Deck/porch connections

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Old 05-25-20, 05:33 PM
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Deck/porch connections

I have a screened-in back porch (deck) that is roofed. The porch extends about 11 feet out from the edge of the house, and has 3 support posts (underneath the decking boards) in the middle, and 3 support posts at the ending edge. The 3 posts at the edge are notched and the beam sits in the notch. However, the 3 support posts in middle are connected to two 2x's that are simply nailed to each post (I counted about 6-8 nails per post connection). The joists at the ending edge of the porch don't have joist hangers, but instead they are nailed into the end grain with 3 nails per joist.

All of this seems a little weak to me but we have no idea when or who built it.

1) Is it a problem that my entire middle beam is simply nailed to the posts?
2) Is it a problem that my joist ends are only nailed into the end-grain?
3) I was going to attach 2x4 cleats on either side of the posts under the beams and drill through one 1/2" carriage bolt per post. Good idea?

Any comments are appreciated.
 
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Old 05-25-20, 07:08 PM
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Well, this reminds me of something I said in another recent thread. Decks that were built years ago do not need to conform to current building codes. If they did you would have to tear down most of the decks in this country.

So, no, that's not the way it would be done nowadays. But unless things are coming apart, there is likely no problem with the way it is. Yes, the posts should be attached better. But truthfully, if your deck is only 11 feet long, your 11ft long joists dont likely need that support there in the first place as they are not likely overspanned if it wasnt there at all. 2x8s can span 11'10" if 16" on center and 2x10s can span 14'. So I would not be too worried about the posts. The "beam" that is on them is too small to do much of anything anyway. All it's doing is helping reduce any deflection. By current codes, posts should be 6x6. If you want to sister them and bolt them, that's fine. It would certainly be better than it is now.

But adding joist hangers is not required. You can if you want to. But I would be more concerned about something like how the ledger is attached to the house... or if its flashed properly, or if the stair jacks are secure. Or the handrail. Those things are more likely to cause a major problem if they are weak. If those sorts of things are only nailed, that is a problem.
 
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Old 05-25-20, 07:44 PM
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Thanks a lot. I am going to go ahead and cleat/bolt all of those middle posts. The deck sits about 3' off the ground so I'm also going to install some diagonals on the end posts.

I'll take a look at the stairs tomorrow and may post a follow-up if I find a cluster. Thanks.
 
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Old 05-25-20, 07:51 PM
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Since you mention it is roofed, that is more of a concern because it's not just a deck... it has the roof weight and potential snow loads on the load bearing sides. So it may be under built from that respect as well.
 
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Old 05-26-20, 09:02 AM
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The roof is what first really got me thinking about that middle beam being too weak as is.

Hopefully this question will make sense ó I am going to cut 2x4 diagonals that will sit flush with the post/endbeam, and put one 1/2Ē lag screw at the top and bottom of each diagonal. At the bottom of the diagonals, where they will sit on the post perpendicularly, can I put those lag screws in and be okay? (Since the two screws are going in perpendicularly at the same height , hey wonít interfere or weaken each other?). Just wondering if that is pretty standard. Thanks.
 
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Old 05-26-20, 09:22 AM
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Diagonal braces on a center post are not allowed by 2015 IRC. Whether or not that's your code I can't say. But see the DCA 6 deck guide.
 
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Old 05-26-20, 01:38 PM
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I picked up the hex bolts called for by the guide.

Got the cleats up. Had a 1/8” gap or so at the top on a couple which has driven me insane all day. I should have clamped them before drilling. Should I pop them off and re-do them with another hole?



 
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Old 05-26-20, 01:45 PM
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Here's a pic.......................
 
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Old 05-26-20, 03:06 PM
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Looks good from where I'm at. LOL

I would probably gave me screwed them on first then drilled and bolted them. A bolt through the beam itself would have been good too.
 
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Old 05-26-20, 04:01 PM
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My OCD got the better of me and I pulled the last two down. Plugged the holes and Iíll re-drill tomorrow. Of all the things that donít probably matter in my life....

But yeah, I considered going through the beams but thought there were too many existing nails. I probably could have used a 3/8 bolt through them and it would have been fine. 😒
 
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Old 05-27-20, 08:27 AM
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Got the diagonals up. It looked like 2' from the post/beam was standard, but since my deck is at most 3', I thought it would look weird and went smaller. I forgot a 1.5" spade bit, but I'll go back and countersink the washer and head later. Man, I never knew lag screws took so much elbow grease to get in, even with a pilot hole!

 
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Old 05-28-20, 09:27 AM
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Now I have a couple of questions about the ledger board for an access ramp we have. The home inspector flagged it. Can I post here or start a new thread?
 
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Old 05-28-20, 10:27 AM
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Post it here....................
 
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Old 05-28-20, 01:27 PM
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There is an entrance ramp to our side door. The home inspector flagged that no bolts were in the ledger board. I see a few nails (I think), but what they are going into I can't figure. The two rim joists are attached to the end grain of the ledger board. I posted pictures and the questions I have moving forward. The picture showing the 2x2 is looking out from the ledger board. Thanks.
 
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Old 05-28-20, 03:30 PM
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You are going to have to take a picture from a long ways away that shows the entire structure so that we know what we're looking at. I am lost at what picture goes where with no reference picture or drawing.

I'm baffled as to why the joists are parallel to your "ledger".

The 2x2 was only there to help the guys install the joists. It is not structural and certainly not to code so you might as well remove it and put on joist hangers.

Yes that block should be your top block. I assume you have a basement? Look and see what size floor joists you have and what size that top block is. Should be about 7 5/8". Looks to me like the floor joists must be 2x6 by just looking at the distance from the bottom of your door to the top of that block.

What's the home inspector doing there anyway?
 
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Old 05-28-20, 04:36 PM
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The joists there are that direction because the boards run long-ways, but on the ramp part they are installed how you would expect.

We purchased the house about two years ago, and coronavirus has given me a chance to hit some projects hard the inspector noted then.

The joists are end-nailed as well, so I was wrong there. There is no basement. Directly under that ledger is the crawl space door, and it is very low (this part of the house was added on after the original structure was built). I pulled that door off and tried to take some pictures. I can't figure out for the life of me how all that wood is attached -- suffice it to say that the ledger is nailed to those stacks of 2x4s sitting on top of the block (but they are not part of the sill plate).
 
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Last edited by JFS321; 05-28-20 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 05-28-20, 07:44 PM
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Those photos help. Thanks.

I would forget about reinforcing the ledger, because it should not be holding the weight of those rims. What really needs to happen is that you need to remove the 2x2's, then add a post and a Simpson PB44 or PB66 post base on each end where you have it marked "rim nailed at ledger ends". Fasten the post bases to the concrete so they are off the concrete and can't move. Notch the top end of the post out to fit under and alongside the rim and then bolt it to the rim. Once that is done, your "ledger" is just a nailer for the floor and does not need to be reinforced.

Add joist hangers if you feel like it.
 
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Old 05-29-20, 08:13 AM
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Awesome, thanks. Those PB posts look like they have big ears that need to be embedded in the concrete. Do they make something for retrofits with just a screw down into the driveway? Does the AB series do this?

Also, the rails are in the way at the end of the rim. Can I just move it down some like I marked in the picture?
 
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Old 05-29-20, 08:39 AM
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Nothing is embedded in the concrete. I probably gave you the wrong connector number. Yes it's the ABA post base. After you mark the location you drill one hole in the center and use an anchor. It may be hard to drill holes for the anchors though if you don't have enough room to do it. In that case just set the posts on the ground and maybe tapcon a bracket to the pad after they are installed.

I imagine your notch would be on the INSIDE so that the post would be flush with the outside of the rim. Put it anywhere you like. It should probably have several if the ramp is 10 feet long and only supported on one end.
 
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Old 05-29-20, 09:02 AM
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Or ABW. They cost more.....
 
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Old 05-29-20, 11:39 AM
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Ok thanks. I like the post on the driveway idea because I do think it's a little tight; I'll give them a couple coats of paint on the bottom to help keep them drier. When you say bracket, you mean just a generic L-bracket?
 

Last edited by JFS321; 05-29-20 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 05-29-20, 01:14 PM
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That would work. It's the best you can do. In reality, your posts should be on their own footing (code requires a freestanding deck to have posts on footings below frost... And next to the house they need to be as deep as your house footing is- in undisturbed soil) but there is no reason to go overboard. The posts will ensure the ledger is not an issue and that it's not in danger of collapse.

Those handrail posts should be 4x4s that are bolted too but that's another story. It never ends.
 
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Old 05-29-20, 02:30 PM
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Ok, thanks for all the help. Yep, the home inspector flagged the rails too. The previous owner was wheelchair bound but Iím planning to just leave them for now. How that ramp has held up on the ledger Iíll never know.
 
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