deck framing out of square

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Old 07-29-19, 09:00 PM
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deck framing out of square

I may have done some of my framing a bit differently than a pro would. Design is one level and rectangular (18'8" x 14'). My joists are up and I attached them to the beam with hurricane clips but I haven't yet trimmed the 16' joists down or attached the rim. That's the part that I'm questioning now. I thought the hurricane clips would keep it all nicely in place while I worked but after measuring diagonals and realizing I'm about 1-1/2" out I won't be able to rack it square (I think I'm using that term right). My ideal diagonal would be 280". I'm thinking I should mark that on my outer joists, snap a chalk line across and trim my joists to that length. Is that a reasonable approach?

Thanks in advance,
Tom
 
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Old 07-29-19, 10:46 PM
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No. That would mean you would need to rip a taper on either your first piece of decking or last piece or both. Will your planks overhang the rim joists? Because if so that will be the best place to hide it.

The best thing you could do at this point is just bite the bullet, use a cats paw and remove all the nails holding your ties to the beam. Shift them over 3/4" (half the amount you are off) and renail them. At least move the first and last joists. By moving them 3/4 you are making one diagonal longer and the other shorter... so that they are equal.

Your deck sides should be parallel and all the same length. Then square it. You can't correct an out of square deck by cutting one side. Its not square if opposite sides of the deck have different lengths or widths.
 
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Old 07-30-19, 06:21 AM
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Or, depending on if your joists are all parallel and the measurement across them is the same at both ends, which way they run in relation to the house, and if you could live with say 13'10" or whatever it turned out to be instead of 14', then it might work if you meant trimming both ends of the joists. You would obviously want to string it first though and take some careful measurements before getting the saw out. Otherwise, yup, best to start pulling nails.
 
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Old 07-30-19, 06:31 AM
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Yes I see what you mean. Something else dawned on me. The outer joists are flush with the beam so I donít have space on the one end to rack the whole thing.

I had another thought too. The beam is attached to the posts with Simpson adjustable post caps. What if I pulled the nails out of the beam and move the beam and joists altogether? May take some extra muscle with the beam being a double 2x12 and the framing 2x10.
 
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Old 07-30-19, 06:32 AM
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I'm assuming that the width of the deck is the same and the whole thing is skewed like a parallelogram. Cutting one side of a paralellogram to make the diagonals equal doesn't create a square.

If you can adjust the post brackets that would work but you might need a come along to ratchet the framing back to square.

An alternative idea would be to shim the outside joists and add another rim on top of the shims by sistering it to the existing. For example the front right and back left would be shimmed out 3/4 on one end and nothing at the other... both shimmed 3/8 in the middle.
 
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Old 07-30-19, 06:32 AM
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I don't understand how you can't straighten the deck provided your other work is correct. A 2" heavy duty ratchet strap or come-along across the two long corners can do a lot to pull the framing into square.
 
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Old 07-30-19, 06:41 AM
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Because his beam was cut to length and wasn't installed square with the ledger. Footings probably aren't square either.
 
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Old 07-30-19, 11:36 AM
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Is it crazy to think I can just live with it and completely compensate with a slight gap between boards on the long side? I have 30 boards to install. A 1/32Ē gap buys me nearly an inch by the end, right? Any extra I can probably hide with a skirt...
 
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Old 07-30-19, 02:12 PM
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Yes. I don't think you understand this at all. Your deck is shaped like a paralellogram. The ledger side and front rim joist side are parallel as long as all the joists are the same length. Your deck boards run perpendicular to the joists. Your spacing between boards needs to remain exactly the same in order to be parallel to the front. Your left and right sides will be at an almost imperceptible angle. You can leave them overhang... snap a chalk line on them and cut that angle with a skilsaw. No one will be the wiser. It you can fix it and have it be perfect.
 
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Old 08-01-19, 07:16 AM
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I don't think it's accurate to claim I "don't understand this at all". I got the idea for the small gap between boards from a forum topic on finehomebuilding.com: https://www.finehomebuilding.com/for...e-deck-framing

I was under the impression that this website was for DIYers who don't do this work everyday. Accordingly, you would think the members of this site, particularly the moderators, would not be so dismissive and belittling to folks trying to learn and gain some insight. I've asked other questions on here before and you've responded similarly. You are kind of a d*ck on here quite frankly. And I don't care if that gets me booted here because I'm out. And FWIW, I laid my 30 boards out last night to see what a gap would look like and I'm perfectly fine with it.
 
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Old 08-01-19, 08:25 AM
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Perhaps its me that doesn't understand you at all then. Sorry if you have been offended. And I guess I'm sorry I tried to help someone who has such a bad opinion of my intentions.

I also reread every post of yours that I have replied to and I think I can definitely state that I have not been the least bit snippy in any of them, and that up to this point you have been thankful for the advice so far.
 
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Old 08-02-19, 10:53 AM
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Ugh. Look, I'm sorry I've got a lot of frustration over here and I shouldn't have taken it out on you. I'm mostly frustrated that your reply isn't "yeah, you're good, go ahead". But you're being honest and trying to set me straight. I apologize. I hope you can accept that and continue to advise (even if it isn't what I want to hear).

Turns out I'm tearing down everything because my decking is flush with my interior floor. I didn't intend that but because of where my house rim and foundation sit, I ended up shifting the ledger up higher so I could connect to just wood. Now I need to figure out if I have room to shift down enough to give a small step up into the house and still be able to attach to just wood. Foundation is hollow block and although I've read that you can anchor to that it sounds like it can be difficult and/or pricey while others say don't even consider it.
 
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Old 08-02-19, 11:31 AM
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Don't worry, I'm not thin skinned, and not in a hurry to ban anyone, although you probably should have received some sort of infraction. Your method earlier might "work" but what I was trying to explain was that cutting joists shorter is not really making the deck framing "square", (four right angles) something I hope you understand.

Sorry to hear of your difficulties. I guess I don't understand why you need to tear it all down. The problem you will run into by dropping your ledger too low is that ledgers need to be attached to the rim joist. Google and download the DCA6 deck guide if you haven't already. Pay attention to figure 14, ledger attachment.

No, I would not attach to CMU (block). Freestanding might be your only option if you want a step down onto your deck. Depending on the type of door you have, some places require a minimum 3 ft landing outside a door before there is a step down. You would need to check with your local building dept. to find out their requirements. They often make exceptions for sliding doors.
 
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Old 08-02-19, 03:57 PM
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Thanks for understanding - Iíll try to keep my cool from here on out.

The reason Iím contemplating a tear down is my deck is off the front of the house and includes the main entry. With the elevation Iíve set the framing, my decking is flush with the interior floor. The bottom of the storm door swings very close to the decking and I fear a small snowfall will present issues, turning the storm door into a plow. Iíve just had siding redone this week and Iím confident in the flashing detail that my contractor has installed. My concern is primarily with the appearance and Ďfeelí of crossing the threshold - I think itís a bit awkward and not so visually appealing.

However, tearing down and trying to lower the framing by 2Ē may be problematic as Iím not sure I can satisfy the ledger fastener requirements in DCA6 - it will be close and I still have to confirm this. Obviously, the tear down is a ton of work Iíd like to avoid but the main concern is doing it right.
 
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Old 08-03-19, 05:33 AM
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I've thought up a couple options.

1. Keep framing as-is and have a short roof built over the entry way. This would keep most rain and snow away from the threshold.

2. Tear down and rebuild with 2x8, 12" OC. This would satisfy the allowable span in Table 2 of in DCA6 and I would just have to go with a modified overhang. Anybody here in the Philadelphia area want some discounted 2x10x16ft? Also, if I go this route, can my ledger remain 2x10?

3. Same as option 2 but instead of trashing my 2x10s, I would detach each one and rip the bottom of them to 2x8, field treat, and re-attach.

I'm partial to option 1 because it is the least labor intensive and just involves me hiring a roofing contractor. Not crazy about the other options as they both involve much labor, money and I would think 2x10, 16" OC is more structurally sound than 2x8, 12" OC.

Thanks in advance.
 
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