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Pain in the deck


Chris Bernhardt
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I now echo Kyles recent blues over the lack of some concise standards on deck building.

Brand new construction, built by Shakespeares monkeys and finaled by the City of Gresham's muni's

First picture is the top rail of the front porches guard rail. It appears to be nailed with a couple of steel finish nails. Do they make SS nails for this purpose? Even if they did this top rail is going to work its way free in a few years.

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Same at the guards. I could wiggle them easily by hand. After a little weathering you might be able to breath on them and make them will fall out.

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The ledger was spaced off of the siding at one end on the corner casing and then was directly fastened to the foundation on the other sort of. The ledger is eight feet long and fastened with two lag bolts and some nails. The ledger is not bearing against anythin at the fasteners so the ledger is just hanging on them.

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This is the bolt connection at the other end of the ledger. Ohh, look ma we ran out of nails.

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Oh, here they are!

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Can you find the nails in this gusset? Well sure you can they almost went thru the other side.

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These examples were just the tip of the iceberg. And people ask should they get an inspection on new construction.

OK, this is the question: If this was existing construction I could just say have a carpenter properly fasten the ledger to the building. etc. but on new construction the builder, who typically would be happy to come over and rearrange my face or burn my house down, is going to say cite the code that says I can't do this.

Knowing that the builder is going to do this how do I write it up?

I could get into a long winded explanation with the client "Well you know it is really true that the builders sometimes don't do a very good job and thats why we have inspections and if it was me I would find a competent deck builder to fix the deck." Like thats going to go over good.

You know that everybody is going to want a prescription backed up by code or standard.

Chris, Oregon

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First picture is the top rail of the front porches guard rail. It appears to be nailed with a couple of steel finish nails. Do they make SS nails for this purpose?
Oh yes. And I'm certain that this builder went out and special ordered them just for this deck. Obviously he's the type to do that sort of thing.
Even if they did this top rail is going to work its way free in a few years.
I haven't done this in years, but I used to have fun with a spring scale and a short length of rope. That rail ought to be able to resist 200# in any direction, right?
OK, this is the question: If this was existing construction I could just say have a carpenter properly fasten the ledger to the building. etc. but on new construction the builder, who typically would be happy to come over and rearrange my face or burn my house down, is going to say cite the code that says I can't do this.

Knowing that the builder is going to do this how do I write it up?

I could get into a long winded explanation with the client "Well you know it is really true that the builders sometimes don't do a very good job and thats why we have inspections and if it was me I would find a competent deck builder to fix the deck." Like thats going to go over good.

You know that everybody is going to want a prescription backed up by code or standard.

Chris, Oregon

Well first of all, you can cite the code on the guardrail. Table 301.5 shows the loading requirements. It's most fun when the builder says that the rail meets the requirements and you go to the car to fetch your spring scale.

As for the ledger, just explain the situation carefully, show them the pictures, then tell them that the code didn't anticipate anything this stupid, so there's no rule against it.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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FWIW, Simpson has published a manual for deck construction that "may" (stated in the manual itself) meet the requirements of the IBC and IRC 2006.

Its here http://www.strongtie.com/ftp/fliers/F-D ... tter=Apr07

I know its one big brochure for using their products, but I like Simpson - their website is full of great information for us inspector-types.

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Originally posted by randynavarro

FWIW, Simpson has published a manual for deck construction that "may" (stated in the manual itself) meet the requirements of the IBC and IRC 2006.

Its here http://www.strongtie.com/ftp/fliers/F-D ... tter=Apr07

I know its one big brochure for using their products, but I like Simpson - their website is full of great information for us inspector-types.

That's a pretty good brochure.

So would it have killed them to mention the need for flashing at the ledger?

For that reason alone, I won't be showing that brochure to my customers.

Well, that and the fact that they promote their TA fasteners for stair treads. Those things never work for long.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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