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Old 10-01-2009, 12:50 PM   #1
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Enclosing a Deck


I have a covered outdoor deck attached to the back of my house that I want to fully enclose with sliding patio doors on the three open sides. The sliding doors do not need to be load-bearing as the roof is self-supported by 4" x 4" posts. The sliding door units would be mounted between the posts. The deck measures 16 feet by 16 feet, and the openings are square and framed with treated lumber. I live in a northern climate. Do you see any issues in proceeding with this idea? Thank you.

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Old 10-02-2009, 12:49 AM   #2
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Enclosing a Deck


I would ask your local Building Department to keep your family safe.
Be safe, Gary

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Old 10-02-2009, 10:44 AM   #3
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Enclosing a Deck


Since the roof is already there I don't see a major problem
But how old is it? Was it built correctly & to hold the snow load?
Check with the building Dept as said & see what they require
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:12 PM   #4
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Enclosing a Deck


The posts are designed to support the roof (hopefully as codes have changed safer from 10 years ago), but adding framing between them is relying on the glass doors to act as the walls' shear panels- to transmit any lateral forces to the earth through them. You would be fastening the doors to framing attached to the roof posts or headers, tying it all together to act as a unit. I may be wrong, check with your B.D. to be sure.
Be safe, Gary
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Old 10-02-2009, 04:54 PM   #5
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Enclosing a Deck


Gary -- Further note on construction of roof:
Roof is less than 1 year old, is gable style, and has 4" x 14" Versa-lam beams around the perimeter. These 4" x 14" beams are sitting on the 4" x 4" posts (the 4 x 4 posts are cemented 42" deep into ground). The beams span each 16-foot side. In other words, the headers for the sliding doors would be the 4" x 14" beams. Does this make you more comfortable about the shear transference? I can ask the city inspector also, but am looking for other opinions.
Thank you for your help.

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Old 10-02-2009, 07:49 PM   #6
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Enclosing a Deck


I would ask the B.D. to do a courtesy check when you are home. This is very hard to do over the net, even if I had a picture. He would know if consulting with a Structural Engineer was required or not. I am not a S.E. but understand basic structure. As you fill in the walls with glass doors where there was opening before, it changes the design somewhat. You may need a portion of the wall to act as a shear panel - a section of wall plywood covered to counter the forces of nature. In a residential building, these panels are required on every corner, and every 25 lineal feet of wall. More for a first story of a three story house. A deck would need proper footings rated for the additional weight of walls unless it was built as such. Your local inspector would know for sure.
Be safe, Gary
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:08 PM   #7
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Thanks Gary. I'm having a Structural Engineer come out and look. I'll let you know how I make out.
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:48 PM   #8
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Enclosing a Deck


Gary -- FYI: No problem to install sliding patio door units in our deck openings. Spoke to the contractor who built the deck overhang for us, and they built it the overhang with the idea that we would eventually want to enclose the deck. They said we don't have to be concerned about shear; neither do the sliding door units need to be load bearing.
Thanks again for the thoughts.

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