than nailing. If you have to use nails, hot-dipped galvanized are a must and if you can find them, use either ring-shank or twist nails, which will at least prolong the time it'll take for wet/dry cycling of the wood to push them back out of the joints
 
  #10  
Old 08-06-15, 12:35 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 434
Received 17 Votes on 10 Posts
Very true. Thanks for pointing that out. Guess I'm over-complicating some things.

Picked up 8' boards for the 8-and-6 plan already, and was planning on screws.

Just found that the posts are not set into concrete footers like I thought, but laid on top of bricks that apparently had concrete poured over top of them to look like they were set into the ground. So in reality, they're just sitting on blocks.

I see some hole digging and post setting in my future.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: