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Thread: deck issues

  1. #1
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    Default deck issues

    What do you think of this job? The pictures speak for themselves and there's more where these came from.

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    Default Re: deck issues

    It's a bit hard to say.... most of the pictures are too close to really see what's going on. The ledger appears to be flashed and lag screwed (pretty bad angle on the screws and the gaps beneath it is a bit unsightly).

    The hangers are nailed, I think. Can't tell for sure from the pics but those might be screws in which case it's worng. But, the joists also appear to be toenailed (we won't count off for that).

    That's a creative post that has been ripped on two sides to make way for joists? railing? Can't say. Overall, I've seen worse but that's not saying much. I'd have to see it from further away.


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    Default Re: deck issues

    There sure did cut a lot of meat out of that top of that post. At least, though, the girders are bearing on the post and not just bolted to it.

    The railing support, if that is what it is, should not just be bolted to the band board, it should be bolted to something substantial like the floor joists, otherwise it could just rotate and push that band board off.

    The stair guard newel post ... is that a lag or a through bolt?

    The ledger looks lag bolted in, I thought it was not allowed to 'just be lag bolted in, that is also needed some other support?

    Does not look like all those cut places have been re-treated as required.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: deck issues

    The stair guard newel post ...its a lag.

    I know the ledger is flashed but I thought the flashing should be folded down over the face of the ledger. It looks like they attached the joists before the installed the flashing. Are you saying that the flashing job in the picture is good?

    Shouldn't there be a double band board where the posts are bolted? Or, at least blocked for strength or something. One part of the single band has a splice that doesn't even end on a joist.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: deck issues

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    The stair guard newel post ...its a lag.

    I know the ledger is flashed but I thought the flashing should be folded down over the face of the ledger. It looks like they attached the joists before the installed the flashing. Are you saying that the flashing job in the picture is good?

    Shouldn't there be a double band board where the posts are bolted? Or, at least blocked for strength or something. One part of the single band has a splice that doesn't even end on a joist.
    Most flashing I see (when it's there) is wrapped over the ledger as you mention. Does that make that one wrong? Not sure. It's better than not having any. Also, we can't tell from the picture how/where it originates.

    As for the double band board? Doubling up seems to be the easiest way to achieve a solid railing but I don't believe it's required. I see a lot of decks with just a single board.

    I imagine you're asking these specifics for your own knowledge and not trying to redesign the specifics of this deck? It looks like there's enough there to call it out as wrong.

    JP.... I'm curious about the other attachment for the ledger. All I've ever heard of once the lag screws/bolts were required is those alone. I pretty much always seem them nailed as well since it must be tacked in place before installing the screws/bolts. Along the same lines, it's surprising how many lag screws I find in the crawl spaces that missed the framing altogether.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: deck issues

    John,

    What are the footings like for those supports?

    They footings are required to be below the frost line unless the deck is *not* supported by the dwelling unit structure.

    From the 2006 IRC. (underlining is mine)
    - R403.1.4 Minimum depth. All exterior footings shall be placed at least 12 inches (305 mm) below the undisturbed ground surface. Where applicable, the depth of footings shall also conform to Sections R403.1.4.1 through R403.1.4.2.
    - - R403.1.4.1 Frost protection. Except where otherwise protected from frost, foundation walls, piers and other permanent supports of buildings and structures shall be protected from frost by one or more of the following methods:
    - - - 1. Extended below the frost line specified in Table R301.2.(1);
    - - - 2. Constructing in accordance with Section R403.3;
    - - - 3. Constructing in accordance with ASCE 32; or
    - - - 4. Erected on solid rock.
    - - - - Exceptions:
    - - - - - 1. Protection of freestanding accessory structures with an area of 600 square feet (56 m
    2) or less, of light-framed construction, with an eave height of 10 feet (3048 mm) or less shall not be required.
    - - - - - 2. Protection of freestanding accessory structures with an area of 400 square feet (37m2) or less, of other than light-framed construction, with an eave height of 10 feet (3048 mm) or less shall not be required.
    - - - - - 3. Decks not supported by a dwelling need not be provided with footings that extend below the frost line.


    Mat,

    From the 2006 IRC.
    - R502.2.2 Decks.Where supported by attachment to an exterior wall, decks shall be positively anchored to the primary structure and designed for both vertical and lateral loads as applicable. Such attachment shall not be accomplished by the use of toenails or nails subject to withdrawal. Where positive connection to the primary building structure cannot be verified during inspection, decks shall be self-supporting. For decks with cantilevered framing members, connections to exterior walls or other framing members, shall be designed and constructed to resist uplift resulting from the full live load specified in Table R301.5 acting on the cantilevered portion of the deck.

    Do lag bolts provide the required support? It specifies "shall not be accomplished by the use of toenails or nails subject to withdrawal" but we've all see lag bolts withdrawing as the wood dries out and the holes get larger, along with 'over time' the loads wallow out the holes.

    Or maybe it is just that there do not seem to be enough lag bolts?


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: deck issues

    The AWC has some free publications you can download (pdf files mostly) regarding framing basics. You might want to take a look at some.

    Here is the main page:
    American Wood Council Home Page

    See publications, then free download library. Lots of good stuff there.

    You might want to start with this one, then explore additional documents for more specific applications (stringers, etc.):

    http://www.awc.org/pdf/WCD1-300.pdf

    Check out WCD 6, DCA 6, and others as well.

    Do I see pink (last photo)? Wonder what the left side of that left-most hanger is attached to (air) looks like a void?

    Scary looking stuff.

    Hope that helps.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 03-07-2009 at 10:35 AM.

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    Default Re: deck issues

    This ( http://www.awc.org/Publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6.pdf )is a document I was looking at.

    In addition to through-bolts, lag screws are allowed (see page 11, Figure 14, however, lag screws have a limitation of use in Figure 19 that they may only be used under the conditions shown in Figure 14), lag screws are to be 1/2" (the ones in the photo look smaller) minimum in size and arranged in a staggered pattern (see page 13, Figure 19).

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 03-07-2009 at 12:02 PM. Reason: replaced incorrect link with proper link, see post below
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: deck issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    This ( American Wood Council Code Design for Code Acceptance Publications ) is a document I was looking at.

    In addition to through-bolts, lag screws are allowed (see page 11, Figure 14, however, lag screws have a limitation of use in Figure 19 that they may only be used under the conditions shown in Figure 14), lag screws are to be 1/2" (the ones in the photo look smaller) minimum in size and arranged in a staggered pattern (see page 13, Figure 19).
    That link is presently taking us to an index page which lists six DCA publications.

    I believe you might be referring to DCA 6 "Prescriptive Residential Deck Construction Guide" which I mentioned previously.

    http://www.awc.org/Publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6.pdf

    Is that correct?

    Thank you in advance for your kind reply.


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    Default Re: deck issues

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    That link is presently taking us to an index page which lists six DCA publications.

    I believe you might be referring to DCA 6 "Prescriptive Residential Deck Construction Guide" which I mentioned previously.

    http://www.awc.org/Publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6.pdf

    Is that correct?

    Thank you in advance for your kind reply.

    The link you posted ( http://www.awc.org/Publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6.pdf ) is the correct link I thought I was posting, I apparently did not copy the second link as I thought I had.

    Thank you for posting the correct link.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: deck issues

    You're welcome. Glad you found the references helpful.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: deck issues

    They are helpful, which is why I have them on my computer and why I said that was the document I was looking at.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: deck issues

    ...Sigh.

    John Dirks Jr.,

    I hope you find the materials I referenced helpful, and enjoy perusing the AWC's free download library.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: deck issues

    (sigh) ... is right.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: deck issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    John,

    What are the footings like for those supports?

    They footings are required to be below the frost line unless the deck is *not* supported by the dwelling unit structure.

    From the 2006 IRC. (underlining is mine)
    - R403.1.4 Minimum depth. All exterior footings shall be placed at least 12 inches (305 mm) below the undisturbed ground surface. Where applicable, the depth of footings shall also conform to Sections R403.1.4.1 through R403.1.4.2.
    - - R403.1.4.1 Frost protection. Except where otherwise protected from frost, foundation walls, piers and other permanent supports of buildings and structures shall be protected from frost by one or more of the following methods:
    - - - 1. Extended below the frost line specified in Table R301.2.(1);
    - - - 2. Constructing in accordance with Section R403.3;
    - - - 3. Constructing in accordance with ASCE 32; or
    - - - 4. Erected on solid rock.
    - - - - Exceptions:
    - - - - - 1. Protection of freestanding accessory structures with an area of 600 square feet (56 m
    2) or less, of light-framed construction, with an eave height of 10 feet (3048 mm) or less shall not be required.
    - - - - - 2. Protection of freestanding accessory structures with an area of 400 square feet (37m2) or less, of other than light-framed construction, with an eave height of 10 feet (3048 mm) or less shall not be required.
    - - - - - 3. Decks not supported by a dwelling need not be provided with footings that extend below the frost line.


    Mat,

    From the 2006 IRC.
    - R502.2.2 Decks.Where supported by attachment to an exterior wall, decks shall be positively anchored to the primary structure and designed for both vertical and lateral loads as applicable. Such attachment shall not be accomplished by the use of toenails or nails subject to withdrawal. Where positive connection to the primary building structure cannot be verified during inspection, decks shall be self-supporting. For decks with cantilevered framing members, connections to exterior walls or other framing members, shall be designed and constructed to resist uplift resulting from the full live load specified in Table R301.5 acting on the cantilevered portion of the deck.

    Do lag bolts provide the required support? It specifies "shall not be accomplished by the use of toenails or nails subject to withdrawal" but we've all see lag bolts withdrawing as the wood dries out and the holes get larger, along with 'over time' the loads wallow out the holes.

    Or maybe it is just that there do not seem to be enough lag bolts?
    I'm still not clear.... I don't see where it says the ledger needs more than lag bolts/screws to attach to the house??


  16. #16
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    Default Re: deck issues

    What are the footings like for those supports?

    Jerry,

    There is a slab under the deck. The posts went through the slab so examining the footings would have taken some serious excavating. I didn't do it.

    Posts for the attached stairs were burried and in direct contact with the soil. I did no digging there either. By that point I figured enough was wrong with the thing to just call out a few items and recommend a qualified person review the entire thing.

    Watson,

    Thanks for the links. Looks like I have some reading to do. I kept the links to my favorites.


  17. #17

    Default Re: deck issues

    I wish pictures showed up on the reply page so I could write my response while looking at the dang pictures.

    Lags are allowed as established.

    I'd rather see the L flashing at that location with that deck, because it looks like with Z flashing water would run to the bottom edge of the ledger and seep onto the exposed sill plate? (I think I see that , or other exposed framing). (still need to seal up the exposed framing)

    The guard post is scary looking.

    The rim joist looks like it was only nailed in place-- should be fastened so it can't pull out (I am guessing, but since it does not sit flush with the joist ends................)

    The 2- 2x's sandwiching the post appear to be designed as a beam. As far as I know-- that does not qualify as a beam (2xs must be in contact with each other).

    I'd just write the deck up as a having too many issues to list and defer it.............


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    Default Re: deck issues

    Mat,

    The following quotes are in the order posted above. (underlining is for highlighting)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Do lag bolts provide the required support? It specifies "shall not be accomplished by the use of toenails or nails subject to withdrawal" but we've all see lag bolts withdrawing as the wood dries out and the holes get larger, along with 'over time' the loads wallow out the holes.

    Or maybe it is just that there do not seem to be enough lag bolts?


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    In addition to through-bolts, lag screws are allowed (see page 11, Figure 14, however, lag screws have a limitation of use in Figure 19 that they may only be used under the conditions shown in Figure 14), lag screws are to be 1/2" (the ones in the photo look smaller) minimum in size and arranged in a staggered pattern (see page 13, Figure 19).

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    I'm still not clear.... I don't see where it says the ledger needs more than lag bolts/screws to attach to the house??
    The final answer is: Yes, lag screws are allowed ... but not when installed as shown in that photo.

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  19. #19
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: deck issues

    Other than doubling each lag bolt at each location (up and down) I don't see anything wrong with it. I always had 2 per 16 inches. What they were thinking was the size allowed for them to be altered up and then down. Realistically the way it is is fine. 20 people could stand on one of those bolts and not head south. I would have to check on the shear strength but each one holds quite a load in shear strength.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: deck issues

    John,

    I was just pointing out that the footings for decks attached to the house are required to be down below frost level.

    Typically, you will know the "usual" way decks and footings are constructed in your area after seeing a few, and if you see shallow footings (I used to carry a long screw driver, sometimes a long metal rod, and if I could push that down and feel the bottom of the footing (of course, I only had to go down 12" ), then I would know about how deep it was.

    In your area, if you could feel the bottom of the footing with a 3 foot rod, it would not be deep enough (just guessing are your frost depth). Do you know what your frost depth is?

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  21. #21
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    Default Re: deck issues

    I believe our frost depth is 30 inches.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: deck issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The ledger looks lag bolted in, I thought it was not allowed to 'just be lag bolted in, that is also needed some other support?
    JP... I'm still not clear on your reply.... maybe too many quotes, underlines, etc.

    Above, I quoted the original part of your post that made me wonder. I'm not trying to split hairs on terminology or question posts.... I honestly don't understand what you're saying.

    For years ledgers were toe-nailed or whaterver.... Then, the rules changed and they had to be secured with 'fasteners not subject to withdrawl' which everyone I've ever spoken to has taken to mean lag screws/bolts.

    Specifically, what is the 'other support' you're referring to?

    I don't follow what you're saying about screw holes widening out and loosening?

    Also, what is wrong with the pictures as it pertains to the bolting of the ledger? I have heard of certain patterns of attachment (high/low on the ledger, etc) Is that why the picture is wrong?

    Paragraphs of cut/pasted code sections don't help me much..... if you could just explain it to me maybe I could understand....

    Again, not trying to be a pain.... just trying to learn.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: deck issues

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  24. #24
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    Default Re: deck issues

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    Watson,

    Thanks for the links. Looks like I have some reading to do. I kept the links to my favorites.
    You're most welcome (and as per the PMs).

    Glad you found them helpful.

    Best of luck in your endeavors,

    H.G.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: deck issues

    Mat,

    I'll try it again differently, then. Underlining and bold are for highlighting, and are kept to a minimum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The ledger looks lag bolted in, I thought it was not allowed to 'just be lag bolted in, that is also needed some other support?
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    JP... I'm still not clear on your reply.... maybe too many quotes, underlines, etc.
    Then, in a later post (post #8), I said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    This ( http://www.awc.org/Publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6.pdf )is a document I was looking at.

    In addition to through-bolts, lag screws are allowed ...


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  26. #26
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    Default Re: deck issues

    Thanks.... Got it.....


  27. #27
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    Default Re: deck issues

    I like two piece flashing. One behind the ledger and one over.

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  28. #28
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: deck issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    I like two piece flashing. One behind the ledger and one over.

    Those pics are about they way I always did it. Good pics.


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