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Thread: Deck Posts

  1. #1
    brianmiller's Avatar
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    Default Deck Posts

    The deck I inspected is a 10ft x 10ft deck approximately 3 feet off the ground. The posts used to support the deck are 4"x4" posts installed in a footing. The footings are only resting on the ground.

    My questions:

    -Should the deck posts be 6"x6"? Are 4x4" posts allowed?

    - Should the posts be secured, attached, to the footings. Not just resting in the footing?

    - Are these type of footings allowed?

    - Openings between the riser heights for the steps from the yard to the house are allowed, assuming they are less then 4" openings?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Deck Posts

    Brian,

    Sounds like a Free Floating Deck ( if it is Not Attached to the Structure.)

    If so try This Link http//: DECKPLANS.com | How It Works for some of your questions concerning this system.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Deck Posts

    thanks, billy.

    No it's not a free-standing deck. It's attached to the house ; ledger board is lagged bolted to house.


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    Default Re: Deck Posts

    Brian, If you post some pics you will get better response. Your desciption leads me to believe that the posts are set inside a footing sitting on the surface of the ground.
    What type of footing?
    Is it buried?
    Is the post on top or inside?
    Pics would answer all these questions


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Deck Posts

    Wayne,

    sorry no pics.

    But the link that Billy provided shows the exact footing that is use, the DECK-BLOC piers, which are just resting on the ground.


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    Default Re: Deck Posts

    Quote Originally Posted by brianmiller View Post
    But the link that Billy provided shows the exact footing that is use, the DECK-BLOC piers, which are just resting on the ground.

    Not allowed to use those things if it is attached to the house.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Deck Posts

    Thanks, Jerry:

    Is the reason the Deck-bloc piers can't be used when the deck is attached to the house because the Deck-bloc piers could move substantially pully the ledger board from the house?


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    Default Re: Deck Posts

    Quote Originally Posted by brianmiller View Post
    Thanks, Jerry:

    Is the reason the Deck-bloc piers can't be used when the deck is attached to the house because the Deck-bloc piers could move substantially pully the ledger board from the house?
    Sort of.

    It is because if the deck is attached to the house, the deck is required to be supported on footings at the same required depth as the house.

    Which is intended to prevent the movement you are describing.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Deck Posts

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Sort of.

    It is because if the deck is attached to the house, the deck is required to be supported on footings at the same required depth as the house.

    Which is intended to prevent the movement you are describing.

    I would disagree; I would have said a minimum footing. I donít know what code they are in New Mexico, probably the IRC. The IBC/ CBC doesnít require permits for decks under 30in not part of the accessible route which is most likely the same in the IRC. So if the deck is under 30in all bets are off. The minimum footing required by the IBC is 12in x 6in, table 1805A.4.2 (this is why itís called a footing). A larger footing may be required at the house especially if itís a two story or itís adjacent to a slope or there is some kind of local ordinance.

    I would expect that the minimum footing for a deck over 30in above grade in other than a seismic zone like California would be 12in x 12in 6in thick pads. It would be nice if the footing was excavated in natural earth 12in as well but I donít know if you could enforce it. The pier block would be ok set into the concrete footing especially if the post was secured to it somehow. Some/ most have PT blocks epoxyed to the pier others have straps which is better. The 4x4s are ok and should be a minimum toe nailed to the blocks and the bottom of the post should be at least 8in from the earth per the IBC and that might the same in the IRC. It used to be 6in in the older codes. Depending on the length of the post, it should be braced to the framing with at least a 1x4 with a positive connection to the girder something good would be a Simpson post cap maybe an EPC44. A shorter post could get by with just a post cap but the girder or beam is required to be 12in above the earth so a brace would be expected.


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    Default Re: Deck Posts

    Quote Originally Posted by brianmiller View Post
    But the link that Billy provided shows the exact footing that is use, the DECK-BLOC piers, which are just resting on the ground.
    You can use DECK-BLOC piers or you can attach the deck to the house, but you can't do both.

    I've heard many localities are starting to recommend free standing decks in all cases, whether resting on precast piers or on proper buried footings. Seems to make sense to me - I built my father in law's deck freestanding so any movement or settlement doesn't affect the integrity of the main house structure.


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    Default Re: Deck Posts

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Cooper View Post
    I would disagree; I would have said a minimum footing. I donít know what code they are in New Mexico, probably the IRC. The IBC/ CBC doesnít require permits for decks under 30in not part of the accessible route which is most likely the same in the IRC. So if the deck is under 30in all bets are off. The minimum footing required by the IBC is 12in x 6in, table 1805A.4.2 (this is why itís called a footing). A larger footing may be required at the house especially if itís a two story or itís adjacent to a slope or there is some kind of local ordinance.

    Randy,

    You are mixing two things together, and the deck and its footing requirements have nothing to do with being an accessible route or not.

    The deck footings have to do with whether or not the deck is totally free standing or is attached to the structure.

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    Default Re: Deck Posts

    Brian,

    There is a good discussion on this issue - footing depth and those deck block things - and free standing or being attached to the structure - on another site I will not mention by name.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Deck Posts

    Billy do they look like this.

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Deck Posts

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Randy,

    You are mixing two things together, and the deck and its footing requirements have nothing to do with being an accessible route or not.

    The deck footings have to do with whether or not the deck is totally free standing or is attached to the structure.

    Not true Jerry,

    A deck less than 30in dosn't require a permit and thus dosn't need all this scrutiny; you can build any which way you want and nobody can say anything, at least in California that would be the law. But, in California, and I believe I sated Iím not sure on the code regulations in New Mexico, there is one exception to the 30in rule. If the deck is serving as the access to the dwelling from the right of way, and sometimes it does, and every dwelling in California is required at least one complying exit with access to the right of way, then the deck is required to be permitted no mater how high it is off the ground and thus would be required to have some type of engineering or at least meet the minimum prescriptive provisions of the code.

    Iím not sure as to why the footing requirement would differ based on whether the deck is attached or not. As I see it a deck with a ledger would require fewer footings because that end of the deck is supported by the existing dwelling. I have built; plan checked, inspected and approved hundreds of decks in the worst seismic zone in California with nothing more than the minimum pier pads foundations as described previously. A Building Official can not require that an owner do more than the minimum required by the building code. This is going to be true anywhere you go. I would bet you a Coke that is true in New Mexico. As Home Inspector, and assume this guy is, why would he require more than is required by code? We need some photos and know which code it was permited in and then we could discuss it more rationaly.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Deck Posts

    The deck columnar supports are on-grade 'Dek Block'. Generally, these on-grade supports are meant for independent decks or out-buildings not secured to the home. Ideally, structures attached to the home should be properly footed.
    Manufacturer literature states: When used according to DekBrands' recommendations, the Floating Foundation Deck System conforms to all national and regional building codes when the deck is unattached from the house.
    Recommend monitoring; eventually these deck structures may need to be properly footed to avoid settling and movement.
    403.1.4.1 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. Extending below the frost line specified in Table R301.2(1);
    2. Constructing in accordance with Section R403.3;
    3. Constructing in accordance with ASCE32-01; and 4. Erected on solid rock.
    Exceptions:
    1. Freestanding accessory structures with an area of 400 square feet (37 m2) or less and an eave height of 10 feet (3048 mm) or less shall not be required to be protected.
    2. Decks not supported by a dwelling need not be provided with footings that extend below the frost line.
    Footings shall not bear on frozen soil unless such frozen condition is of a permanent character.


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    Default Re: Deck Posts

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Cooper View Post
    Not true Jerry,

    A deck less than 30in dosn't require a permit and thus dosn't need all this scrutiny; you can build any which way you want and nobody can say anything, at least in California that would be the law.

    Randy,

    From the IRC: (underlining and bold are mine)
    - R105.1 Required. Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.
    - R105.2 Work exempt from permit. Permits shall not be required for the following. Exemption from permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.

    There is a list of things exempt from a permit, decks on not one of the items listed.

    Also, items items exempt from permits are still REQUIRED TO MEET CODE.

    From the IBC (which I think the CBC is taken from):
    - 105.2 Work exempt from permit. Exemptions from permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction. Permits shall not be required for the following:

    Thus, permit or no permit, THE WORK is required TO MEET CODE.


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Deck Posts

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Randy,

    From the IRC: (underlining and bold are mine)
    - R105.1 Required. Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.
    - R105.2 Work exempt from permit. Permits shall not be required for the following. Exemption from permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.

    There is a list of things exempt from a permit, decks on not one of the items listed.

    Also, items items exempt from permits are still REQUIRED TO MEET CODE.

    From the IBC (which I think the CBC is taken from):
    - 105.2 Work exempt from permit. Exemptions from permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction. Permits shall not be required for the following:

    Thus, permit or no permit, THE WORK is required TO MEET CODE.
    Jerry

    Yes your right that is the literal writing of the section; good luck on getting it to stick in the real world. The difference between a Building Inspector and a Home Inspector is the interpretation and administration of the code. As far as the sentence in the code: ďshall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this codeĒ think about it for a second, yes literally it may need to be built per the code but whoís going to regulate it? Youíre never going to get a Building Inspector to put his name on it when itís not required to be permitted. Would you want that liability?

    Look Jerry, I know you think your top Alpha Dog on this forum, they all have one and I guess youíre it for this one. Iím not going to get into a sparing match with you over this to see which one of us has a bigger one. I will concede to you right here; I know you spend a lot of time on this forum but I have real work to do.



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    Default Re: Deck Posts

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Cooper View Post
    Not true Jerry,

    A deck less than 30in dosn't require a permit and thus dosn't need all this scrutiny; you can build any which way you want and nobody can say anything, at least in California that would be the law.
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Cooper View Post
    Yes your right that is the literal writing of the section; good luck on getting it to stick in the real world.
    Randy,

    Has nothing to do with "getting it done in the real world", only has to do with you stating that "you can build any which way you want and nobody can say anything", which is completely incorrect.

    Now, if you said "and nobody WILL say anything", then there would be nothing to discuss as that would probably be correct.

    Again, it comes down to the careless use of words which reflect our opinions without having anything to support those opinions or those careless words.

    As home inspectors all we have (and I have said this many times before) are "words" ... the words we write down and if we are careless in what we write down the meaning of what we may have meant to say may now be something we did not mean to say.

    No alpha dog here, and you can probably piss further too, just trying to keep the information presented as correct as possible.

    When someone yelps like their tail has been stepped on, it is usually because they realize they goofed and put their tail where it should not have been, but do not want to admit it - so they try to blame someone else, the person who steps on their tail. Like you just tried to blame me for what you wrote.

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Deck Posts

    Randy
    In all due respect, is your opinion on decks based upon your interpretation of the California Building Codes or are are you just guessing ? Where did this notion of 30 inch height come from?
    Check your copy of the 2007 CBC; 1604.8.3. All of us have had egg on our face one time or another, but that's just part of the learning process, which by the way never stops.
    I threw a section the "Significant Changes to the 2009 IRC" in for our friends east of Eden.

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