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  1. #1
    Matthew Liang's Avatar
    Matthew Liang Guest

    Default Stairs to deck attachment

    I inspected a house in Vancouver BC today. The stairs is attached to a rear deck. One of the picture shows that the stringers are nailed to the deck joists. Do I have to comment that 'joist hanger should be used'?

    Another issue here is 'wood soil direct contact , possible rot damage'.

    Any comment? Thanks.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Stairs to deck attachment

    Why not say that the stringers are poorly secured to the deck or lack proper connectors/fasteners. By specifying a repair on anything you may sooner or later put yourself out on a limb.

    I'd also be commenting on the stringers being notched out for the treads and risers. The more you cut a 2x10 the less it's a 2x10.
    Most decks I see need repairs (beefing up) and while they may perform for day to day activities I consider the potentials if the deck or stairs get loaded up with people.

    BTW - It's not a question if you "have" to write something but rather how would you feel later if you didn't write it? What is your gut feeling?

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Stairs to deck attachment

    A couple thoughts...
    - The way the upper stringer is pinned in with the 2x6 backboard is pretty standard practice. The only way those stringers are coming down is if the bottom of the run kicks out. The board nailed between the deck joists along the top, back end of the stringer keeps the stringer from being able to come down no matter what other nails do or don't do. Check that the bottom of the stair run and the backboards are both securely nailed. The additional notching in the stringers around the white face board isn't ideal. The face board should have been notched around the stringers. Doesn't look too bad though.
    - Definitely write up for ground contact on the posts. With that much green on the wood, its either a very wet area back there or it doesn't get much sun to promote dry out. I always recommend people apply a penetrating stain on decks that can't dry out very well on a daily, weekly basis.

    www.aic-chicago.com
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    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: Stairs to deck attachment

    Cutting stair stringers and installation has pretty much become a lost art. In today's world of piece-work, where speed, speed, and more speed are the driving factors. At least the top of the stringers shown are nailed to the joists. Many of those I run across are not. I also run across stringers where the bottom rests on a landing by the toe only; maybe a third of the stringer width. The vertical load bearing part of the stringer has no support. Sky hooks maybe?

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Summerville, South Carolina
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Stairs to deck attachment

    most treated 4x4's are rated for ground contact


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Westminster, B. C., Canada
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Stairs to deck attachment

    Hi, ALL &

    P.T. just rots more slowly than not; it is not rot-proof...

    No way to tell if the bottom end was ever cut & if not treated.

    Never good practise to put ANY wood in-contact with soil or concrete or pavers...


    CHEERS !

    -Glenn Duxbury, CHI

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: Stairs to deck attachment

    I would have liked to have seen an actual footing that is raised above grade under the posts and Plinth blocks, but I have definately seen much worse workmanship than what I see on the stringers. Put some lag bolts through the stringers into the joists and that should be pretty good on that end as long as the joists are properly attached which I can't really see very well in the pics. Not perfect, but certainly not a total hack job.

    If it weren't for lawyers, we would never need them.

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