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nate1 07-18-2012 07:08 PM

Repairing a Poorly Supported Deck
I recently bought a home and realized today that my deck is not supported by much at all, and it needs added support. I have built 3 new decks in the past year, as side jobs to my primary job, and know how to build a new deck to code. This deck (actually it's a screened in porch), though, is/has the following:
approx. 3 feet off of the ground, 16' x 16',
in the corner of a brick foundation, with screened walls,
and a independent roof,
2 ledgers, attached to the brick with NAILS,
and a header and rim joist that are basically floating in mid air.
If you add each corner, the center of each rim, and the center, as places supports should be, the sum would be nine. This deck has 3 supports that are not visually RAISED off the ground (but still attached to the joists)
plus the joists are not strong and are sitting on single concrete blocks. I want to add joists, posts, lag bolts, etc. I don't want to rip out the deck because all the wood is in good condition. What I don't know is how to dig holes, tamp dirt, move in concrete, etc. with only 3 foot clearance. Any help would be appreciated, and I'll try to post some pictures.

oh'mike 07-18-2012 07:58 PM

Post a picture--My first thought would be to remove the deck boards so you can work easily---

Also consider piers near the house and make the deck independent of the brick wall--free standing---

If it's face brick--the fasteners need to go through the brick and into the rim joist of the house---

Daniel Holzman 07-18-2012 09:32 PM

From your description of the deck, it sounds like at best it is good salvage material, which you can incorporate into your new deck framing. Consider tearing it down and starting over, which would probably be easier and more effective than trying to work around obvious space limitations.

Duckweather 07-18-2012 09:43 PM

If you have to save it, dig your holes the wide enough for a tube base. Start 4 feet out or so and dig at an angle toward the deck. You will be digging from outside the structure for most of it instead of under it

joecaption 07-18-2012 10:09 PM

Without being able to see it no ones going to be much help.
But in most cases Dans right. time and time again when i see one like this the home owner always says I do not want to take it down.
That's fine with me because I get paid by the hour and it's going to take twice as long and still not be as good as it would have been if we started with a blank slate.

COLDIRON 07-19-2012 06:37 AM

I would follow duckweather advise for the supports and at the ledger I would use a rotating hammer drill to get through the bricks to the house box if possible and thru bolt it with long all tread, nuts, bolts and washers. That's if you can get to the house side of the drilled holes to install the nuts and washers.

oh'mike 07-19-2012 07:01 AM

Nate---You can see there is a line forming to help you---
But we need more info-----

Several good ways to pull this off----so ---ADD some info---Mike----

nate1 07-20-2012 11:55 PM

6 Attachment(s)
Ok, first of all I would like to thank you all for the amazingly quick replies. Most likely from your support alone, I was motivated today and took pictures which are shown below. As you can see it is not really just a deck.. there is a lot involved with a demo of the porch. My plan was to install (5) 6x6 posts around the rim joists set in concrete tubes, add an additional outer joist, add joist hangers, and secure the ledgers to the house frame using inside access from the full basement. I'm trying post pictures but this site is not making it easy.

oh'mike 07-21-2012 06:04 AM

These will help---

I don't have time now,so I'll only mention this---

Post set in concrete are no longer allowed in most areas---best to cast a pier and set the post on top--

The new ACQ treated wood doesn't have the rot resistance that the old copper arsenic treated wood had.

nate1 07-21-2012 04:31 PM

6 Attachment(s)
Here are more pictures, and I live in Alabama, so frost is not an issue.

oh'mike 07-21-2012 06:27 PM

No way I can see to dig a 24" deep x 10" round hole without removing deck boards---get a deck permit application--or go on line to the local code enforcement and check and see what your current code calls for---

I suspect that a permit will not be required for a repair---but it's always smart to build to code--or exceed it---

Duckweather 07-23-2012 05:39 PM

The plot thickens.

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