Total rebuild or addition to a deck.


Old 03-26-16, 10:00 AM
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Total rebuild or addition to a deck.

Hello all,

I'm in Philly, in a brick row home. My existing deck is over 12 years old. It's pressure treated, ledger, with post and beam. It seems ok for the era, which is most likely 15 or more years ago. Its approx 12'wx15'6"deep.
The decking boards are done, so I have a couple of options. Re-deck the existing deck, re-deck the existing deck but add a platform, or tear down and rebuild new, and bigger.

The house where the deck is attached is approx 12'-12'6" wide. The property is 15'6"-16' wide. The depth of the property is 23', with city codes requiring a set back of 3' from the rear property line.
I am considering a full tear down, and then building a wider, and longer deck.
The ground slopes towards the house from a common alley/easement. Minimum under deck height is 6" for driveways/garages, which the house had one originally but has been converted to a finished basement. Either way, I think I would need to build a platform deck for the very end of the deck to be able to walk under it safely.

My specific questions are, if I tear it down, can I still use a Ledger on the deck when there will be approx 3' of Ledger that will stick beyond the 12' of the house? Can I place a post at the end of the ledger board that sticks out in a kind of Hybrid Ledger/post design?

Also, I'm leaning towards adding the platform to the existing deck, or to a new one. Can the approx 5'6" platform rest on top of the lower decking on the one end and have a post/beam support on the far end? Or must the platform be treated as a free standing deck with two sets of post/beam?

The existing deck is probably under code for today's requirement. Joists are 16" OC, 2"x8" and length is 15'6"with a 18" overhang. Looks like code is requiring 2"x12" for joist dimensions considering my span.

I've attached a couple of drawings to hopefully help you visualize what I've imagining. small deck example.pdf
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Old 03-26-16, 12:36 PM
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Re-deck the existing deck, re-deck the existing deck but add a platform, or tear down and rebuild new, and bigger.
A lot of that will depend on the existing support system.
I'd imagine your building department would have some concern over an addition or larger deck.

Are you doing the work yourself or having it done ?
An inspection of what's there needs to be done first.
Old 03-26-16, 04:18 PM
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Building codes have changed a lot since that was built due to all the decks failing from being under built.
No more 4 X 4's, no more notched post for railings, no more attaching a ledger to brick unless it's through bolted.
I agree sure sounds your joist are way under sized and over spanned.
Pictures are always nice, far easier to understand.
Old 03-26-16, 05:15 PM
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Here is the latest code for decks that I have -

You issues with doing anything other than redecking (no permit) is that you will have to rebuild from scratch as none of what I saw is up to code. You are over spanned by about 4 feet, as others have pointed out your posts need to be 6x6's now and your out beam will probably need additional posts across its length. I doubt that using the cantilever will fly as support for your addition.
Old 03-27-16, 06:53 PM
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Thanks all for the advice. I'll try and answer all Qs. I'll be doing the work myself.

My Posts are 6"x6" but with two 2"x10"x12' beams. Joists like I said earlier, are 2x8 and 16 oc, so undersized for the span 15'6" with 18" overhang.

Pictures won't show you much. There's a corrugated pvc roof under the deck to keep rainwater off the car parked below. Otherwise, it's an older looking deck with most of the top deck splintering but the joists, posts and beam look decent for their age, although undersized when compared to today's standards.

One of the Qs I was hoping to answer is if I did tear down and start new, could I use a hybrid ledger for the 12' of two course brick over field stone foundation, but have 3' of the ledger cantilever over the property. I was imagining putting a post on just that 3 feet that extends past the brick face. On my overhead diagram, you can see the house with the existing deck which is basically the same width as the home but to the right, there is a walkway of about 3'6". I'm imagining making the deck wider, and longer.
I'm a little hesitant about placing a post/beam here, because the side must accommodate my car and possible a shed at some point.

Joe Caption, you comment though may negate any desire I have though. You're saying code is to through bolt through two courses of brick? When there is no access to the inside wall of the brick? This is because the deck height is exactly where the cantilevered 'pantry was in the past.

Yup, this is a unique situation where there was a cantilevered, unheated pantry attached to all these row homes. The joists stopped running from party wall to party wall and instead with the home and where embedded through the brick as it was built. Most of these homes now have decks and the joist were cut off flush, and the ledger then installed over them. The access to the backside is blocked by being inside the floor, with no access from below.
Luckily, there is still a cantilevered second floor to protect from rainfall, so the doorway is still original (a century old).

But you're saying epoxying studs into the brick is a no go?

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