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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My plan is to replace the decking, railing, and stairs with new pressure-treated wood the same as the pieces that have been there for 20+ years. The joists are fine, and so are the footings. So I think I should have little trouble--all I need to do is buy the parts, cut them to length, and put them back together the way they came apart. Simple, right? :)

I have one structural problem. Or is it a problem? Whoever built this deck (the previous owner, as far as I know) did an interesting thing with the joists. At the ledger board, they're 16" o.c. At the other end, some of them are 16" o.c. But a couple of them are 14", 17.5", even 19". Looks like they just eyeballed it.

What should I do, if anything, to correct this?

Thanks.
 

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It's been up for 20 years, I don't think you need to change it now unless you want to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's been up for 20 years, I don't think you need to change it now unless you want to.
Sure; it hasn't hurt anything. Not that we use the deck much. But one reason I might want to is if I want to sell the house. Is an inspector likely to look for that sort of thing? Will they measure the joists and say 'Hey, this doesn't meet code!"?

The other reason is that I want to do things right. I don't want to do a project of this size (it's big for me, anyway) and leave a major adjustment unmade if it's easy to fix while the flooring and railings are off.
 

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i am defiantly not an inspector but i would assume as long as your deck looks nice and is not wobbly or leaning to one side an inspector will more than likely Not crawl under your deck and measure the joists. they didnt do that when i bought my home. in fact my deck did not even have a railing on it. it is about 3-4feet off the ground and he didnt even say hey u should have a railing on there. i have since added one.
 

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Sure; it hasn't hurt anything. Not that we use the deck much. But one reason I might want to is if I want to sell the house. Is an inspector likely to look for that sort of thing? Will they measure the joists and say 'Hey, this doesn't meet code!"?

The other reason is that I want to do things right. I don't want to do a project of this size (it's big for me, anyway) and leave a major adjustment unmade if it's easy to fix while the flooring and railings are off.
Don't understand the post then. If you're going to change it, why ask if it's necessary?
Change it if you want.
It makes no structrural difference one way or the other.
No inspector, short of Mike Holmes on camera, will flag the issue.
This is purely a personal issue and you should be happy with the end product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Whoops; sorry if I wasn't clear. I'm going to change it only if I need to--that is, only if I should move them to make them all 16" o.c. at both ends, or maybe add a joist here and there in the gaps that are more than 16". So my question remains. Should I bother? So far the answer appears to be Naaaah.

What I am changing is everything above the joists: decking, posts, railings, balusters. And stairs. New pt wood, and putting the posts on right. The ones there now are not notched; they're just nailed, not bolted, into the rim joists.
 

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if they are in good shape and the framing is sturdy i wouldn't bother.. if u are worried about a possible inspection maybe do as u stated and just add one in between the ones that are farthest apart from each other. however if u are having mike holmes inspect it then fix it cuz he will just demo the whole thing and start over and complain about why someone would do this it should be done right no short cuts!!!lmao!
 

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If the joists are on hangers, the perfectionist in me would be tempted to move them closer to true 16" centers but I don't think you need to. And if they have been sitting that way you will have potential trouble bending them three inches in your most extreme case.

Practically, I would leave them alone. Make some marks somewhere though for those off three inches so you remember and are not trying to screw decking into thin air.

An nasty inspector or one working for a new buyer might ding you in hopes of getting a few pesos knocked off the sales price for deck repairs. Of course the money will never be used for such a purpose. I guess if you are at all concerned about this possibility the time to fix the situation is when you have the decking off and can get to the joists.

Essentially, it is up to you I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, that's the other thing. They're on hangers on the ledger board, but they're nailed in at the rim joist. And the hangers at the ledger board have nails in all the holes, but on the joist side, there is one nail and three empty holes on each side of every joist. Sheesh.
 
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