Help with Deck Flooring Support
I am looking at building a small deck off the side of the house to make it easier to come and go from that door. So just an 8 x12 deck. (Eight feet out from the house, 12 feet along the side of the house).
So my question is: does it matter which way the floor beams go? To me, it seems they should go perpendicular to the house, not parallel....I thought I read somewhere that going perpendicular provides more strength. On a selfish note, it would be easier for me to transport a lot of 8 foot lumber as opposed to a lot of 12 foot lumber!
It depends how you construct the deck - whether or not you use post-beam-joist-decking or post-beam-decking.
It also depends on whether you are attaching the deck to a ledger (the beam or joist sits on the ledger), or whether it is free-standing (you can choose to have the decking parallel or perpendicular, whatever your preference).
You don't have to use 12 ft. lumber. Most 12' wide decks are constructed using 8 ft. lumber - just stagger where the 8' and 4' deck boards meet.
Both ways would work but I think running it parallel to the house would look a whole lot better.
As long as you use the correct hangers and fastners and right width floor joist and frame it right both would be just as strong.
When people try to cheap out and use 4 X 4's instead of 6 X 6's, use under sized floor joist, not use screws and use nails instead to attach the deck boards, do not notch out the support post so the rim joist are fully supported, just face nail the rim joist instead of using through bolt.
If you think you can get by with 2 X 6's for floor joist go with 2 X 8's instead. If you use 2 X 8 floor joist go with 2 X 10 rim joist. What good is a deck that bounces?
A long lasting deck takes a little more time and money. Cheap out and regret it later.
Rule # 1 Do not have any deck stoop or patio level with any door openings! It has to be at least 4" below it to stop water from getting in.
#2 Try to always build the deck free standing not attached to the house. This way there no chance of damage to the home.
#3 Do not run the deck boards tight up againt the siding. It needs to be able to drain, and makes it near impossble to to stain the deck and not get stain on the siding.
Use screws in predrilled clearance holes not finish nails to attach the ballisters, they will be stronger, can be removed easy when one of then starts to curl, and will not split if you predill.
Use ceramic coated scews not galvinized so there never going to rust out.
Talked with the local building inspector. He had some good points.
Use 6x6 posts.
Use 2x8 minimum for joists, that meets code, but would rather see 2x10s. (He will approve 2x8s though, and here I thought I was going to get away with 2x6s)!
Since at one point the deck is 8 feet above the ground, it has to be attached to the house. Like you Joe, he prefers freestanding, but given the height, said local code requires me to attach it to the house.
I know what you mean about decking, whoever did our large deck, used BRAD nails on the decking. Guess how many of those pop up each DAY?!!
A lady down the street from me was having an above ground pool but in so I stopped by to ask if she wanted me to build a deck for it. She said no because the pool company had already suggested a differant company.
Years later she hired me to go back and rebuild the whole thing.
That had used what looked like smooth siding nails that were only 1-1/4 long for the decking. Tryed to make an 8' gate that was not auto closing and no latch out of 2 X 4's with no cross supports, used short non galvinized finish nails on the balisters, tryed just using toe nailed post for the railings nailed to nothng but the deck boards. Used stacked up cement blocks for the steps just sitting on the ground.
The attachment would not be a bearing point though. I would recommend this approach.
There are other considerations in the design of this deck because of the area you reside in to take into account.
After considering all the facts, and making a painstaking analysis of all the posts so far in this thread, my expert opinion is that 8 ft lengths would be better than 12 ft lengths.
Seems to me that the simpler way to build is 8' joists running perpendicular to the house/ledger to a double rim joist (band). That's assuming you can set your posts 8' out from the house. Use joist hangers. That way your deck boards will run parallel to the house. 12' 5/4 boards are easier to handle than 12' 2x10s, or you can use 8 footers, butted over a joist.
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