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  1. #1
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    Default New deck question

    We go by the 2006 IRC. I want to build a deck and get to much conflicting information. the info on the deck. We have a bump out with a sliding patio door. it is bumped out 2 feet and each end angles back to the foundation.

    From the sliding door I want to come out 14' and go 12'w wide. The one side that goes the 2' back to the foundation will be 16'. Basically it is a 14x 12 deck with a small section that extends to the house. Also it is pretty much a freestanding deck with 2 beams. The first beam would be 2 feet outside the patio door and then a 2nd one 12' outside patio door with a 2 foot cantilever. The spam between the 2 beams will be 10'. Also I would like t'o keep the footings 1' inside the sides of the deck. The deck is 45 inches above grade. Code requires footing to be 42" below grade

    I figured the outside footing would need to be 1225 lbs and the center footings 1750 lbs. Local building department says a 10 tube will carry 1340 but I if you to 48 inch below grade it can carry 2071.

    The ledger board will not be carrying any real weight since most of it is outside the cantilever of the house. There is about a 2x3' the ledger will carry weight but it is only 4 feet from a beam (this section is not cantilevered.


    My questions are
    1 what post size can I use, some places tell me a 4x4 and others a 6x6
    2 What footing diameter...Can I use 10 in or do I need 12 inch tubes
    3 Local code goes by 2006 IRC was looking at 2016 IRC deck guidelines and it says the length of a deck cannot exceed its width. Does that apply to 2006 code also. Dont want to go over any farther due to a tree and on the other side of the door is the ac, ac lines and dryer vent.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: New deck question

    The best answer is for you to take your questions down to the local building department and ask them. THEY are the ones that will approve, or not, your project. No matter what anyone here tells you, THEY have the final say.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The best answer is for you to take your questions down to the local building department and ask them. THEY are the ones that will approve, or not, your project. No matter what anyone here tells you, THEY have the final say.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: New deck question

    In addition to what Jack said - which is the real answer anyway - if the deck is freestanding (no attachment to the house, close - real close - is okay), then the footings can be exempted from having to go below frost level (because any upheaval of the deck will not affect the house).

    Just something to contemplate.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: New deck question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    In addition to what Jack said - which is the real answer anyway - if the deck is freestanding (no attachment to the house, close - real close - is okay), then the footings can be exempted from having to go below frost level (because any upheaval of the deck will not affect the house).

    Just something to contemplate.
    It is impossible to get a call back and I wanted to only have to make 1 trip down.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: New deck question

    I would be willing to bet that if you build it wrong based on improper advice from the internet, you will make more than 1 trip downtown.
    Have you tried calling first thing in the morning? Thats usually the best time to catch them before they get really busy.
    I'm not sure how hard it is for you to get downtown, but it might be worth the effort. Many building departments are very helpful, not only answering your questions, but they may also have hand outs that show you the construction techniques they would like you to follow (building decks).


  6. #6
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    Default Re: New deck question

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hronek View Post
    It is impossible to get a call back and I wanted to only have to make 1 trip down.
    Don't worry about making more than one trip - draw up what you want but without sizes and spacing, go down to the building department and ask them what sizes and spacings you need to use - I'm guessing that, as an 'owner builder', you will get enough help that you will be able to add the information needed.

    If not, then draw up what you want using two sizes, one which you think will work and one size larger, stating it as '4x4 PT or 4x6 PT' (something to that affect) - if they approve it, you have the "or" in the approved drawing and you can then use "either" ... if they 'x' out the '4x4 PT or' and just leave the '4x6 PT' ... that is your answer.

    Or, if you want to try to make it one trip - do the "or" thing and go with which ever option they approve.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: New deck question

    It is my professional opinion that deck safety takes precedence over whatever version of the code your AHJ imagines to be sufficient. Follow the DCA6-2012 and 2015 IRC provisions if you are concerned about up to date protection. If not, just cross your fingers and keep that parachute handy.

    Texas Inspector
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    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Default Re: New deck question

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hronek View Post
    My questions are
    1 what post size can I use, some places tell me a 4x4 and others a 6x6
    2 What footing diameter...Can I use 10 in or do I need 12 inch tubes
    3 Local code goes by 2006 IRC was looking at 2016 IRC deck guidelines and it says the length of a deck cannot exceed its width. Does that apply to 2006 code also. Dont want to go over any farther due to a tree and on the other side of the door is the ac, ac lines and dryer vent.
    1) Use a 6x6 much better. You can use 4x4 and it will work.
    2 and 3) a 6x6 post will require what your area requires due to soil conditions a 18 to 24 inch x 12" footer. There is a difference in "footers" and "piers". A "pier" sits on a "footer". Do a little research and you will understand. Using tubes alone will probably not meet your local requirements.

    As others have said 1) Start calling just before the office opens to catch them before they go on the road for inspections. 2) Take your plans and talk face to face with someone in the office before you submit them for a permit. Make the trips and save yourself aggravation later OR get someone else to build the deck who knows what is required to pull the permits.

    There is a learning curve that has to be met and it requires time and effort.

    Every local will have different requirements to meet their interpretation of code. Especially when it cones to cantilevering.

    Good luck.


  9. #9
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    Aug 2011
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    Hercules, CA
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    Default Re: New deck question

    Draw up your plans the way you want to build it and submit it to the building department (usually 3 copies). They should give you a list of what is wrong or missing. Revise your plans based on their list and pay for the permit and then build it, but don't forget to call for inspections. The rule of thumb for inspections is don't cover anything until the inspector has ok'd it.

    Thom Huggett, PE, SE, CBO

  10. #10
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    Default Re: New deck question

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Huggett View Post
    Draw up your plans the way you want to build it and submit it to the building department (usually 3 copies). They should give you a list of what is wrong or missing. Revise your plans based on their list and pay for the permit and then build it, but don't forget to call for inspections. The rule of thumb for inspections is don't cover anything until the inspector has ok'd it.
    He's correct. The only other alternative I can think of is to have the deck professionally drawn, then submitted.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: New deck question

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    He's correct. The only other alternative I can think of is to have the deck professionally drawn, then submitted.
    I have been told, but have not as yet verified, that new deck standards require posts to be 6x6 regardless of height. Does anyone know if this is correct?


  12. #12

    Default Re: New deck question

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe R. Maxwell View Post
    I have been told, but have not as yet verified, that new deck standards require posts to be 6x6 regardless of height. Does anyone know if this is correct?
    They've finally started enforcing that three ply beams have to be fully supported and therefore need at least a 4X6 post... I think they're using 6X6 because some of the crews can't figure out which way to orient the smaller posts.

    Egbert Jager
    Diamond Home Inspection
    http://www.diamondhomeinspection.ca

  13. #13
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    Default Re: New deck question

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe R. Maxwell View Post
    I have been told, but have not as yet verified, that new deck standards require posts to be 6x6 regardless of height. Does anyone know if this is correct?
    Google DCA 6 - Prescriptive Residential Deck Construction Guide

    20 page document on best way to build a deck. Gives all the sizes for everything.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  14. #14
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    Default Re: New deck question

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe R. Maxwell View Post
    I have been told, but have not as yet verified, that new deck standards require posts to be 6x6 regardless of height. Does anyone know if this is correct?
    The American Wood Council recommends 6X6 nominal for columns, but the 2015 IRC still has standards for 4X4's.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: New deck question

    Morning, Robert.
    I cantilevered wood decks. This method circumvents required many post footings every 6' and allows slight deck shape modifications.
    Joist Dimension Specifications and cantilever rules.

    Keep us posted on the project.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hope this helps as well.
    Decks.com

    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 06-22-2017 at 09:00 AM.
    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: New deck question

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Morning, Robert.
    I cantilevered wood decks.
    Keep in mind that cantilevered decks and all decks which are attached to the structure are required to have footings to the same frost depth as the structure.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  17. #17
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    Default Re: New deck question

    I fully concur. Sorry if my post implied otherwise. Ops.

    Post holes, footings, + all materials required there in to carry the structure, lumber, connection and cement, are greatly reduced/diminished IMO.

    As well, the simplicity of decking the structure is obvious. Less component connections to posts and beams. Blocking for joists, posts for guard and hand rails, and Bob's your uncle.

    If I was a gopher I guess digging so much would not bother me.
    Seeing I am not I chose to gig 2 or 3 holes.

    Thoughts?

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

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