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Ontario Buckeye 02-25-2010 02:11 PM

Drafting questions for deck
I am planning to build an attached deck this spring. The rub is that the footings have already been placed. They are 11ft from the house and 14ft apart. I am thinking of adding a post in the middle and another 7ft down, making the deck 12ft x 21ft with 4 4x4 posts, 7ft apart. I was also thinking of a 2 piece 2x10 beam on top of the posts. The deck will be about 4ft off the ground and attached to the house using 2x10 ledger with z-flashing

Does it seem like over kill for 4 posts? I don't want to make more work for myself by putting 4 posts on a 21ft deck, but I want to make sure it is safe while using what is already there.

Are 4x4 post enough or should I go to 6x6?

I have read that a lot of people recommend going on top of the post, rather than the sandwich tech. Are two 2x10 on top enough?

Any advance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Ron6519 02-26-2010 07:08 AM

Has this deck plan been overseen by anyone who knows the building code in your area? It sounds like the deck will be under structured by the description.
Why don't you actually draw the exact plan you want to do and post it. The vague description isn't too helpful.

Scuba_Dave 02-26-2010 09:20 AM

IMO there is no such thing as overkill when building a deck
My posts are about 6' apart, beams 8' apart
My joist are 12" OC instead of 16"

Ontario Buckeye 02-26-2010 09:25 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Hopefully this helps. If more info is needed, please let me know. Thanks

drtbk4ever 02-26-2010 11:41 AM

I think the most important thing you should do is first check out your town's (or city or county's) website. You need to know the building codes in your area for decks. If it isn't on their website go to their offices and get the codes and a permit if required.

You will want to make sure the footings you have (and are putting in) are appropriate. You need to make sure your attachment to the house is up to code, and you need to make sure the span and overhang of your joists not only meets code, but maybe even better than code. Then you will need to understand the railing and stair codes in your area too.

The guys on this site have a wealth of knowledge, but the first thing you will learn here is that the guys will tell you what you NEED to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear.

Then we also ask that you show us pictures of your before/during/after. We love to see successful DIY projects.

Ron6519 02-26-2010 12:21 PM


Originally Posted by Ontario Buckeye (Post 406209)
Hopefully this helps. If more info is needed, please let me know. Thanks

Pour the additional piers.
Use 6x6 posts.
I would notch the 6x6's and double bolt through all 3 framing members.
If you don't know exactly how to install the ledger flashing correctly, pour 4 more piers and float the deck.

Ontario Buckeye 05-11-2010 07:44 AM

1 Attachment(s)
So, I wanted to update everyone on what was going on with this project.

I decided to use the 2 footings for 2 different tiered decks. I poured an additional 2 footings, so each tier uses 1 old and 1 new footing. I decided to use 6x6 posts, 2x10 joists, (3) 2x12 beams (as recommended by the American Wood Council), a 2x12 ledger and 5/4x6 Cedar decking. I originally started with 16 o.c. joists, but decided after the first tier to lay the decking diagonally, thus needed to have 12" o.c. So, I built the second tier at 12" o.c. and went back and added joist to the first tier, actually making them 8" o.c. It has created A LOT of extra weight, but the inspector was OK with the changes, even though they deviated from the plans submitted for the permit. I also decided that I would use Shadoe Track Hidden Fasteners to connect the decking to the joist without visible screw holes, which I am in the process of fastening currently. Here is a picture of the joists and blocking. I am hoping to take some pictures of the posts and beams and will add them when I can. I will update next week after we get the decking on and hopefully some rails and/or some stairs. Stay tuned!

Willie T 05-11-2010 08:08 AM

I know he's mostly finished, but for others considering a deck......

Check the building department!

Remember that attaching to the house may not be allowed in some municipalities.

You will likely be required to provide continuous 'tie-down' from the footer all the way to the top. With this in mind, make your beams the exact width of the posts, set them on top of the posts, and join them together with nailer plates on each side.

Sandwiching the post between joists is never a good solution... all your weight is then being carried by only the lateral (shear) strength of the bolts.

Also, KREG makes a jig whereby you have hidden screws without using ANY fastener clips. And you can screw each piece of decking from BOTH sides. It's really neat.

Ontario Buckeye 05-11-2010 08:13 AM

I actually did use the same size beam as posts, put them on top and joined them together with nailer plates on each side. I am glad you agree with what I did. I have followed code for my municipality, received a permit and have had the inspector out twice. I also attached the ledger to the foundation rather than the floor joist through the siding. Sorry that I didn't put all that in my update.

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