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Old 10-11-2007, 12:31 AM   #1
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Ptw 2 by 4's For Deck


Will attaching ptw 2 by 4"s to the joists to use as a screw down surface for deck boards pass code? I cannot use the top surface of the joists as most are badly checked and will not hold a screw for long. The sides and bottom are in good shape. If it passes code, what type of hardware is acceptable for attachment and what should the spacing be?

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Last edited by rjordan392; 10-11-2007 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 10-11-2007, 08:46 AM   #2
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Ptw 2 by 4's For Deck


If the joists are so severely checked that they won't hold a 3" screw, then I think you should worry about the structural integrity of the joists.

Are you sure you're not just seeing surface checking? That's normal on lumber, (esp. PT) as it dries, and doesn't affect screw-holding or strength.

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Old 10-11-2007, 10:47 AM   #3
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Ptw 2 by 4's For Deck


Nate,
The joists may have surface checking. There is no checking on the sides or bottom. I think I used 2-1/2 long deckmate screws and maybe I need a longer screw. About 8 years ago, I replaced the decking and railings and noticed that the joists had checking averaging 1/16 to 1/8 inches wide and are about 3/4 inch deep on the 1/8 size. and did have some concerns if the checking went too deep.
Over time, it appears many of the ptw boards have moved. Some boards have wider gaps at the center and off center then at the ends. Other boards are the opposite. I think my screws slid along some of the checks. They were all spaced 1/8 inch apart when insttalled and now some of the boards have a 3/8 gap between them.
The original fasteners used by the builder were double dipped galvanized nails and I think the use of them without drilling a pilot hole contributed to the checking.
I will take one of the screws out to see what length it is. Perhaps all I need is a longer screw.

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Old 10-11-2007, 11:27 AM   #4
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Ptw 2 by 4's For Deck


The screws are 2-1/2 inches long. So if the checking can go as low as 3/4 inch deep, that leaves me with 3/4 inch holding power. That appears too shallow for a 5/4 deck board. So how long of a screw should I use for the screw to go in the joist under this circunstance to give me the correct holding power?
I just checked a neighbors 6 by 6 support posts and theres checking of 1 inch deep.
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:08 PM   #5
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Ptw 2 by 4's For Deck


The widening gap in your floor surface is due to the pressure treated wood drying out. When installing wet pressure treated decking you aren't supposed to leave any gap in the wood. Over time they will shrink to size. That is unrelated to your joist structure.
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:04 PM   #6
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Ptw 2 by 4's For Deck


I have been reading a lot of threads on the net on composits and I downloaded all the Trex info and now I am going to compare it to Timbertech.
I have samples of Trex showing weathered and unweathered. The concensus seems to lean towards Timbertech judging by the satisfaction by the contractors and homeowners. I am also looking at the hidden fastener system which is appealing to me. Which leads me to think that my idea of installing 2 by 4's along side of the joists, using small lag screws would be better then taken a chance on putting these fasteners right on top of the checks of the joists. Things are still in the planning stage and nothings final.
But I will soon go ahead and purchase the ptw 2 by 4's and let them dry out for the next 6 or 7 months before I install them. The thing that I am concerned about is: Will they shrink enough, over this time, so as not to give me a problem later on. I would not want to see them develop a gap lower then the top edge of the joists. I will wait and see what the opinions are on my plan.
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Old 10-11-2007, 07:18 PM   #7
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Ptw 2 by 4's For Deck


I would advise strongly against putting composite on a frame any older than 5 years. In a few years you have to rip your composite off to replace the joists becasue they went bad. Your much more likely to damage your nice composite doing this.
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Old 10-11-2007, 09:52 PM   #8
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Ptw 2 by 4's For Deck


Robertcdf,
You are so right. I was putting the cart before the horse. I'll see if I can work something out with a contractor to tear it down and just put up new framing and I'll finish it off with my choice of decking and railing. I examined the deck closly today and it does look like I might get 10 more years out of it as it is. But as you advised, new decking and railing will outlast the framing as it is now.
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:14 PM   #9
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Ptw 2 by 4's For Deck


At the risk of Robert hollering at me LOL; why not just sister new joists right now? No need to make a big mess. Even rim joists, sister inside of existing, then apply new top decking to the new joists, seems a bit easier.
OK Robert you can holler now
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:27 PM   #10
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Ptw 2 by 4's For Deck


I would think any issue you are having with the joists would also be effecting what's holding the joists up. So I don't think sistering is the answer.
I think the poster needs to evaluate the structure of the deck accurately. Without the bias of cost which seems to be guiding(clouding?) his judgement.
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:51 PM   #11
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Ptw 2 by 4's For Deck


There are a few reasons I believe I should not attempt that.
1. I am 67 years old and a 2 X 8 X 12 foot joist would be a bit rough for me to handle alone.
2. The additional load may be against code unless extra supports are installed.
3. If extra supports are installed in the correct locations, I may have to give up my parking spot under the deck. In my area, parking is tough enough as it is.
4. I just found out today that our code was updated and now 3 beams sandwiched together are required, whereas it used to be 2. With 3 beams going across my parking spot, brings the roof of my vehicle much closer to the bottom of the beam. The reason being is that my spot is on a downward slope and the vertical distance from the front beam would be the shortest distance to the ground then the rear beam. Right now, I only have a clearance of 2-3/4 inches. Even the joist size has increased to 2 X 10 or 12 I think.
It looks like I may have to go over some calculations to get this to work.
5. And it just won't look right.
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:38 PM   #12
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Ptw 2 by 4's For Deck


Any time you double something up you make it WORSE!! unless you seal that top so no water can get between them. Rot works from the inside out. Doubles promote and hide rot a lot. Every deck I tear down in the middle of the doubles it is very rotted out. I personally seal all double on the decks I built to keep the water out.

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