Deck Issue

Discussion in 'General Home Improvement Discussion' started by nycatl2009, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. Feb 1, 2012 #1

    nycatl2009

    nycatl2009

    nycatl2009

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    I have a contract on a house; today was the inspection. The house passed with flying colors..... except for the deck. The home and deck are ~17 years old. While the deck boards themselves have been well cared for, it appears that some of the supports under the deck itself are separating from the wall. The deck is approximately 32' long with 24 support beams ~16'' apart perpendicular to the house. About 9 of the support beams are separating from the wall (just slightly).

    I'm including pictures below. I included the most egregious examples; basically, I want to know, is this something that will require a massive overhaul or is this something that can be relatively painlessly fixed.

    Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

    Here is a picture of the supports themselves --

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    And one picture from above --

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Feb 1, 2012 #2

    JoeD

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    It appears to me the joists are touching at the top. That signals two possibilities to me.
    1. The outer part of the deck has raised up tilting the joist away at the bottom. You should notice a significant slope to the deck if this was true.
    2. The joists were not cut square on the ends and were installed this way. Or the joists are square but the ledger board is not level. Either case it looks like they were probably installed this way.
     
  3. Feb 2, 2012 #3

    BridgeMan

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    Of more concern to me would be the fact that all of the joists have been notched. A definite "no-no", and shows that the deck builder didn't know what he/she was doing. Notching is also not allowed by the IRC and local codes. It also looks like the "bearing bar" (for lack of a better term) the joists are resting on is attached with nails or screws that are corroding, too. The fix won't be painless, but shouldn't be enough to scare you out of the purchase. Just get a quote or two from reputable contractors in the area to correct things, then deduct that from the sales price of the home.

    The lateral stability of the handrails could also be an issue. Normally there are intermediate posts to give it strength to resist loads applied against it, and I don't see any in the photo. Does it have any significant lateral "wobble"?

    P.S. The best joist fix would be to completely remove the bearing bar, and sister up treated joist stubs (3' +/- long), glued and screwed into the ends of the existing joists, with everything attached to the ledger with double joist hangers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  4. Feb 2, 2012 #4

    nealtw

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    It's not everyday that I get to say, I agree with Bridgeman.
    To go off in a different direction. I think windows close to the floor are supposed to be safety glass 16,18 inches, not sure! Evan if the inside is code, if the deck was added the outside glass should be updated.
     
  5. Feb 2, 2012 #5

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    18 inches Neal, basically, any glass surface off the floor surface area. Don't forget,that means in stairwells also.

    Another way to fix that would be to put blocks between the joists,add joist hangers with simpson ledger screws long enough to catch the ledger board behind the blocks.
     
  6. Feb 2, 2012 #6

    nealtw

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    The floor joist being cut on the bottom have lost the tension surface. The weakening goes beyond the cut out, It doesnt make a 2x10 a 2x8. Now it's more like 2x6 or 2x4 because this is the place it will split under load.
     
  7. Feb 2, 2012 #7

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Perhaps we could look at a mix of both ideas. If the preasure blocks that Inspector suggested were installed then a single hanger could be installed. Then the joists would be supported well out from the cut notch with out removing anything from the house.
     
  8. Feb 3, 2012 #8

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    Thanks neal...I thought I said that already?:D
    Just as you said, it supports the joist, not at the notched area. No problem with this installation,
    MY engineer and Simpson strongtie recommend this fix all the time on the interior of old floor joists. The problem with those is they are old lumber and usually 2 inches wide...so we have to taper the joist at the end.

    The other problem with the blocks and hangers is you should not use nails into the blocks, use the holes mage for the lag bolts where you can get the bolt to go through the ledger and into the wall assembly, They need to grab deep, so I use a 5 inch Simpson lag. This may also help to pull that ledger back into the wall tight.
    And don't forget , these are ONLY recommendations, we are not there and are guessing at best. There could be manufactured I- joists inside, where the connection of 2 nails and a 1 inch rim joiste are problematic. Bottom line, you need investigation by an "on site engineer". And as usual, everything needs to be approved of by your buiding official, even with the engineer.

    http://www.strongtie.com/products/connectors/screws-loadrated.asp
    http://www.strongtie.com/products/connectors/LUS-HUS.asp
     
  9. Feb 3, 2012 #9

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Inspector; Sorry I missed that. When we work on full size lumber we use double hangers and fill the space with plywood.
     

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