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Old 04-28-2013, 02:07 PM   #1
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Deck beam and stringer attachment


I am rebuilding a deck/front steps in front of my house. When I talked to a friend (ex-construction worker and part-time carpenter) he suggested a build I have never seen before.

He recommended having my post beam directly under my outer rim joist that my steps attach to (see attached image). His thought was: your rim joist, and all the joists will be directly supported by the beam and posts (no cantilever). When the stringers are attached to the rim joist and side of the beam, it will eliminate the need for a hanger board and again the load on the steps will transfer directly to the beam and posts. His goal was to get as much load directly to the footers as possible.

I asked "why have a beam at all, just have the beams directly support the rim joist?" He argued that notching the post to support the rim joist will only weaken the post; and bolting the rim joist to the posts transfers the load onto hardware/bolt which is much weaker than his idea.

I have not seen this before (I drove around looking at decks and searched the internet). It sounds plausible to me but I'm not a professional. When I pulled the code for my area it says nothing about this. Any reason this won't work?? Ideas?
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:38 PM   #2
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Deck beam and stringer attachment


Find someone else to give you guidance in this. Most areas have certain requirements and restrictions how decks should be built, whether they are what is called a patio style, which is on the ground, or lifted.

Suggest asking your friend, how they suggest you attach the 6x6 to the beam, that is holding the deck. You could have a shop cut a Plate to size out of cold stock, and drill the proper amount of holes, to attach the plates on both sides of the post, to the beam, then also allowing the framing of the deck to be attached to the beam.

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Old 04-28-2013, 02:57 PM   #3
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Deck beam and stringer attachment


Can't these be used to connect the post to the beam? The sketch I attached originally does not have hardware (etc.), just wanted to show an example of what was discussed.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:59 PM   #4
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Deck beam and stringer attachment


You could, but it would be better to get a actual steel plate cut to proper specs, vs. the Simpson hangers. You want to bolt those sections together, not nail them.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:11 PM   #5
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Deck beam and stringer attachment


So are you saying the custom plate with bolt should be used in all beams mounted on top of posts or just in the scenario I brought up?
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:20 PM   #6
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Deck beam and stringer attachment


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
You could, but it would be better to get a actual steel plate cut to proper specs, vs. the Simpson hangers. You want to bolt those sections together, not nail them.
The larger holes in the post to beam bracket picture that he showed are those for using lag screws into the post and beam. Obviously the smaller holes are for the nails.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:28 PM   #7
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Deck beam and stringer attachment


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Originally Posted by markharmon View Post
The larger holes in the post to beam bracket picture that he showed are those for using lag screws into the post and beam. Obviously the smaller holes are for the nails.
Well... actually there mark that is incorrect although I can see how someone would think that. http://www.strongtie.com/products/connectors/bc.asp
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Last edited by kwikfishron; 04-28-2013 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:43 PM   #8
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Deck beam and stringer attachment


The Simpson bracket is specifically made for exactly the purpose you have in mind. From personal experience, I have had excellent results with Simpson brackets, just follow the directions for nailing very carefully. Read the fine print at the bottom of the bracket, it tells you exactly what type of nail to use and where.

As for the design, I see nothing wrong with it structurally, however the final call is ALWAYS by your building inspector, so check with them first. Nothing worse than building your deck, getting your final inspection, and having to remove part of it.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:55 PM   #9
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Deck beam and stringer attachment


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Find someone else to give you guidance in this. Most areas have certain requirements and restrictions how decks should be built, whether they are what is called a patio style, which is on the ground, or lifted.

Suggest asking your friend, how they suggest you attach the 6x6 to the beam, that is holding the deck. You could have a shop cut a Plate to size out of cold stock, and drill the proper amount of holes, to attach the plates on both sides of the post, to the beam, then also allowing the framing of the deck to be attached to the beam.
Why should he? His friend gave him sound advice that would be accepted at every building department I have ever worked with.

Simpson hardware has engineering behind all of it, ANYTHING you do on your own that is not prescriptive (what you're describing with the plate) might be fine BUT nearly any building department is going to require engineering.

You've got a sound plan, submit it to your building department and get your permit and build the deck. Get your friend to help if you can he seems to know what he's talking about.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:58 PM   #10
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Deck beam and stringer attachment


I would extend the 6x6 posts above the deck level to provide solid corner posts for your railings.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:49 PM   #11
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Deck beam and stringer attachment


Thanks for the feedback. I trust my friend's advice and thought structurally it all made sense, but I figured I would throw it out there and see what feedback I got. I am going to finish my plans with this setup and submit for permit later in the week. I will let you know what feedback I get from the building inspector/department.

robertcdf, I have been trying to get him over here to help but he hasn't taken the bait...yet.

Oso954, if I extend the post past the top of the deck I can't top mount the beams. Instead I am going to inside mount the railing posts to the rim joists, block them in and then bolt. From what I've researched this is really sturdy.
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:22 PM   #12
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Deck beam and stringer attachment


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Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post
Well... actually there mark that is incorrect although I can see how someone would think that. http://www.strongtie.com/products/connectors/bc.asp
So, those larger holes are not to be used? I would figure they would be good for a bolt to make it stronger. Just nails would that stuffice?
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:28 PM   #13
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Deck beam and stringer attachment


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So, those larger holes are not to be used? I would figure they would be good for a bolt to make it stronger. Just nails would that stuffice?
That's what Simpson says....can't sat I've never put bolts in there before . Never been called on it though.

No need for them any more if you're using 6x6 for post and notching them like they want to see these days.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:44 PM   #14
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Deck beam and stringer attachment


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Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post
That's what Simpson says....can't sat I've never put bolts in there before . Never been called on it though.

No need for them any more if you're using 6x6 for post and notching them like they want to see these days.
Notching is dumb. Your removing part of the structure by doing that. If that was the case why make post to beam brackets.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:51 PM   #15
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Deck beam and stringer attachment


Notching is a perfectly acceptable alternative to a bracket, provided you use a 6x6 post (this is required under the current IRC building code for decks). The fact that you remove part of the post by notching has no deleterious structural effect because the load on the post is primarily downward, and there is plenty of bearing area. When using a notched post, the beam is bolted through to insure that the beam remains seated over the post in the event of horizontal forces such as seismic, impact, wind, or just a wild party on the deck.

As to the design of the Simpson bracket, bear in mind that Simpson (and other bracket manufacturers) have a staff of engineers who design, test and review the performance of their brackets. The bracket and nails are designed as a system. The bracket needs to provide load resistance against shear, torsion, and bending, and the manufacturer goes to considerable effort to make sure that the rated strength is achieved using the recommended fastening system. Adding a bolt or changing the nailing pattern or type of nail is likely to have unanticipated consequences, and will certainly void any warranty Simpson or any other manufacturer of similar brackets makes. As to making it "stronger", that is not necessarily the case, as the limiting factor could be the wood in shear or bending, the nails, or the bracket itself. As in all structural applications, the design performance is always governed by the weakest link in the strength chain.

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