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Thread: Ready to begin building the porch, but...

  1. #1
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    Ready to begin building the porch, but...

    Ready to begin building the porch, but...the city isn't being very helpful. From one phone call I know, for instance, that the post holes have to be 36" deep and that the posts have to have positive contact with the footings. I know from another call that the railings can be applied instead of through and that the fancy Z-max hardware isn't required.

    Problem is it's like pulling teeth to get these answers. The rules & regs aren't posted on the city website, and (according to my last phone call) there isn't anything I can look at if I go up to city hall. I did finally get the guy to say that if I follow the national codes, I should be okay.

    So where can I go to find that? I don't have that many questions - this isn't my first deck, though the last one was several years ago - and I'm a little tired of getting the dumb-good-ol'-boy-public-servant treatment. Or do ya'll mind answering what few questions I have here?
    Bill in Kansas City, MO

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    deck

    I know for fact that the sonotube pilings need to be below the frost line, otherwise they'll heave when the ground thaws. the post anchors are put in either after the concrete has cured or you put in a concrete anchor in the pour [ the post anchor] bolts on the anchor - the post just gets nailed onto the post anchor. my son used 6x6 posts on his deck. the corner posts go all the way up as does any intermediate posts so the railings will have something solid to fasten to. you can bolt posts to the fascia board with carriage bolts, but it won't be as secure as a post going all the way up. the top rail and bottom rail are just toe - screwed into the posts. a decorative top plate is screwed to the top rail from underneath.
    maybe check out hgtv for helps nation wide on assembling a deck.

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    Code is code in all states it's the same, the difference is how the various jurisdictions interpret this code. Many times there can also be an "inspectors interpretation".

    We would need your specific details but as a guide:

    Any deck with a height over the ground greater than 30" must have a handrail. This handrail must be 36". This same code applies to any steps to any deck over 30" above grade. Steps must have at least one handrail.
    A garden with big shrubs close to the deck does not trump the handrail code, it is strictly on finished grade height on any open side of the deck. You can raise the grade around the deck with soil etc. to fall under the 30" rule, however this can get tricky with inspectors interpretation.
    All footings must be below the frost line. (prevents heaving from frozen ground). You can concrete the posts directly in the ground but any lumber making ground (concrete is the same) contact must be rated for such ( ACC/ACQ treated lumber).
    The construction principles for the deck joists/girders etc... be the same as if you were building a house, for example lumber is to be sized for spans (2x10 SPF has a max. exterior span of 14' 9").
    A deck height in relation to any door accessing the deck must not be lower than 8 1/4" (stair riser height).
    All fastening products must be rated for exterior use (Coated, Galvanized or stainless steel etc...).

    Personally I am not a huge fan of posts coming from the ground up to rail tops unless it is seasoned lumber, I hate handrails and posts that are warped and twisted it spoils the look of a deck IMO. I generally build decks to a framing stage and then add in the posts as the shorter post sections tend to remain straighter, In many cases I use composite posts for this very reason. I always use DTT2 Simpson post ties no matter what.
    Never nail the deck ledger to the house (EVER) decks closer to the ground I always build unattached to the house this allows the two to move independently and there is never a fear of water mitigation and flashing issues, with decks on upper house levels the ledger must be attached with "Ledger bolts" lag bolts, "Ledger Locks" etc... and must find 2x lumber to bolt to. Always stagger the bolts when making this attachment (one up, one down, one up etc...) and as a general rule they are on 16" centers.

    Hope this helps
    Last edited by pushkins; 11-15-2012 at 08:11 AM.
    Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pushkins View Post
    Never nail the deck ledger to the house (EVER) decks closer to the ground I always build unattached to the house this allows the two to move independently and there is never a fear of water mitigation and flashing issues, with decks on upper house levels the ledger must be attached with "Ledger bolts" lag bolts, "Ledger Locks" etc... and must find 2x lumber to bolt to. Always stagger the bolts when making this attachment (one up, one down, one up etc...) and as a general rule they are on 16" centers.

    Hope this helps
    Quite a lot, thank you. I knew about not nailing ledger boards from my last deck project, and in any case that lesson was driven home several years ago by a local news story about a 2nd story deck full of partying high school students that crashed down because it was nailed instead of bolted.

    You answered one of my specific questions, too. The local inspector allows the use of Ledger Locks instead of lag bolts, but I could never pin him down about spacing. Every 16", staggered. Perfect.

    You say you sometimes DON'T attach to the house? I'd not given that any thought really, but I can see where there would be advantages to that. Any disadvantages?

    Another specific question: the local inspector allows straight nailing in the framing in lieu of joist hangers, "if you do it right." When I asked him what "right" meant, he referred me to the national code. Can I assume that means 16d common galvanized, three on each end through the framing?

    The details on the deck itself: 5' x 15', from 26" to 30" high. ACQ treated lumber for all elements (I'd love to use composite decking, but it's not in the budget). 2x8 joists, 16" on center. I plan to put a railing on eventually, even though it's not required, mostly for appearance's sake and the fact that I have elderly relatives who would find the railing helpful to climb the stairs.
    Bill in Kansas City, MO

    Measure with a micrometer
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    Quote Originally Posted by pushkins View Post
    I generally build decks to a framing stage and then add in the posts as the shorter post sections tend to remain straighter
    Can you say more about how that method works?
    Bill in Kansas City, MO

    Measure with a micrometer
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    Cut with an axe.

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    Ledger Locks are my preferred bolting method by far.
    Under 4' off the ground I seldom ever attach to the house the advantages are many (no flashing required, no siding issues to deal with, never a water mitigation issue down bolts, screws etc... into the house). The only disadvantage would be a little more work with posts and a bearer near the house.
    End nailing is not a good method I believe your inspector is referring to "toe nailing" on a diagonal through the end of the joist into the bearer. I don't do this either, I always use joist hangers or galvanized "L" brackets on end joists. (Simpson do make a special joist hanger for end joists).
    I must add though that I prefer to have my joists sit on top of the bearers where ever possible/practical, when doing this I use rafter ties to hold the joist down on the bearer.

    The following link will show you how the DTT2 post tie works by making the post's attachment to the joist. Traditionally the post was bolted to the band/rim board or last joist (in some cases) but the leverage on the post from 36" up twists the band, rim or joist making the post wobbly.

    http://www.strongtie.com/ftp/catalog...-2011-p183.pdf

    Your deck is only 5' wide and 15' long, so you could put your first row of posts at 1' from house and the second row at 5' attach bearers to the posts (notch the post if you like or Simpson make a specific bracket for this very purpose) and sit the joists on the bearers.

    If you like exterior posts (doesn't use up deck space) then the DTT2 bracket is the best option, the other option is to mount the posts on the inside of the rim/band board this has the advantage of being able to bolt it to both the rim/band board AND the joist this stage is done right before you install the decking boards, the bad part is after you install the posts you will have to add blocking around the interior post to attach your decking to as the post will be surrounded by decking.

    I think I got all your questions, if i missed any let me know.
    Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pushkins View Post
    Under 4' off the ground I seldom ever attach to the house the advantages are many (no flashing required, no siding issues to deal with, never a water mitigation issue down bolts, screws etc... into the house). The only disadvantage would be a little more work with posts and a bearer near the house.
    When you say "bearer", are you referring to a horizontal beam that the deck framing sits on? I wasn't planning to use one of those, but to bolt the framing directly to the post. I built my last deck that way - ten years ago - and many decks I see around town are built that way. The design I turned in to the city didn't use one and was approved.


    Quote Originally Posted by pushkins View Post
    End nailing is not a good method I believe your inspector is referring to "toe nailing" on a diagonal through the end of the joist into the bearer. I don't do this either, I always use joist hangers or galvanized "L" brackets on end joists. (Simpson do make a special joist hanger for end joists).
    Nailing through the rim into the end of the joists instead of using joist hangers. Again, built that way ten years ago and I still see it done. According to the guy at The City, that's permissible by code, but wouldn't define how.


    Quote Originally Posted by pushkins View Post
    If you like exterior posts (doesn't use up deck space) then the DTT2 bracket is the best option, the other option is to mount the posts on the inside of the rim/band board this has the advantage of being able to bolt it to both the rim/band board AND the joist this stage is done right before you install the decking boards, the bad part is after you install the posts you will have to add blocking around the interior post to attach your decking to as the post will be surrounded by decking.
    Yep, exterior posts. What I plan to do is notch the post so that it laps the deck by half its own width. I suppose I'd bolt it on using the DTT2 over a spacer, then slide the decking under the edge.

    I've attached an image of part of what I submitted to the city. I'm just trying to work out what is permissible by code.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Bill in Kansas City, MO

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    If the city approved your plans then your good to go, they have the final say regardless.

    End nailing is very old school, the nails will back out over time or simply become loose as the end grain they are nailed directly into opens and closes. If you still want to go that route I'd recommend using screws as they have much more bite.

    If your using a ledger bolted to the house then you cannot end nail the joists on the house end anyway so you have to either toe nail (3 nails either side each joist) or joist hangers.

    Again with attachment directly to the house (wood) you must flash the entire ledger, it would be wise to apply a blob of roofing asphalt over the ledger lock/ lag screw etc... heads as well before you screw down the decking planks.
    Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
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    seamlyne (11-16-2012)

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