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mrwoodty 09-29-2013 08:23 PM

Added support under patio deck
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My brother bought a vacation cabin and there was no diagonal supports below the deck, as you can see from the picture the deck is approx. 20 to 25' off the ground so we were concerned. The house was inspected during the purchase and the deck was considered safe. We added the redwood supports shown in the picture just to be safe and I was wondering if anyone had any comments or opinions regarding the support of the deck.

joecaption 09-30-2013 07:04 AM

I'm amazed that would have passed any inspections in your area.
What you added will help for sure.

md2lgyk 09-30-2013 09:30 AM

Considering where you live, I'm also amazed. I grew up not far from you (Santa Rosa) and they have codes I've sure not heard of anywhere else.

Oso954 09-30-2013 10:27 AM

What were the home inspectors qualifications ?
Just because he said adequate, does not mean it meets code, or that it is safe.

Your brother could start by taking that pic into the AHJ's office. See if they have any concerns. Some of them will inspect the high decks on request.
If they find problems, they will red tag it.

Otherwise, an engineer or trusted deck contractor could inspect it.

mrwoodty 09-30-2013 01:16 PM

Just as a follow up I looked at several other decks in the area over the weekend and almost all of them seem to have inadequate bracing. I looked up several building codes for decks and followed the guidelines. We used 2" X 6" redwood diagonal bracing on all three bays and 2" X 4" horizontal bracing below and 1/2" galvanized hardware at all connections. I will try and follow up with an inspection but I think what we used seems to be sufficient.

rossfingal 09-30-2013 03:20 PM

It's good that you braced it!
Around here - without the braces -
It would not pass!
The joints on the posts would not pass, either!

(Unless, the length of the posts are continuous.)

Also, maybe there should be bracing going toward the building!!

Daniel Holzman 09-30-2013 06:11 PM

"The house was inspected during the purchase and the deck was considered safe."

I don't really understand this statement. Who considered the deck "safe"? No inspector who understands his profession would ever make a comment like that, certainly not in a written report, as inspectors are typically not trained (and are certainly not paid) to offer structural opinions on the adequacy of deck construction. Certainly not in a seismic zone like California. An inspector who offered such an opinion would be opening themselves up to enormous liability, something which they surely would not want.

Your diagonal bracing is certainly a good idea. Whether or not the deck meets code, even with the bracing, is a complicated question that can only be answered by the local code enforcement official. Note that given the height of the deck, it is taller than decks discussed in the Prescriptive Residential Guide to Deck Construction, hence is not covered by that document.

ben's plumbing 09-30-2013 08:23 PM

the added supports will help ...but in know way would I leave it that way I agree with everyones comments..the inspector missed it big time...if it were mine... I would replace the verticial supports with properly sized material... just saying...ben sr

mrwoodty 09-30-2013 09:39 PM

The vertical supports are 4" x 6" what would be the proper size for these, I could not see any decks in the area that had wider than 4" x 6" supports

rossfingal 10-01-2013 05:12 AM

We would use (at least) 6 X 6's.


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