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Old 08-30-2012, 06:19 PM   #16
Bill Kearney
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Originally Posted by GBrackins View Post

isn't it the first photo, top left?
I stand corrected, thanks.


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Old 08-30-2012, 07:19 PM   #17
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not correcting, I missed it myself the first look

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Old 08-30-2012, 09:06 PM   #18
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It looks like there's no deck flashing on the ledger. That's another problem that need's addressed. No post bases at all.

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Old 08-31-2012, 12:13 AM   #19
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There is way more wrong with this deck than there is right. The only thing that looks solid to me is the door mat. IMO the only fix is to rip it down and build a proper and secure deck from scratch following code. I designed mine off the national deck code. You can find it all over the internet. Just search "DCA deck code". Make a few calls to your local building inspector as well to verify footing depths, anchoring methods, etc. Deck collapses are serious and can happen without warning in an instant. I would be careful during the demo. It seems like there is a lot of lean from looking at the pictures. I am thinking along the lines of Jenga. Take out the wrong piece and it may come down in a heap.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:07 AM   #20
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Yeah, there's a lot to be said for recognizing when it's more worthwhile to start over. That's my sentiment when looking at what it'd take to properly repair the footings. By the time you struggle with getting holes dug for decent footings (consider local soil and rock conditions) you're going to have wasted a lot of time/labor. Not as much as building a whole new one. But, in my book, it's enough to make it 'good money after bad'.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:19 PM   #21
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1. OP, you said "...last 15 years, the deck post have shifted...". When did you buy your house? If it was recent, you need to contact the home inspector as he or she should have told you about these deck issues.

2. I have seen lots of 2 story decks in my area with 4x4 posts (some that are taller than OP's deck post). Wasn't it an acceptable standard back 15 years ago? I built a deck that was about 4 feet off ground on one side and my bldg inspector said 4x4 was okay to use (I ended up using 6x6 all around).

3. As far as wood posts touching the concrete footer, wasn't that also min. code back 15 years ago for pressure treated wood? Weren't people also burying PT wood post into concrete footing as well?

4. For a 6x6 post, someone mentioned using a 24" diameter sono tube. That is a huge tubing to fill with concrete, especially if you have to dig down 52" or more in Maine.

Problems I see:

1. FOOTING - I can't tell if those concrete thingies are pancake discs or concrete footing buried underground. Where I live, we follow IRC2000 and/or IBC 2000. It says that "...footing shall be min. of 12" in diameter, and at a depth which is below frost level...". I am going to guess that Maine's frost level is somewhere around 50" or so?

2. SUPPORT POST SIZE - I was told that IRC2000/IBC2000 allows using 4x4 post, if you don't exceed the max. height of 8'. Check with your building inspector and decide on 4x4 or 6x6.

3. LEDGER BOARD - This is the lumber that gets attached directly to your house. Someone already pointed out but based on your picture it does not have proper flashing to prevent water penetration into your house, possibly resulting in rot to your key structural pieces (and lots of bugs).

4. FRONT FASCIA BOARD - Check to make sure your floor joists are securely attached to your fascia board/rim joist. Based on your picture, it bows out for whatever reason. Heck, I would check every single joist hangers to look for signs of any corrosion (in case whoever built it did not use galvanized nails)

5. DECK GUARD RAIL - On the same picture as above, your corner post does not look like it is securely attached to the deck framing. I am going to guess those were lag screws attached to the end cap. I read that attaching screws to the end cap is not as strong as attaching from the side so you may want consider moving the post to the inside of a rim joist. Since the whole deck looks like it wasn't built well, I would check those balusters to make sure they are not loose. If you are going to replace the guard posts, reverse the layout so that balusters are mounted inside.

6. DOOR STEP - someone mentioned about it not being flashed? I don't know what that brown rectangle thing is but you need to make sure water doesn't pool there.

7. DECK STEPS - Your picture right next to the ledger board pix, looks like the wood piece that is attached to the rim joist is broken off (I see a rusted nail). Also that gap between the stringer and rim joist looks pretty dangerous.

Some suggestions:

1. SONO TUBES - Sizing of the support post will determine the sono tube sizing. If you are using 4x4, 12" sono tube is the minimum. For 6x6, 14" is the min (No one made 14" sono tubes where I lived so I ended up using 16" tubes). When installing sono tubes, make sure to wrap the outside with heavy plastic sheet which will help prevent frost heaving from the side. Either way, you got some digging to do. Bring lots of friends / beer ball / hand diggers and a clamshell digger (don't drink if planning on using this tool).

2. CONCRETE - According to my town's code, the min strength is 2500 psi. Check this link to calculate the quantity you need (

3. CONCRETE TO POST CONNECTORS - Google Simpson ABE44 or equivalent. Also, it is preferable to bury a long J bolt into concrete for max strength, rather than drilling a hole.

4. POST TO GIRDER (DECK RIM JOISTS) - Simpson LPC4 or equivalent. Check ( to select the appropriate design for that corner without notching the post

5. LEDGER FLASHING - You may need an ugly, band-aid solution to keep water away from your ledger or you are going to have bigger problem then unsafe deck in the future.

I'll echo previous poster. When all said and done, it just might be cheaper and safer to build a new one from the ground up.


"Smart Deck Framing Strategies" from FHB (free,

"Best Practices - Deck Ledger" -


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