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GC/carpenter
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43,842 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Golden view said:
F it, I'm just nailing the ledger with brights from now on
Just use 20's and your good to go. :laughing: you don't know how many decks I tear down that are barely attached at the ledger. Funny thing is, it's usually 15 or 20 years old.
 

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General Contractor
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Since they came up with the attachment for the lateral support, I think now would be a good time to lift a deck with a helicopter and test the uplift load on the ledger, because I don't think there is enough fasteners holding the damn thing down.

On the general note, just using common sense, there no existing force of nature strong enough to pull properly attached ledger from the house, unless you take the house with it.
 

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diplomat
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5,292 Posts
Just use 20's and your good to go. :laughing: you don't know how many decks I tear down that are barely attached at the ledger. Funny thing is, it's usually 15 or 20 years old.
I've seen the same on a couple, the scariest ones are the second floor ones that have pots run at an angle back to the foundation, so an outward force is constantly applied to the ledger.
 

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diplomat
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Greg, I completely agree, as long as your definition of common sense is good and backed with knowledge (which I'm confident yours is). I have a special bitterness about that term because my first "big" job, a small starter house for a customer, had the clients' dad underfoot constantly. He always said building just took common sense, and constantly criticized my code compliant, standard practice methods, while a house right down the road he built had a few glaring structural issues and 10 code violations visible from the front porch. Classic overbuilt with a few weak links.
 

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General Contractor
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Golden view said:
Greg, I completely agree, as long as your definition of common sense is good and backed with knowledge (which I'm confident yours is). I have a special bitterness about that term because my first "big" job, a small starter house for a customer, had the clients' dad underfoot constantly. He always said building just took common sense, and constantly criticized my code compliant, standard practice methods, while a house right down the road he built had a few glaring structural issues and 10 code violations visible from the front porch. Classic overbuilt with a few weak links.
I know what you saying, bit I ignore all that none sense.
When I post something I address all the professional trade like yourself. People who know theirs trade in and out and follow industry standard practice.
I have met many customers who know all and the more they talk the more I charge.
I also met a bunch of wanna be builders most of which went under before they finished a house, but when you talk to them they act as if they been doing this forever.
Sometime I enter a house and there is a father Inlaw who was a builder starts telling you how things should be done... I simply say why I am here? And that goes for everyone else who tells me how to do my job.
So best thing to do just ignore people like that.
 

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I don't like the hold-down requirement, but I can understand the position of the code writing and code enforcement folks. As Mike points out, bad flashing is probably why most decks fail. Unfortunately, flashing isn't really inspectable, in the standard single-family-home style of inspection. Commercial-special-inspection style, yes, you could verify the flashing, and if that were really a solution, I'd be fine paying a couple hundred dollars to get a special inspection for the flashing. But the best flashing job in the world is easily negated by some idiot doing a bad window or door install above the deck.

Hold-downs, on the other hand, are easily inspected, and they're durable: they're far enough inside the building envelope that if the flashing fails (yes, I realize that good flashing is a necessity in any case) and the rim rots away, the deck probably won't fall to the ground.

I don't think that you can simply say that people should just hire good deck builders instead of hacks. Of course that's true, but is no more relevant to decks than to any other aspect of building.

Unfortunately, even the hold-downs aren't a perfect solution. Aside from the high cost for remodels especially, most builders are going to have as many or more problems flashing around hold-down penetrations.

The solution? Someone out there needs to come up with a complete deck attachment system that solves the structural and weatherproofing problem, for new and remodel work, that doesn't require breaking into the inside of the house. Maybe it's out there, but I haven't seen it. It has to offer a real solution to the weatherproofing part of the problem.

It's a bit of a random thought, but the codes don't really accommodate the fact that decks are not and haven't been treated as permanent structures, expected to last as long as the rest of the building. There are exceptions, but they're rare. I don't know where that leads, but it does make decks different from other parts of most houses.

It's obvious that current practices just aren't cutting it, in the real world. And because codes are not about best practices, but about general practices, we have this reaction in the code writing business.

Those are my thoughts, anyway.

- Bob
 

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The solution? Someone out there needs to come up with a complete deck attachment system that solves the structural and weatherproofing problem, for new and remodel work, that doesn't require breaking into the inside of the house. Maybe it's out there, but I haven't seen it. It has to offer a real solution to the weatherproofing part of the problem.
Go in through the rim joist itself. Any structural compromise due to a hole in the house rim joist would be more than made up for by the full length deck ledger 'band-aid' covering the hole.

Photo Sequence of process: http://www.builtbymac.com/holddown.html

Mac
 
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