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Old 10-02-2009, 11:35 PM   #1
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Questions on a deck I just built.


Got a question.

A buddy that helped me build my deck thinks my outer ledger board is going to sag in the middle. I don't know if I agree. See if someone can give me some good advice.

The ledger board is lagged to the joist of the house. I used 2X8's for the ledger to the house and the ledger on the outside of the deck. The deck is roughly 20 feet out from the house. I have a support beam at 10 feet that goes parellel to the house for the joists to sit on, and its where I had to conjoin my 2X8 joists.

Here is where my buddies concern is. I have 4 4X4 structural post on the outside of the deck. This is what the outer ledger boards are carriaged bolted to. The spacing is roughly 7 1/2 feet between posts. You can go 8 feet between posts with a 2X8 with out concern of that outer ledger sagging(what I was told from a union carpenter). My buddy doesn't think I have enough support and that the outer ledger will sag.

I carriaged bolted all ledger and posts together. I used joist hangers on attaching the joist to the inner and outer ledger.

The deck is done, so its not like I can just fix it. The only option I have is putting 3 more outer posts in and that will be difficult with a deck already built.

I think it wil be just fine, but I want to make sure. I have $7k into this project. I used 5/4's Trex composite for the planks.

Here is a pic of the structure.


Here it is all put together before I finished the steps.

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Last edited by stearns86; 10-02-2009 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:59 PM   #2
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Questions on a deck I just built.


I'll let you read this first: http://www.awc.org/Publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6.pdf
Be safe, Gary

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Old 10-03-2009, 12:16 AM   #3
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Questions on a deck I just built.


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Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
I'll let you read this first: http://www.awc.org/Publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6.pdf
Be safe, Gary
Well I appreciate that. Its a little late.

This was the exact deck that was on the house when I bought it. It was built 15-20 years ago. It was built with cedar top to bottom.

I planned on just replacing the planks, but the structure wad deteriorating when I started ripping the planks off. I decided to start from scratch and build it exactly the same way it was put together with the same concrete piers. I obviously just used new pressure treated lumber and composite planks.

The old deck was nailed together. The ledger was nailed to the house. Joist hangers were used on the ledger to the house, but not the outer ledger. I can't believe it held together as long as it did No bolts were used. I lagged the ledger to the actual joists of my house on the new deck. All the structural posts are all carraige bolted to the 2X8's. It is much more structurally sound than the old one.

My simple question is that with 4x4 posts on the outer ledger with 7 1/2 foot spacing between the posts......will that outer ledger sag or will I be ok.
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:21 AM   #4
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Questions on a deck I just built.


Your post are incorrectly sized they must be 6" x 6" minimum to be code compliant. Your attachment method to the post also is not compliant. Your post spacing assuming a 2x8 joist span of 10' properly sized and installed posts would be 7' 1" so, yes your spacing is also incorrect. Take the time to read through what GBR posted as those are the minimum standards.
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:07 AM   #5
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Questions on a deck I just built.


Building Standards & Codes change over time
While it may be better then the old one, codes were different 10-15 years ago

That said if you built it the same exact way it should last as long as the old deck
I used a 2x12 as a ledger/skirt on the front of my deck, 6' between posts
And my deck is only 8' wide
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:29 AM   #6
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Questions on a deck I just built.


It looks like there are a lot of errors with this deck, but what do you plan to do now that it is nearly complete?
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:37 AM   #7
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Questions on a deck I just built.


I have a couple questions for you. First of all, I am assuming when you say ledger board you are talking about the 2x8 that surrounds your deck?

Im from Canada and I assume the codes are differant, but Ill bounce a few things off you you.

By the way, railing looks nice--good work.

First off, a ledger board is the board that attaches to the house. The other outside board surrounding the deck is Rim joist,or facia board, it has differant names I guess. the reason I am asking is the actual ledger (attached to the house) would not need extra support as it is attached to the house ( assuming it is attached properly).

My second question is, you mentioned you had one beam under the deck at about 10' out from the house. If that is correct, up here we could call it a cantilever of 10' which would be way too much (cantilever is the joists reaching over your beam). Up here a 2' cantilever over the beam with a 2x8 min 2 ply beam would be pretty much maximum.

I am not sure about the codes down there, and I assume you didnt go the permit route ( I highly reccomend for your next deck)...Up here, when we get a permit for a deck (assuming it needs one) it helps assure that it is built according to code and thus no worries.

That being said, seeing as the deck is made as well, what you could do fairly easily (well not as easily as doing it BEFORE deck was done...

You could make another beam. Make a 2 ply beam of 2x8's. Put in some post blocks or something for the 4x4 supports to sit on. Put the beam about 2' or less from the end of your deck. It would transfer the load of the end of your deck onto the beam, wich would take away the problem of your 'ledger (outside rm joist) from sagging.

As well, without the beam under there, not only do you stand the chance of the outside 2x8's sagging, but all of your joists that are not directly attached to your posts will have no support for that 10' past your current beam, so they can bounce or sag as well. The only support they would have is the fact that they are attached to the front 2x8 wich is attahced to the posts. A 10' span of a 2x8 can easily bounce and sag.

The second beam installed would be a fairly simple (get a helper) solution to your problem.

This is all assuming you deck is built how I think it is I may have misunderstood you. The picture doesnt show the joists very well.

Hope that helps, and ' good day eh?
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:28 PM   #8
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Questions on a deck I just built.


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Originally Posted by rahfiki View Post
I have a couple questions for you. First of all, I am assuming when you say ledger board you are talking about the 2x8 that surrounds your deck?

Im from Canada and I assume the codes are differant, but Ill bounce a few things off you you.

By the way, railing looks nice--good work.

First off, a ledger board is the board that attaches to the house. The other outside board surrounding the deck is Rim joist,or facia board, it has differant names I guess. the reason I am asking is the actual ledger (attached to the house) would not need extra support as it is attached to the house ( assuming it is attached properly).

My second question is, you mentioned you had one beam under the deck at about 10' out from the house. If that is correct, up here we could call it a cantilever of 10' which would be way too much (cantilever is the joists reaching over your beam). Up here a 2' cantilever over the beam with a 2x8 min 2 ply beam would be pretty much maximum.

I am not sure about the codes down there, and I assume you didnt go the permit route ( I highly reccomend for your next deck)...Up here, when we get a permit for a deck (assuming it needs one) it helps assure that it is built according to code and thus no worries.

That being said, seeing as the deck is made as well, what you could do fairly easily (well not as easily as doing it BEFORE deck was done...

You could make another beam. Make a 2 ply beam of 2x8's. Put in some post blocks or something for the 4x4 supports to sit on. Put the beam about 2' or less from the end of your deck. It would transfer the load of the end of your deck onto the beam, wich would take away the problem of your 'ledger (outside rm joist) from sagging.

As well, without the beam under there, not only do you stand the chance of the outside 2x8's sagging, but all of your joists that are not directly attached to your posts will have no support for that 10' past your current beam, so they can bounce or sag as well. The only support they would have is the fact that they are attached to the front 2x8 wich is attahced to the posts. A 10' span of a 2x8 can easily bounce and sag.

The second beam installed would be a fairly simple (get a helper) solution to your problem.

This is all assuming you deck is built how I think it is I may have misunderstood you. The picture doesnt show the joists very well.

Hope that helps, and ' good day eh?
This a response to you mainly and all also.

When I ripped this deck apart it was just old. It was cedar and not pressure treated. As I mentioned the ledger that was attached to the house was nailed. There were joist hangers on the ledger to the house and not on the outside ledger. The posts were attached by nails. Basically not one piece of wood was attached with a bolt.

When I put this back together I #1 used pressure treated lumber. #2 I attached the ledger the floor joist of my house with lag bolts. #3 all the posts are attached to the structure with multiple carriage bolts. #4 There are joist hangers on the ledger on the house and the outside ledger.

I had 30 people on the old deck last year for a party with no problems. I am not concerned about the structural integrity of the new deck. Its not going anywhere. I have spent tons of time and $ putting this together and don't want that outside board to sag over time.

I went to Home Depot for this project. The guy that helped me with this is an out of work Union Carpenter. I took pictures of my piers, the measurements, and asked him if I could use the existing concrete piers to put the deck back together. He said yes, put the stuff in the computer and sent me the material. He is a friend of mine and has actually been out and helped me with the deck and never said a word about this issue I am concerned about. This week he is coming over to take a look. This issue was brought to my attention by another friend that help me build it. He had an issue with a deck he and his dad built with the outside board sagging and then talked to a structural engineer that said that the outer board was going to sag if I didn't do something with it.

I appreciate all the bulding code stuff. That stuff is doing me no good though. The deck is built. I need advice and suggestions to protect my investment.

The only option I think I have is to take composite fascia off. I am 10 feet between posts on the outside ledger right now. I am going to dig a hole, attach a post in the middle between the other posts and pour concrete. I will attach the post like all the other ones with carriage bolts. I have 3 posts to do this with and this with sold my problem.
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:51 PM   #9
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Questions on a deck I just built.


HI,

Like i mentioned earlier, the 2nd beam underneath would really help. You can put up a beam without tearing your deck apart. By taking some weight off the outside 2x8, it will help limit its possible tendency to want to sag.

Another thing I forgot to mention that will help and is way easier to do, is take the facia off and double up your facia board, that is put a 2nd 2x8 on the outside of your existing one to sort of sister it together and really attach it in may places. Make sure the new outside 2x8's do not have the same junction as where the other one has....move the junction (where you put the two lenghts together butt to butt) over to one side or another. This will really shore up the outside board for you and it is real easy to do.

You may have to put a differant deck board on the very end now that the deck board will be 1 2/2" wider ( or split a deck board to put on the last one to cover the 1 1/2".

Putting a couple posts under it like you mentioned will definaltey help tho.

Good luck.
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:57 PM   #10
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Questions on a deck I just built.


Sheesh the more i think about it, the more ideas I have..

Here is an even easier solution than putting in more posts. Why dont you take a couple 4x4 and mitre them to fit on an angle from one post (bottom) up to the middle of the outside board and then have one come down from the middle to the next post (bottom) LIke an upside down V. Do that all across. That will also brace the middle of the board and help stopit form sagging. IT could be done very easily.

This of course works only if your posts are under the deck and not on the outside of it (I cant remember wich way they are).

Its something to think about anyways...

Good luck
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Old 10-04-2009, 03:11 PM   #11
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Questions on a deck I just built.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rahfiki View Post
Sheesh the more i think about it, the more ideas I have..

Here is an even easier solution than putting in more posts. Why dont you take a couple 4x4 and mitre them to fit on an angle from one post (bottom) up to the middle of the outside board and then have one come down from the middle to the next post (bottom) LIke an upside down V. Do that all across. That will also brace the middle of the board and help stopit form sagging. IT could be done very easily.

This of course works only if your posts are under the deck and not on the outside of it (I cant remember wich way they are).

Its something to think about anyways...

Good luck
I am trying to picture what you are saying. My friend that is the union carpenter that sold me the stuff will be here this week. I want to do the easiest thing possible that is going to fix my "issue". I will keep you updated. Thanks for you help. This is the type of stuff I was looking for. Just so you know when you build the deck like I did, all the outer boards are the structure. From my understanding a "rim joist" is the term used when the deck is not attached to the house and its just your outer board. The outer board which I call the "outer ledger" is supporting the whole thing. Basically you have your ledger attatched to the house, the outer boards that are perpindicular to the ledger to the house that are attached to posts, the outer ledger that is parrallel to the ledger connected to the house(which is bolted to posts), and then in the center underneath the deck is a support beam that the joists sit on. I have a 20 foot span off the house. The joists are 10 feet long and connected to another 10 foot long one and just sit on that support beam in the center.
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:56 AM   #12
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Questions on a deck I just built.


You're getting fed some bogus info, not only @ home cheapo, but here too.

You did a pretty good job for a HO, be proud of that.

As far as your rim joist sagging, yes it will over time & may feel a little bouncy there. That should have been doubled up then you would have been fine.

A simple fix is to bolt a new beam to your post, 2 - 2x8's w/1/2" bolts.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:18 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by deckman22 View Post
You're getting fed some bogus info, not only @ home cheapo, but here too.

You did a pretty good job for a HO, be proud of that.

As far as your rim joist sagging, yes it will over time & may feel a little bouncy there. That should have been doubled up then you would have been fine.

A simple fix is to bolt a new beam to your post, 2 - 2x8's w/1/2" bolts.
If I had a wood deck, you are correct that would be pretty simple. If I were to do that though I'd have a big gap at the end of the deck that would not look good. Having the composite with the fascia makes this a bit trickier. Also, if you look at the picture I'd have alot of work to do that because I have all the other posts for the railing i bolted in and more or less I'd have to remove all the carriage bolts from all that which is a a huge pain.

I think the fix I am going to go with is to simply put 3 more post in. That will cut my gap down from 10' to 5'. Right now each post is supporting 100 square foot of decking. By adding 3 posts that cuts that in half and 2 sections of post will only be supporting 50 sq. ft of decking.

I appreciate your comments and your help. Some people were making this tougher than it needed to be. The deck is built. Building codes and other crap aren't helping me with my question. Thanks again and let me know if you think that will be ok.

I also want to add that my buddy that sold the decking to me is helping me fix the problem. I know how this got "screwed" up. I wanted to use the existing concrete piers. When he loaded everything into the computer program he couldn't manipulate it to show the posts I had. It kicked out using 2x8's because it had me having more posts. The simple thing to have done is to have had that outer board that you say that needs "doubled up" to be either a 2X10 or 2X12. I'd go back in and put one of those in, but I'd have to find a way to go one by one with the boards being replaced and find a way to support the deck while I did that. On top of that I'd have to either replace all the joist hangers and carriage bolts or remove all of them and put them back in. It would be a huge pain in the butt. I think putting 3 posts in will solve the problem.
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:16 PM   #14
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Building codes and other crap aren't helping me with my question.
Building codes are the bare minimum standards allowed by law. They by no means infer that the structure is well built only that you have done the bare minimum required by law. If you lack the money, knowledge, and skills to build the structure (or in this case rebuild correctly) to the bare minimum you should not attempt the construction of the structure. Decks are the number one project attempted by homeowners, I do not find it to be a coincidence that the majority are not built to code and have an alarming failure rate. Permits are required for decks as they are structural. Permits also help to insure that the deck is built to at least the bare minimum standard, which has not been accomplished in this situation.

An out of work union carpenter does not constitute an expert on anything carpentry related. The majority of the people representing themselves as carpenters today are in actuality glorified helpers with just enough knowledge to get themselves or someone else in trouble. My suggestion to you is to review the code requirements and bring the structure up to code or tear it down and go without.
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:44 PM   #15
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Questions on a deck I just built.


I agree with the above contributor. We are all trying to help. I am curious as to why your 'union' carpentor friend did not catch any of that. Sounds like the computer was kicking it out because it knew that it was not right...not saying computers are always right, but it should have alerted him to look at it a little closer.

It would have been such a simple thing to do awhile back.

The good news is at least he is going to help you fix it

You mentioned you did not want to put another board on your front board becuase you have the posts bolted and did not want to undo all of them.

You dont have to, you can still put on another board and not have to remove the bolts.

Take the facia board off (simple), then take your new board that you are going to double up your outside board with. LIne it up exactly where you want it...wack it with a dead blow hammer or your hand if can take a little pain...what will happen is where the bolts for your post are, they will indent the new board a lttle bit and make a mark.. where that mark is take a spade bit big enough to fit around the bold (leave some extra room) and drill it however deep it needs to be for the bolt to sit into the new board (I would assume around 3/8" or so).

Now your new outside board will fit flush, screw it on really well and viola you just doubled your 'ledger' and it will really stiffen it up.

This would be the by far easiest fix---couple hours your done.

If you find that when trying to mark the board where the bolts are when you hold it up to it and you cannot see the marks well enough....take some pencil,or chalk or talcum powder or p-aint, whatever and put some on the bolt. Then you will have what the CSI crime show fanatics would call 'transfer'. It will mark where you need to drill for the bolts even easier.

HOpe that helps.

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