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Load Transfer from Porch Columns

14274 Views 78 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  EricBrancard
One of my long time clients asked me to come take a look at a porch they want installed. They had a set of plans drawn question is where is the load going from the columns? They appear to just be sitting on the deck surface? Doesn't this present a problem? I also noticed no uplift protection speced out.

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Talking with the architect now....not a friendly dude at all.

Few questions after looking at your plans.

1) I would like to use Simpson ABA66 Post base in place of CB66.
Any Base plate will work
2) Column to Deck Detail
Where is the load of each column being distributed to? How are these posts being attached to the structure of the deck? How are they being attached to the porch roof (uplift protection)? They aren't just being placed on top of the decking are they? Further, are the columns you show something inline with a Permacast column or are they ment to be a 4x4 wrapped in 1x trim?

Decking is usually installed after the structure has been erected, therefore the columns are set on the specified 3 X 10 girder and the Double Joists at each end of the Porch. So, the decking must be cut around the columns.
The Columns can be any structural entity the owner agrees with...4X4. .6X6. Wrapped or prefinished column.
Uplift is not a concern because the entire structure weighs enough to keep it down without any hold down hardware. We live in an area of wind shear (side winds)..Not uplift as per Tornadoes.( it is being attached to the house structure)

Architects*design the structural members and what the structure should look like.
Architects do not provide the means and methods of how to build the structure.
That is the job of the Builder.

I will be adding uplift protection, most building departments have I worked with require it and with such a large surface area, I think it would be a good idea.

As far as the columns, the plan does not clearly show the columns being set on the girder, the center lines don't line up in the Section view and the girders are set back further in the Perspective views, so I was unclear as to if landing posts on the girder was the intention. Also if the columns are to set on the double box framing going back on the left and right side, this is not in symmetry with the front of the porch, in which the columns have to to set back to land on the girder and not the box. This changes the drip line in relation to the deck and this will leave no room for trim unless a bunch of blocking is nailed onto the outside of the box to support a large overhang of the decking.

Apparently you do not know who Architects are.
If you change an Architects plans without the written authority from the Architect.
The Architect can have the structure torn down.

This is why I am conversing with you over the questions as I would like your input on your design. I am seeing what to me are going to be problems and I need you to address them.

So, that being said could you please elaborate on your column details as I don't see it working as is unless I am missing something.

Set the columns on the girder.
The columns can rest anywhere on the girder..Has nothing to do with the footings.
The footing spacing is just for convenience .Just like a house..evenly spaced..The girder is the beam ..
same as a footing..can take a post anywhere between the footing columns

I think we are miss communicating here. I don't have that in question. I am more then happy to land ontop the girder, I am just unclear on how you want the left and right sides to land. Just drop them on the double box and add blocking as needed to support the decking? Or would you rather put a double joist further in to land these columns on?

Maybe I will make a quick drawing to make sure I am clear.
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I want to call him out on being lazy because I have worked with wonderful architects before who called out every detail and were a joy to work with and question....but I don't want to start a fight at midnight over e-mail LOL.

Honestly though, maybe I am spoiled? Am I missing something here?
Yeah, I told his we should pick this up tomorrow.
I know the HO well. The archi is someone that was found for their last minute porch addition they want. What burns the most is I sent them to this guy after a talking to a bunch of architects and a lengths photo convo with this one specifically. He talked the talk. So now I feel I must help out and get this sorted. ( i honestly think he might be bi-polar...the last few phono convos have each been different.) I really like him at times and others I am left thinking WTF just happened.
For the majority of small residential projects, architects are a waste of the customers money. This porch could have been designed on a napkin on lunch break by any competent contractor.
I suggested getting plans drawn up because my client wasn't exactly sure what she wanted yet and we have a very crunched time frame to complete this. So my hope was sending them to someone who does just design and plan work would kick things with the heavy winter we had this year and the recent major storms, I wanted plans that could be used to fall back on if say a snow load took it down, or another major storm ripped it off...
....This is sorta all that was needed to solve the problems...

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No, that is wrong, the posts could shear off the front of the box as I don't have the girder under it.

Now I do....

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My next question is about the 2x6 rafters. They seem to be undersized to me.

NJ Bulletin No 94-8 provides the snow loads for here. They are calling for 30 psf.

The AWC says a 2x6 Doug Fir, Select Struc, with a 10lb dead, 30 lb snow can span only 11' 4"

I am seeing a horizonal span of 16 feet...give or take a few inches. That puts us at 2x10 rafters.

Now I don't even know if he should be trusted for anything. Are the footings even correct? This guy was hired to figure all this out. That would be his job would it not? (AIA Standard Form of Agreement between Owner and Architect 3.1) I will try and meet with my clients tomorrow and recommend we get someone else to take a look at these plans....I really think the building department is going to kick these back with a big WTF.
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No. This guy is a result of Google search with phone calls to four local architects. He charged 1200 for these "plans"
For starters, those plans should have sections indicated, with pages of section details that show all the questions you're bringing up. Maybe they are there somewhere, but from what you say, they aren't. I've never seen a set of plans without all structural connectors call out - hangers, bases, ...

Going from a 4X4 structural member to a 5X5 or 6X6 still has to be called out - if I substitute 6X6 for 4X4 posts or columns, that's a structural design change. If he's responsible for the structural design, he better call it out.

Find an alternative to using this guy - he's going to be nothing but a billing nightmare for the HO and you.
What you see is what I got for the extent of structure details. He won't even tell me if I should be using 4x4 or 6x6. His email says the homeowner needs to make that call.
Well, I feel a little better, the archi sent an e-mail to our client saying "Tom has an attitude problem" and forwarded our e-mail messages. Fortually my clients know me better then that and as soon as her husband gets home we are going to talk about this.

As of now I am waiting to hear back from the Archi...

Attached you will find a simple drawing showing how I intend to build the blocking and support the roof loads. Please let me know if this was your intent. This is a structural detail that, as the architect, I need your approval on.

Also, there aren't any details on the roof framing beside the use of 2x6 rafters and 2x8 hips/ridge. I am assuming the rest is left up to us to figure out to ensure we miss the windows?​

Obviously i should put a few more blocks in to catch the decking but this about the best option I can come up with the preserve his plans. I do not want to just sit them on the decking...maybe it just personal preference but I would like to see the posts drop at least to the joints/box.
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Have you spoken with the Homeowner?

I would let them know the issues you have with the plans.

Take the time to show the problems. Let them know your
not comfortable with the plan & archy.

I would at the very least have them have the plans verified by a third

I would stay away from those plans w/o a re-draw.

I'm not getting started on this architect want-a-be
Yeah, I just got back from meeting with the husband. They think the guys is a huge SOB. They are rather fond of me and my work so I had a leg up to start.

Anyway, they told me what they want to do. There is an existing deck on the back of the home, not as long but deeper. They are going to have the archi re-draw the plans so they can reuse the two girders ( IIRC this is what the archi was supposed to do from the start) and two piers that are there. With that they will submit the plans for review. If the footings are a no go, it will go back to the SOB for a redraw and the husband will dig the new piers as required (landscape contractor, bob-cat with auger). He just wants me to layout and install said piers.

Being a landscape contractor, he says he runs across plans and even he finds these plans a little lacking.

Once we have approved plans by the town, they told me I can add whatever I think I need that is above and beyond what this ass hat says, which boils down to some more metal hardware and up sizing the rafters/hips/ridge from 2x6 to 2x8. (altho for all I know the town is going to ask for such items)
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Now the architect will charge $2500 for the revisions
I hope not. My client is not someone you want mad at you....this architect is on a slippery slope.
I think the BCO series is completely the wrong choice for this application.
The lateral loads are around 830 lbs which might be correct but that is only in one direction, the direction parallel to the upward flanges. They are not rated for the other direction as far as I can see.
I think the posts are used as newels for railing also? Maybe not.
Anyway, I would suggest (if it where my deck) penetrating the deck with the posts and land them on the beam. Then blocking in both directions and 1/2" lags top and bottom to really lock them in place both directions.
that will be O.K. for the one set of posts but the others not in line with the beam should have their own footings that they bear on.

That is how every porch I have constructed was done. Although I am being told this is fine by other people who who have viewed the plan.
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I don't know why you are getting so bent out of shape about the drawings. You are just using up your energy. I take it you want to take his drawings, and then add some of your own ideas to make them a bit more structurally sound when it comes time to build. No court outside of Mogadishu would convict you of being in the wrong for that. Just build the f'in porch.
It's two things. It was made clear to the architect that the client wasn't sure what they wanted and were coming to him to help with design work. Then the plans he turned out were pretty bland and void of both structural details and aesthetic. I could have drawn what he drew.

It's all moot now, something must have happened, as I just got an email from my client saying saying they are having it redrawn with more structural and a esthetic details.
This is kinda how I would have done it if it was all up to me...Which is what Andy has said.

(This is just silly blocking for a newel, just because I could)

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Some finished photos...or nearly finished photos, just because everyone likes looking at pictures.

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