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Old 05-29-2011, 03:48 AM   #16
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new deck sways


I agree with Aggie67; no way. After additional review of the pictures, you may need to start over...granted, not what you want to hear.

1) joists (visually) appear to be 24" on center; marginal if 2x6 deck boards, but yours are at a 45 degree...exceeding a 24" max span. Have you verified spacing? Deck board size?
2) it appears that there used to be a concrete patio under the deck that was cut away...with some of the posts resting on the old patio as a pad! No way...you must dig footers to code specified depth for EACH post.
3). Posts are undersized and unevenly spaced, and supported by ??? Some seem to be only resting on concrete. Secured how? Concrete in or on wood will rot, PT or not.
4) no evidence of double bands.
5). No girders (support beams) for the joists.
6) no blocking between joists.
7). How is the ledger fastened to the house band? Flashed properly? Bolted or lagged? Many areas will not allow lag bolts, but require through bolts.

These are not minor issues...think of the prying load being placed on the ledger board at the house when the deck sways (plus the dead load)! That's a mighty long lever (length of 2 decks)...and that's without a significant live load.

Get it inspected and engineer it right.

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Old 05-29-2011, 06:43 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Rbneron View Post
After additional review of the pictures, you may need to start over...granted, not what you want to hear.
I think starting over is a bit much. Itís would be pretty easy to temp up that deck add joist and rework the post and beam to meet code.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:30 AM   #18
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This is an existing deck, which for all we know may have met code at the time it was constructed, in which case it would presumably be grandfathered. I agree that discussing rebuild is way overkill at this point. The OPS started out wondering about bracing, and somehow this thread morphed into a forensic examination of all the problems with the deck. Possibly of interest to the OPS, possibly not. As for the bracing, it is certainly possible to add bracing to this deck, typically it would be done using 2x4 PT or 2x6 PT elements at approximately 45 degrees between posts, see Figure 22 in the "Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide" IRC 2006 edition for a full discussion about how to install the braces.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:30 AM   #19
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It's not up to me...the question is whether it can be made to meet code by just addressing the posts and beams. It would still fail in my area due to joist spacing and inadequate banding (if confirmed).

I'd double check everything, given the shortcuts noted just from the pictures. This deck is a good example why code inspectors often don't like dealing with DIY's. I doubt a permit was ever pulled, and shame on the home inspector who didn't highlight these issues during the inspection prior to purchase by the new homeowner.

There are deck codes for a reason; code is the minimum requirement. People underestimate the loads on a deck, particularly with a large group if people using it. Failure of a deck can have disastrous consequences; it happens.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:44 AM   #20
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It "morphed" as any structural changes to the deck structure in most areas would REQUIRE a permit, regardless of when the deck was built; it would have to be brought to current code.

The question was why there was excessive sway and how to address it. Causes are multiple, and addressing it will require structural changes. If a permit is required, the OPS might not like the answer.
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Old 05-29-2011, 09:28 AM   #21
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This isn’t rocket science here. It’s pretty obvious why there’s movement. If correcting the movement (swaying) is the only question then some simple cross bracing from rim to post base should take care of that.

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