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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Need help fixing deck in violation

I guess I should start by saying why am I not surprised...

I have begun working on a design to expand our homes existing deck. So I started reading our forum. I found the attached document from the AWC. Reading this I now am worried whether the existing deck is in violation and if I try and add on will I be forced to do it over?

On page 8 it shows a diagram of "Prohibited Post to Beam Condition," well I have that two 2 x 10's attached to a 6x6 and to make matters worse I only have one bolt. So does diagram indicate all types like this are prohibited or just with two screws. wishful thinking

If there is no permit on file could a code inspector force me to dig up footers to verify they are done right? This deck was probably done between 2002 and 2005.

Assuming this is a fail scenario can I try and rescue by lowering deck equivalent of one step, or is since the attachment to the house is at this level I'm up a river without a paddle?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Can't get file to attach will link shortly
 

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I guess I should start by saying why am I not surprised...

I have begun working on a design to expand our homes existing deck. So I started reading our forum. I found the attached document from the AWC. Reading this I now am worried whether the existing deck is in violation and if I try and add on will I be forced to do it over?

On page 8 it shows a diagram of "Prohibited Post to Beam Condition," well I have that two 2 x 10's attached to a 6x6 and to make matters worse I only have one bolt. So does diagram indicate all types like this are prohibited or just with two screws. wishful thinking

If there is no permit on file could a code inspector force me to dig up footers to verify they are done right? This deck was probably done between 2002 and 2005.

Assuming this is a fail scenario can I try and rescue by lowering deck equivalent of one step, or is since the attachment to the house is at this level I'm up a river without a paddle?
You need to talk to your inspector anyway for the new deck, so why not just call and ask your questions there?
 

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Didn't this(unpermitted work) come up when you bought the house? Your lawyer should have been all over this.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Had a home inspector look at home. Was not in the list of problems. House was a foreclosure so knew I'd have to accept some remodeling.

Maybe my view of code inspectors isn't right. Being from Chicago, I just fear being fined until the situation is remedied.

Here is the reference:

http://www.awc.org/Publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6-09.pdf

Didn't this(unpermitted work) come up when you bought the house? Your lawyer should have been all over this.
Bank had to fix a lot of stuff identified by the home inspector this wasn't one fo them. Not to mention things I have found behind walls.
 

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Go down to the Building Dept.

You need to draw preliminary "as built" plans for the existing deck. Determine the diameter of the piers and use a post hole digger or a shovel to dig down on one side of at least two piers to determine their depth below grade. Draw up preliminary plans for the deck addition and head down to the Building Dept. and speak with the plans examiner or building inspector. Photos are always helpful. I say preliminary plans unless you know that the Building Dept. will accept plans drawn by a homeowner or if the plans are required to be sealed and signed by a "design professional", e.g. registered architect or professional engineer. The Building Dept. can determine if the existing deck is in compliance and, if not, what you need to do to correct the deficencies. Be sure to take a copy of your survey with you. They will also address zoning issues if your community has any, e.g. set back from lot lines and percentage of lot coverage. The sooner you correct a problem the easier it is to correct. good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
You need to draw preliminary "as built" plans for the existing deck. Determine the diameter...

... from lot lines and percentage of lot coverage. The sooner you correct a problem the easier it is to correct. good luck.
The county will give me two years on the permit to remedy any violations in the current deck along with the addition. So now I need to determine how to fix this? I'd prefer to go into the county with a "compliant" solution as opposed to having them tell me their solution.

I am going to want to leave the existing ledger board in place so if the single bolts are at a consistent height from the top of the post and at least 2" down can I notch the existing posts and install new joists? If not am I forced to at least lower deck to the height of one or more steps? Will I then have to lower/replace ledger board or can I make a really wide single step?

http://www.diychatroom.com/attachments/f49/17984d1266814136-chris-diy-guy-vs-ranch-100_2676.jpg

Current deck is 10' x 15' with the ledger board being on the 10' side.

I am going to have to post a few more pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, went outside to look at it closer and it gets worse. Turns out there are no bolts instead they are cut off threaded rods. They are drilled at least 4" down from the top of the current joist. However, post are 4" taller than the top of the joists.
 

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Saving the Deck

I thought I posted a reply last evening but I do not see it so I wonder what I did wrong or where it is. Here goes again. As long as the ledger is lag bolted or through bolted to the rim board (box beam) of the house then the ledger can stay as far as structure, just make sure it is properly bolted both in the upper and lower portions of the board. With the girder you can drill through the 2 X 10, 6 X 6 and 2 X 10 and add one or two more carriage bolts to each post but for this design your county may require the seal and signature of a design professional. I am pretty simple, I like the load to bear directly over a structural member that way you know the dead and live loads are transferred down. I suggest you consider support the joists temporarily, remove the girder and cut the posts; using the proper metal connecter install a new girder, toe nail the joists to the girder and use metal clips as well. This will place the girder directly over the posts. I assume for the 15' span you have two girders. The other option is to construct another girder a comfortable working distance from the existing girder. Working under the deck to dig new piers could be tough but the carpentry should go well. Make sure that you use the proper type of nails and metal connectors; e.g. double zinc or stainless steel. Many metals corrode rather quickly when in contact with treated lumber. I've used stainless since CCA left the market. If you wish to lower the deck check with your local codes to see if you can have a step outside of the door or if a platform is required; a step being about 10" - 12" deep where a platform is likely to be required to be at least 36" deep. If you lower the deck you may have to reconstruct your stair, remember the risers must all be the same. The tolerance between the greatest rise and lowest rise is likely permitted to be no greater then 3/8". check with your county. Also, closed risers are required by most codes. Often decks constructed without the benefit of a building permit are deficient at the piers, the post to pier connection, guards, railings and stairs. Post a couple of more photos and I am sure someone will comment. good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
This deck is attached to the house and has twelve 6 by posts. I guess since its up in the air makes it look gangly.

Initial thought is to make a platform to the second row of posts and lower the remaining deck and enlarge it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok, Ok, now I am confused. I just saw a newly professionally built sunroom, municipality inspected (not my county though), supported on one end by a ledger board and the other by three 6 x 6 posts utilizing the "prohibited post connection." So is this or not a prohibited connection? Sunroom I would describe as very nice enclosed 3 season screened porch on top of a deck.
 

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Ok, Ok, now I am confused. I just saw a newly professionally built sunroom, municipality inspected (not my county though), supported on one end by a ledger board and the other by three 6 x 6 posts utilizing the "prohibited post connection." So is this or not a prohibited connection? Sunroom I would describe as very nice enclosed 3 season screened porch on top of a deck.
That’s why it’s important for you to go down to “your” building department and find out which code guidelines they follow.

How can you plan anything if you don’t know the rules.

Go pick up a permit application, they will likely give you a packet with the info you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That’s why it’s important for you to go down to “your” building department and find out which code guidelines they follow.

How can you plan anything if you don’t know the rules.

Go pick up a permit application, they will likely give you a packet with the info you need.
Thanks, I understand that totally, I guess it's semantics. When something has been identified as "prohibited," it just worries me when it's still accepted. Has to be some reason it's prohibited. Not just out the blue...
 

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I bet Simpson makes a fastener that is u-shaped and sits on post. Clip the post flush with bottom of beam and slide bracket in. just a thought
 

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Thanks, I understand that totally, I guess it's semantics. When something has been identified as "prohibited," it just worries me when it's still accepted. Has to be some reason it's prohibited. Not just out the blue...
If you understand it, how come you're not doing it? You've been told how many times to go down to your building department and ask them. What part of that don't you understand?
 

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If you are so worried about the building deptment don't give an address just ask questions and they will give you handouts and guidlines to follow.
 
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