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Old 05-04-2013, 07:40 PM   #16
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Help building a deck gate


then ask for that specifically.

your attitude sucks.

Your deck is built very badly starting with undersized posts, bolts beam to the existing posts, the railings are not correct at all. You need bolts into the house ledger and this is just starters.

you want us to go on?

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Old 05-04-2013, 08:12 PM   #17
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Help building a deck gate


Quote:
Originally Posted by framer52 View Post
then ask for that specifically.

your attitude sucks.

Your deck is built very badly starting with undersized posts, bolts beam to the existing posts, the railings are not correct at all. You need bolts into the house ledger and this is just starters.

you want us to go on?
I'm sorry to come across that way. Yeah, I guess you could say my attitude sucks. I bought a house with the deck already built. Finding out that it's pretty much a POS is bad enough, but it's even worse to listen to people point out the obvious (it's not safe) without any suggestion for how the NEW owner (ME) can fix it, if at all.

That said, do you have any advice for if/how it can be stabilized--bearing in mind that I'm not the moron who screwed it up?

It boils down to this: I'm going to install guardrail posts, replace balusters and handrails on the entire deck and stairs. But before I put the work in, I need to know if the ledger/foundation problems can be corrected or not. Is it possible to replace the 4x4s with 6x6's on an existing deck? Or, could additional 4x4s be added to compensate? Can the ledger be retrofitted with additional stability?

Or should I tear the whole thing down and build an entirely new deck?

Last edited by DalaiMama; 05-04-2013 at 08:32 PM. Reason: Specific qs
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:48 PM   #18
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Help building a deck gate


I think if you just go to the deck building recommendations in the pdf that Gary posted, and correct what is wrong you will be OK. Teco (Simpson) hangers need to have a HD Teco nail in every hole. You also have to use the correct hangers and bolts (ASTM A153) if your pressure treated wood is ACQ. It is extremely corrosive. I have seen common nails rust nearly through in as little as 8 months.

You have to use Hot dipped Bolts, not electroplated if you want them to hold up. Nails do not cut it to attach your ledger to your band beam, or your foundation. It has nothing to do with the shear strength of the nails, its about the bearing area within the wood and its ability to resist tear out and splitting.

Frankly, if I were you I would throw up a couple of jack studs under your ledger and refrain from using the deck till you get it properly secured to your house.

Through drill that ledger 16 inches on center one third from the bottom and bolt it with 5/8" Hot dip galvanized bolts. Flashing at the band beam must be correct.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:57 AM   #19
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Help building a deck gate


Hey, Guys! Some of you have been nice, but SOME.... Wow! Ease up. Think of this as your sister who got stuck, and help guide her into repairing this deck to be safe and usable. She wouldn't be here if she didn't already know she had a problem.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:04 AM   #20
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Help building a deck gate


Wow, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. It sucks when you think you only need to do one thing, and then you come to realize you have a whole big can of worms you've just opened.

First off, looking at the pictures, it's hard to say how salvageable the existing deck is. There are certainly things you can do without tearing it all down to improve things, but the thing is if things were done as poorly as they look to be done, it might be worth just tearing it down and redoing it all. I don't think you've gotten a thorough response simply because there are so many code violations. Some of the pictures it's hard to tell if something is missing or not. Things like where you live also determine how deep/large the main footers for the deck posts need to be. So where are you located (which is why ppl say to put your location in your profile)?

#1- Post footers. How deep are they. If they're not deep enough/not large enough not good. I'm no deck pro, but replacing the 4x4 posts w/ 6x6's would be incredibly difficult as a DIY job.
#2- The stair stringer looks alright (doesn't need to be redone), but it should have hangers and hardware where it attaches to the joist rather than just some nails. That can be remedied.
#3- Through bolts for the ledger board are a must or else the ledger can pull away from the house and your deck could collapse. That can be remedied.
#4- Redoing all the railings is doable as well. Easiest would be to just add a 2x4 horizontally across the bottom and 4x4 posts every X feet according to code. Again, fixable w/ the existing deck.
#5- Through bolts should be used for the beam to joist connection (can't tell in the picture). These can easily be added.

So ultimately, the two main posts are the only thing that can't be fixed easily w/o tearing down the deck. But, there are other questions like what type of fasteners/etc were used and other things which would make me seriously consider just tearing it down and redoing it. Your call obviously. Just read the deck code over and over and over and look at each part of your deck. Ultimately you'll be the one to determine whether your deck is salvageable or worth tearing down. The 4x4 posts are definitely undersized and would give me cause for some concern on a 2nd story deck.

Regarding your original post.. Building a deck gate is a piece of cake assuming you have the necessary structure around the deck. HD sells a "gate kit" I think for ~$20 that I purchased which has spring hinges and a latch. I used some leftover wood I had to create a gate. Blocking was added so it wouldn't hit the existing lights. The pictures are pretty self explanatory.
Attached Thumbnails
Help building a deck gate-gate1.jpg   Help building a deck gate-gate2.jpg   Help building a deck gate-gate3.jpg  

Last edited by NewHomeDIYGuy; 05-06-2013 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:11 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by NewHomeDIYGuy View Post
Wow, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. It sucks when you think you only need to do one thing, and then you come to realize you have a whole big can of worms you've just opened.

First off, looking at the pictures, it's hard to say how salvageable the existing deck is. There are certainly things you can do without tearing it all down to improve things, but the thing is if things were done as poorly as they look to be done, it might be worth just tearing it down and redoing it all. I don't think you've gotten a thorough response simply because there are so many code violations. Some of the pictures it's hard to tell if something is missing or not. Things like where you live also determine how deep/large the main footers for the deck posts need to be. So where are you located (which is why ppl say to put your location in your profile)?

#1- Post footers. How deep are they. If they're not deep enough/not large enough not good. I'm no deck pro, but replacing the 4x4 posts w/ 6x6's would be incredibly difficult as a DIY job.
#2- The stair stringer looks alright (doesn't need to be redone), but it should have hangers and hardware where it attaches to the joist rather than just some nails. That can be remedied.
#3- Through bolts for the ledger board are a must or else the ledger can pull away from the house and your deck could collapse. That can be remedied.
#4- Redoing all the railings is doable as well. Easiest would be to just add a 2x4 horizontally across the bottom and 4x4 posts every X feet according to code. Again, fixable w/ the existing deck.
#5- Through bolts should be used for the beam to joist connection (can't tell in the picture). These can easily be added.

So ultimately, the two main posts are the only thing that can't be fixed easily w/o tearing down the deck. But, there are other questions like what type of fasteners/etc were used and other things which would make me seriously consider just tearing it down and redoing it. Your call obviously. Just read the deck code over and over and over and look at each part of your deck. Ultimately you'll be the one to determine whether your deck is salvageable or worth tearing down. The 4x4 posts are definitely undersized and would give me cause for some concern on a 2nd story deck.

Regarding your original post.. Building a deck gate is a piece of cake assuming you have the necessary structure around the deck. HD sells a "gate kit" I think for ~$20 that I purchased which has spring hinges and a latch. I used some leftover wood I had to create a gate. Blocking was added so it wouldn't hit the existing lights. The pictures are pretty self explanatory.
Thanks for a no-nonsense, helpful response. Although I originally asked about a gate, I quickly learned about the proper code and how ridiculously poorly built my entire deck was. Thank goodness for that; now I can fix it.

I did build a gate and installed new 4x4s on each side of the staircase in order to mount it. (They are un-notched, externally mounted through to joists/blocking using Simpson DTT2Z and 1/2" carriage bolts w/nuts+washers). Since I did those two posts, I decided to do 8 more around the deck perimeter. I'll also add a lower 2x4 rail, and re-space the balusters properly.

I'm having a pro over this afternoon (two different pros, actually) to discuss the support posts, ledger, and joist connectors issues. I realize that it is critical, and is the highest priority repair.

Thanks so much for your help.
Here's my gate with new 4x4s installed: http://imgur.com/ohF2jEE.jpg
<img src="http://i.imgur.com/ohF2jEE.jpg" alt="" title="Hosted by imgur.com" />

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