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Author Topic: Building a deck  (Read 4640 times)

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Offline ohsoloco

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Building a deck
« on: April 16, 2007, 10:30:43 PM »
Well, this is the summer I'm planning on replacing the siding on my house with pine board and batten.  Things will be torn down to the studs so new 1" spruce sheathing can be applied so I have something to nail the siding to. 

The deck won't be built this summer, but I was thinking that I should at least attatch the ledger board while I'm doing the siding, but now I'm not sure how to go about it.  I was first thinking about flashing over the sheathing and attatching the ledger to that.  Well, I was surfing around about building a deck, this site said to install the ledger over the siding and space it about 1/2" to 3/4" away from the siding with washers to allow water to drain.  Makes perfect sense.  So, what to do if I'm "starting from scratch"  ???  Should I still install the pine boards, then the ledger with spacers, then the battens down to where to decking wil be? 

Offline DanG

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2007, 10:59:13 PM »
That drain space does make sense.  What will be directly behind the siding where the ledger board will be?  It seems like you could drill through the battens and install bolts or lag screws to fasten the ledger, and the battens would provide the drain space.
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Offline Radar67

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2007, 11:03:49 PM »
DanG beat me to it, but I was thinking the same thing.

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Offline rebocardo

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2007, 03:36:59 AM »
> So, what to do if I'm "starting from scratch"

If it was me, I would make sure fire stops were installed in the walls, I would seal current outlets, install new conduit to each room with a box to run either data cable or electric cable through.  You might be able to slip nail plates between the studs and interior walls where ever the electric cables run if they do not have them already.

Then foam between the studs as the sheathing is applied, then wrap the sheathing in tyvek before putting down the siding.

As for the decking, I believe it is siding, metal, spacer, decking. I do not have the latest code manuals, but, here are a few interesting links. I do not think you need the spacing if the metal is under the siding at deck level.

http://www.iccsafe.org/

http://www.codecheck.com

Offline footer

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2007, 10:13:39 AM »
What is generally done around here is attatch the ledger to the sheathing with lag bolts into the rim joist.  Install flashing over the ledger and up the wall behind the siding. The edge of the flashing going down over the ledger only needs to be 1/4 to 1/2" so it is basically not seen if the deck is up in the air. Then tack a spacer the thickness or just a little more than the thickness of the deck boards next to the house and side down to it. When building the deck, tuck the deck boards under the siding.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2007, 10:27:56 AM »
footer
If I picture that right, hanging a deck on a rim joist often doesn't have the strength needed if the deck isn't supported some other way. It can be a weak link in the deck system, as rim joists are not designed for that load. Just good to keep that in mind. More than one deck built that way has pulled off the house.
And I know, many decks are built that way......... ::)
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Offline DanG

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2007, 11:07:00 AM »
Yep, I wouldn't put too much of a load on that ledger.  Some piers right close to the house foundation should take the strain off of it. :)
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Offline ohsoloco

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2007, 02:27:03 PM »
Hmmm, and I was thinking about lagging into the rim joist  :-\  Should I align the lags so they also hit the first floor joists  ???  It's going to be twelve feet deep and 18-20 feet along the length of the house. 

The only thing that bothers me about installing the ledger over the siding is the fact that I'm using pine, and what if I start to get some rot...replacing the siding will be a major problem then. 

I've even thrown around the idea of having the deck be its own structure, with only a few steps or walkway connecting it to the house for many of the reasons already discussed.

Offline footer

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2007, 02:41:39 PM »
footer
If I picture that right, hanging a deck on a rim joist often doesn't have the strength needed if the deck isn't supported some other way. It can be a weak link in the deck system, as rim joists are not designed for that load. Just good to keep that in mind. More than one deck built that way has pulled off the house.
And I know, many decks are built that way......... ::)
The rim joist is sitting on the foundation, or if second story, over a load bearing wall resting on the foundation and tied into the floor structure . Any load other than pulling away from the house is down force. The size, number and spacing of lag bolts are determined by your local building codes, as is the size of the ledger and all the other parts of the deck including additional footings if necesary.
That is the way all new construction is done around here and I would say stronger than attatching it over the siding.  Besides, like ohsoloco said, It is a lot easyer to replace the siding, and it wont rot this way.  If in dought, take a drawing to the local building inspectors office and ask them what is required.

Offline florida

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2007, 05:12:31 PM »
You've received good advice so far. However, I build decks all the time and almost always attach them to the rim joist. I apply a self sealing bitumen tape like Vycor against the rim joist or siding then use stainless lag bolts to attach a 2" X 10" PT ledger board. I  nail on stainless joist hangers on the ledger board and clip the joist in the hangers with more stainless nails.  Once all the joists are down I insert copper or stainless flashing under the siding and extend it at least 6 inches over the joists. If you really want a long lasting deck cover the tops of all the joists with 3 inch strips of Vycor. Use stainless screws of coated deck screws to fasten the decking to the joists.   If you want your deck to outlast you user a blind fastener system to fasten the deck to the joist. The lack of nail or screw holes means no ready way for water to penetrate and rot your deck. If you are using pressure treated wood make sure you use only stainless fasteners as the new PT will corrode galvanized fasteners in a very short time.
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Offline Don P

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2007, 08:01:49 PM »
This is a link to an article written by 2 really good professors at VA Tech. They tested several deck connection details and published their results, this is now being incorporated into code in many places. These gentlemen, in the spirit of Tech, saw a need and have brought attention to and funded this research out of pocket. http://dickseibert.com/Woeste.pdf

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Offline ohsoloco

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2007, 08:55:01 PM »
Thanks Don, I'm printing that out now.  For some reason it bothers my eyes to read articles on a computer screen. 

I may be shooting you a few more questions, Don.  I have enough money saved up to replace my windows while I do the siding, and may need a few pointers  :)

Offline Furby

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2007, 12:42:28 AM »
I've built decks both ways, but I will never again (if I can help it) build one that doesn't have posts near the house.
I still run bolts (not lags) into the rim with spacers between the deck and siding to tie to the house, but all support is from below.

Offline Qweaver

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2007, 08:45:22 AM »
I have owned three houses that had the porches attached to the sill plate and posts attached like those that failed in the link that Don gave.(including my present home) They have all been through several hurricanes and did not suffer any damage at all.  I think the test method used it that experiment is unrealistic.  I believe it is easy to get into a mind set where our real purpose is to prove that we can invent a better wheel.  I'm sure that with additional effort we could find another method of testing that would also make the recommended method fail and then invent another improved construction method and make it the "code". Ad Infinitum  But who could afford to buy one of those?  I'm absolutely certain that every building technique that we use could be improved, again Ad Infinitum.  If we all drove 10,000 lb. armored vehicles and never exceeded 15 mph, highway deaths would decrease. If we built aircraft that could survive a crash landing, no one would ever die in an aircraft crash...because they would be too heavy to fly.  I'll bet that every timber framing joint out there could be improved by adding a well designed metal brace.  So why aren't we doing that?  I think that the answer is that the joints are "GOOD ENOUGH as they are.   Hay, if you want to use expensive metal braces to mount your posts...do it, but don't make it a code and force everyone else to do it.  I think having a well thought out code system is a great idea but make it guidance... not manditory for the self builder. I'd scrap the whole dang inspection system.  It's my house...give me guidance but let me build it as I like.  No one has a right to dictate to me how I build my house.  If I'm a contractor...that another thing.
On the ACQ fastener issue.  On several occasions now, I have had to pull apart joints that were fastened by galvanised nails and bolts ( the last instance was on my 6 year old, salt water pier just a few weeks back) and I did not find anymore corrosion on the ACQ joints than on the CCA joints.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2007, 10:08:17 AM »
Qweaver
Just hope you don't have a party with 10-20 or so guests all standing near your railing.  The weight alone on the deck, and the possible pushing on the rail, or if they get to moving in sync---------could put the test to the weak joint shown as tested in that lab test in the report put up by Don P.
Occasionaly we read about the deck failures where a group of party-goers bring a deck down. Then the people are looking to find out who is to blame (our national whine nowadays) or who to sue. Thus the cry for more codes to make things safe.

Most of the time, our decks never see more than a small handful of people just sitting, and relaxing. So they hold up and are "GOOD ENOUGH"  :)

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Offline Don P

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2007, 10:26:03 PM »

Lets focus on what makes a code compliant deck, this is insureable and lawful. Lack of enforcement does not mean lack of law or lack of responsibility if the law is broken and something happens. I try to get better as I go, I've got old school ones out there too.

The scans below should be pretty up to date for most of us, this is based on the 03 code.
Notice the page numbers, they start at 2 and go to 12. The page 9 link has our state's interpretation of adequate ledger connection.
http://www3.ls.net/~windyhill/deck/deckpg2op
 http://www3.ls.net/~windyhill/deck/deckpg9op
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Offline ohsoloco

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2007, 02:31:04 PM »
The more I think about this, the more I'm leaning towards a freestanding deck.  This way I can just concentrate on getting the house done, which will be an adventure in itself  ::)

How many piers do you think I would need on a 12x20 freestanding deck  ??? 

Offline beenthere

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2007, 03:41:28 PM »
One reason my deck is freestanding, is the tax assessor doesn't assess it (not attached to the house). 

My piers are close to 8' on center.

Deck in the background, behind da fence and da bluebird house (they've been active today).

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Offline Engineer

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2007, 04:00:15 PM »
I had my builder leave off some siding on my house and attach a ledger board (temporarily) to the rim with screws.  It was simply for attaching a set of temporary stairs.  When I'm ready to build a deck, later this year, it will not be attached to the house at all - completely free standing.  Too many ways for water to infiltrate the side of the house, and especially with SIPS, where you'd have to replace the entire wall if it rotted out, I'm not taking any chances.

Offline ohsoloco

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Re: Building a deck
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2007, 10:50:33 PM »
I'd heard about freestanding decks not being taxed (don't know about that around here).  Engineer, that's the same reason I don't think I want to attatch one to my house.  No SIP's or anything, but this past summer I had to replace some studs, a window header, part of the rim joist, and about 6-8' of sill from a leaking vent boot that started before I bought the house  :(  Not something I want to deal with again. 


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