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View isuhunter's profile

14x16' Deck build and design thoughts

by isuhunter
posted 08-19-2020 07:57 PM


28 replies so far

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2641 posts in 3551 days


#1 posted 08-20-2020 12:55 AM

I’m not a deck guy but thinking about building a deck also. Mine would be much lower than yours. Basically to make a flat place on a slope.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2641 posts in 3551 days


#2 posted 08-20-2020 01:31 AM

Sorry. I cut my comments short because dinner was served.

It sounds like you’ve studied up on this, but I was wondering whether it’s best to support the edge of the deck as you have shown by connecting to the house or if would be better to have the deck free standing.

I have a nailer and would use it for the sake of speed.

Screws might be better for the deck boards unless you use grooved boards and concealed clips. I think straight nails have a tendency to pop up. Spiral nails driven by a nailer I think are another option.

You will get more answers on a construction forum. Lumberjocks is more of a furniture making kind of site.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View Jared_S's profile

Jared_S

407 posts in 872 days


#3 posted 08-20-2020 02:13 AM



Sorry. I cut my comments short because dinner was served.

It sounds like you ve studied up on this, but I was wondering whether it s best to support the edge of the deck as you have shown by connecting to the house or if would be better to have the deck free standing.

I have a nailer and would use it for the sake of speed.

Screws might be better for the deck boards unless you use grooved boards and concealed clips. I think straight nails have a tendency to pop up. Spiral nails driven by a nailer I think are another option.

You will get more answers on a construction forum. Lumberjocks is more of a furniture making kind of site.

- Ocelot

Freestanding (per irc code) requires cross braces at every post in addition to the braces being larger and set farther out. If you are trying to maximize the open space and not block the view or natural light freestanding its not the ideal way to go.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2641 posts in 3551 days


#4 posted 08-20-2020 02:23 AM

Where I live if you build it yourself on your own house, you don’t have to build to code. The laws of physics, however, are always in effect.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View GordonS's profile

GordonS

1 post in 128 days


#5 posted 08-20-2020 04:47 AM

My inspector accepted nailing the framing. Construction screws for attachment to the house. I caution you on the railing system specs. regarding impact resistance. (One standard I’ve found is 250 pounds)
And with respect, no one should suggest constructing a second-story deck without regard to code compliance or AHJ inspection. When such a deck detaches and takes a dozen guests to the ground (it’s happened) the home owner’s insurance will likely be insufficient. Perhaps the claim would even be denied.

View bmerrill's profile

bmerrill

122 posts in 986 days


#6 posted 08-20-2020 01:30 PM

Just went through replacing my 25 year old PT deck this spring with AZEK decking products.
Pull a permit. Review the code requirements. Talk with the AHJ.
It will take you 5 times as long, cost 3 times as much and required $1000+ of screws and fasteners.
If you can find Kiln dried after treatment use it, else you’ll be dealing with board shrinkage.
Remove the existing ledger and replace. You may find rot behind it. Flash, flash flash, and not with aluminum as it doesn’t play well with PT lumber (don’t ask me how I know).
Follow the building code and the fastener manufacture requirements for spacing and size/length of lag screws to attach the ledger board to the structure. I used GRK for this. Adjust screw spacing to miss the location of the joist hangers. If you want to leave a gap between the house and the ledger, there are spacers made for this.
Add 2 rows of solid blocking between joist.
Consider covering the top edge of the joist with G-Tape.
Are you going to picture frame the deck to hide the ugly end of the composite boards? If so this will require even more blocking. The ugly end can also be painted to match the top color.
Typically 4 joist would be anchored to the house rim joist. There are hardware kits from Simpson for this.
Simpson and others fastener companies have spec sheets and guides on using their deck products. https://www.strongtie.com/solutions/deckcenter
Use joist hangers with screws. Makes for easy adjustment of joist heights because they will shrink
I used joist hangers on the ledger and the outside rim joist, but also added 3 Fastenmaster Ledgerloc screws per joist screwed from the outside rim joist into the end of the joist.
Crown your joist. Keep the top of the joist as level as possible. Be aware, they will shrink.
With composite decking a double joist is required at deck board butt joints since the end requires a bearing of 1.5”.
Use hidden fasteners where you can. Where you can’t, use Cortex fasteners which come with matching plugs for deck boards.
Guard rail post attachments have changed through the years. It now requires blocking, lots of screws, etc.
There is series of videos on YouTube from FineHomeBuilding “New Shop Class video series on Critical Deck Connections”. Spend the time to watch the series, then repeat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui2GGSRxYyM
Watch the videos produced by the decking companies, Trex, Timbertech/AZEK. Download their installation documents.

-- Woodworking, the transformation of nature to culture.

View Robert's profile

Robert

4138 posts in 2394 days


#7 posted 08-20-2020 01:44 PM

Its always best to pull a permit, much as I hate to say it, for insurance and/or resale purposes sometimes a home inspector can hurt you.

But to answer your question, I would be really surprised if code wouldn’t call for joist hangers.

Obviously on a deck that high off the ground, bracing is going to be a critical factor.

Personally I would let in the braces, in a timber frame fashion, rather than just bolt them in.

The 12” joist spacing is good choice for composite decking.

I strongly suggest using concealed clips. I did my deck with face screws and it looks awful. Tapping around the mush the composite into the hole doesn’t work, either.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Craftsman on the lake's profile (online now)

Craftsman on the lake

3558 posts in 4351 days


#8 posted 08-20-2020 01:52 PM

One thing I’ve done with my posts that I really like is that I use 4×4” posts and then veneer them with 6 ” deck boards. It make the posts like a 6”, looks good, and I can extend them right up and along the sides of the desk supports underneath the joists. I noticed you have short boards for that. Sort of like it except they go all the way to the ground.
My last deck was 16×24’ and up off the ground like yours…. Lotsa fun for sure. I was 60 when I did it. Last one like that I think I’ll be doing.
I’m also a big fan of HeadLok screws for some framing. Easy and strong. search on HD site.

BTW…. some one mentioned supporting the deck on posts instead of connecting to the house…. When you get insurance they ask which method you used and want to hear that it’s connected to house, especially if it’s that high in the air.

And a bolt or couple of lag screws in the angled braces will be plenty strong. The pressure isn’t that much sheer. It follows the angle of the brace.

I have a nail gun so I use it. But screws, a lot more time consuming are plenty good too.

For anyone using 2x’s to attach railings on to posts. I’ve found that those long brown deck screws with tiny heads, at an angle hold really well, go in easy, and hardly show after.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View isuhunter's profile

isuhunter

15 posts in 972 days


#9 posted 08-20-2020 02:53 PM

Great great info everyone! I appreciate it.

- I have a permit pulled and we’ve had utilities marked
- We will be using joist hangers per code – what screws do you recommend for the joist hangers?
- I plan to flash with the membrane and coated flashing as a double layer
- I need to add blocking for the joists
- I also need to add blocking for the picture frame as well

I love the critical connections video I have watched them a few times already!

GRK RSS 5/16” x 5 1/8” for my ledge connection is what I was planning on, spaced at 6”

View 23tony's profile

23tony

71 posts in 1082 days


#10 posted 08-20-2020 03:45 PM

For joist hanger fasteners, you might want to check the manufacturer’s website. The ones I’ve used in the past had charts on their sites indicating what to use for what size joist & hanger. From what I picked up, they might not warranty the hanger if installed using a non-recommended fastener.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

4121 posts in 2135 days


#11 posted 08-20-2020 03:56 PM

I can’t remember the specs, but I know that with the Trex (and other non-wood decking) you need tighter joist spacing versus wood. The decking is quite springy and get soft when in the heat. For the joist hangers, the ones I’ve used in the past (Simpson) specify a certain nail. Though I really like the pull-out resistance of screws, their shear strength might make a difference so it’s good advice to use what is spec’d from the mfgr.

Looks like it’s going to be a sweet addition to your property!

View PaulHWood's profile

PaulHWood

468 posts in 3166 days


#12 posted 08-20-2020 04:02 PM

Thats not true, even if a permit is not required, it must be built to code.


Where I live if you build it yourself on your own house, you don t have to build to code. The laws of physics, however, are always in effect.

- Ocelot


-- -Paul, South Carolina Structural Engineer by trade, Crappy Woodworker by choice

View PaulHWood's profile

PaulHWood

468 posts in 3166 days


#13 posted 08-20-2020 04:06 PM

Simpson has a line of screws specifically tested with their hangers and made for PT wood. I ould use those. Not all screws have a structural rating or are rated to be used with simpson or usp hangers. Blocking is required for some spans and will stiffen your deck and it is very inexpensive if you are providing the labor. I would suggest overblocking ie if required at mid point, provide at third points.


Great great info everyone! I appreciate it.

- I have a permit pulled and we ve had utilities marked
- We will be using joist hangers per code – what screws do you recommend for the joist hangers?
- I plan to flash with the membrane and coated flashing as a double layer
- I need to add blocking for the joists
- I also need to add blocking for the picture frame as well

I love the critical connections video I have watched them a few times already!

GRK RSS 5/16” x 5 1/8” for my ledge connection is what I was planning on, spaced at 6”

- isuhunter


-- -Paul, South Carolina Structural Engineer by trade, Crappy Woodworker by choice

View sras's profile

sras

5644 posts in 4042 days


#14 posted 08-20-2020 04:06 PM

+1 on the joist spacing comment

you can find the recommendations on line (if you haven’t already)

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View PaulHWood's profile

PaulHWood

468 posts in 3166 days


#15 posted 08-20-2020 04:07 PM

It also exhibits creep on longer spans. Check a park bench made of composite and they all sag in the middle over time.


I can t remember the specs, but I know that with the Trex (and other non-wood decking) you need tighter joist spacing versus wood. The decking is quite springy and get soft when in the heat. For the joist hangers, the ones I ve used in the past (Simpson) specify a certain nail. Though I really like the pull-out resistance of screws, their shear strength might make a difference so it s good advice to use what is spec d from the mfgr.

Looks like it s going to be a sweet addition to your property!

- splintergroup


-- -Paul, South Carolina Structural Engineer by trade, Crappy Woodworker by choice

View bmerrill's profile

bmerrill

122 posts in 986 days


#16 posted 08-20-2020 04:15 PM

I used the Simpson Double-Shear Zmax coated Face-Mount Joist Hangers with their SD connection screws.
At the corners use Concealed Flange Face-Mount Joist Hangers with SDS connection screws.

I used the same GRK screws for ledger attachment. Check GRK technical info for the screw spacing for joist length; use Wet-in-service, 40 pound live load is typically acceptable with most AHJ. The GKR RSS screws can also be used on the build-up girders.
Do you know if the house has a single or double band rim joist? The ledger screws length has to be an 1/8-1/4” longer than the combined thickness of ledger/sheeting/rim joist , but no longer. Only the the tip of the screw is required to protrude through the inside face of the rim joist. The AHJ may want to inspect this, but ask before removing the ceiling below or the floor above to expose.

-- Woodworking, the transformation of nature to culture.

View Jared_S's profile

Jared_S

407 posts in 872 days


#17 posted 08-20-2020 04:34 PM



Simpson has a line of screws specifically tested with their hangers and made for PT wood. I ould use those. Not all screws have a structural rating or are rated to be used with simpson or usp hangers. Blocking is required for some spans and will stiffen your deck and it is very inexpensive if you are providing the labor. I would suggest overblocking ie if required at mid point, provide at third points.

Great great info everyone! I appreciate it.

- I have a permit pulled and we ve had utilities marked
- We will be using joist hangers per code – what screws do you recommend for the joist hangers?
- I plan to flash with the membrane and coated flashing as a double layer
- I need to add blocking for the joists
- I also need to add blocking for the picture frame as well

I love the critical connections video I have watched them a few times already!

GRK RSS 5/16” x 5 1/8” for my ledge connection is what I was planning on, spaced at 6”

- isuhunter

- PaulHWood

Being that membrane was mentioned in the original post if one plans to waterproof the entire space below the deck with a membrane, solid blocking interferes with that.

View isuhunter's profile

isuhunter

15 posts in 972 days


#18 posted 08-20-2020 06:18 PM


Being that membrane was mentioned in the original post if one plans to waterproof the entire space below the deck with a membrane, solid blocking interferes with that.

- Jared_S

Sorry I’m not tracking with what you are referring to?

View Jared_S's profile

Jared_S

407 posts in 872 days


#19 posted 08-20-2020 07:26 PM


Being that membrane was mentioned in the original post if one plans to waterproof the entire space below the deck with a membrane, solid blocking interferes with that.

- Jared_S

Sorry I m not tracking with what you are referring to?

- isuhunter

Creating a dry space under the deck. I assumed that was where you were going with the membrane. That doesn’t work well with blocking.

View bmerrill's profile

bmerrill

122 posts in 986 days


#20 posted 08-20-2020 07:27 PM

Being that membrane was mentioned in the original post if one plans to waterproof the entire space below the deck with a membrane, solid blocking interferes with that.

- Jared_S

Sorry I m not tracking with what you are referring to?

- isuhunter

The membrane mentioned by the OP is a Polypropylene Roof Underlayment leak barrier such as GAF StormGuard used on a sloped roofs in place of felt. It is also becoming a highly used product to flash walls in deck construction.

Whereas, to water proof the space below a second floor deck Trex RainEscape is a product typically used between the joist to drain the water. It does work with 1 row of blocking (blocking in the center, drain both ways), not so well with 2 or more rows. When using this product, it is common to use 2×8 instead of 2×10 for blocking to leave a gap at the top.

-- Woodworking, the transformation of nature to culture.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2641 posts in 3551 days


#21 posted 08-20-2020 08:33 PM

No permit. No inspection.
I’m not trying to argue with anybody, but it’s a big country and some places are still freer than others.


Thats not true, even if a permit is not required, it must be built to code.

Where I live if you build it yourself on your own house, you don t have to build to code. The laws of physics, however, are always in effect.

- Ocelot

- PaulHWood


-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View bmerrill's profile

bmerrill

122 posts in 986 days


#22 posted 08-20-2020 08:59 PM

Sounds like a great idea until something does wrong and the deck collapses, rail fails, stairs give way,....
His insurance carrier will check the records for a permit. No permit, most likely no insurance coverage.
$150 becomes a cheap insurance policy.

Not saying the AHJ will catch everything, but its best to have a second set of eyes looking over your shoulder.

-- Woodworking, the transformation of nature to culture.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

6630 posts in 1487 days


#23 posted 08-21-2020 03:47 PM

I don’t know everywhere obviously, but it’s not a good thing to assume that if you din’t pull a permit, that no portion of the local gubmit doesn’t know what you have. The stuff usually hits the fan at time of sale. Almost all homes are inspected, and again I’m not everywhere so there could be reaches and areas this isn’t a thing, but in SW Ohio if a home sale inspector finds evidence something is newer than the rest, they need to check on the permits.

So if you build without permits, and after 8 months of trying to sell, you get a solid offer. To find you need to pay for a permit, pay a fine for not having a permit, pay for an onsite inspection, then if that inspector says well now you didn’t build to code, the best case scenario is you fix any and all problems, price of which doesn’t bother them at all. Worst case is tear it all down, and build it correctly.

I know this to be a fact from having to go into a number of these when I was still doing contract work. Plus when we bought this the current place, we both loved another place, it was a fixer upper, but… It had a 40×60 2 floor barn/garage/outbuilding that was 2×6 framed, vinyl sided, concrete poured floor, shingle roofed, plumbed with a terlit, and running water, bit of wonderfulness. All built without a permit. Last we heard the county was still saying tear it all down, Owner was saying just tell me which part is not code. We have been here 10 years now, the last was just 4 years ago.

bmerrill also raises an excellent point. Most insurance companies will look for anything except giving you back any $$$$$ Give them a reason to say NO, and they will.

My second point is while a lot of folks here are very generous with their time, and info. They aren’t onsite, and if you don’t know how to build a 2 story deck, which if it goes sideways people have died on them, then hire a Contractor, or bare minimum get a licensed Architect, so you don’t make huge mistakes, or simply overlook simple code differences of select counties. Code is/can be National, however most Counties have codes they feel strongly about in addition to national. You don’t pull a National permit, you pull a local one, and in 3 of the 4 counties I worked in the most, they had far differing codes from each other. Decks are one of the areas where they seem to differ most often.

-- Think safe, be safe

View isuhunter's profile

isuhunter

15 posts in 972 days


#24 posted 08-22-2020 09:13 PM


Being that membrane was mentioned in the original post if one plans to waterproof the entire space below the deck with a membrane, solid blocking interferes with that.

- Jared_S

Sorry I m not tracking with what you are referring to?

- isuhunter

The membrane mentioned by the OP is a Polypropylene Roof Underlayment leak barrier such as GAF StormGuard used on a sloped roofs in place of felt. It is also becoming a highly used product to flash walls in deck construction.

Whereas, to water proof the space below a second floor deck Trex RainEscape is a product typically used between the joist to drain the water. It does work with 1 row of blocking (blocking in the center, drain both ways), not so well with 2 or more rows. When using this product, it is common to use 2×8 instead of 2×10 for blocking to leave a gap at the top.

- bmerrill

Ok now I follow. I plan to flash with membrane and coated aluminum. I wasn’t going to put the trex rain system in.

View Knockonit's profile

Knockonit

723 posts in 1115 days


#25 posted 08-22-2020 09:24 PM

we build a hundred plus decks a year here in Arizona, and western New Mexico, codes are different everywhere. If in a earthquake state, well hold on and kiss your wallet good bye.

anyway, regardless if permitted or not, follow the basic building code, and the composite manuf warranty requirements. We do almost exclusively composite decking and here in Az. with the 90 degree temperature range we only use some products that have history. the expansion and contraction is horrendous, and in summer we stop laying decks around 11 am, if not well it shows up later.
composites are the best, but keep in mind one must utilize one with a good warranty and history of being installed in your area. EAch product has nuances that make it good or bad, knowing which one to use is a boon.

If in doubt about how to build, have a architect or draftsman of repute, design and draw one up. The fees are nominal compared to the brain damage one will have from winging it. Railing is a huge consideration, again a lot has to do with geography and material used.
Best of luck, i suspect someone in your area has done a video or two of a deck build, which may share some things.
Rj in az

-- Living the dream

View Knockonit's profile

Knockonit

723 posts in 1115 days


#26 posted 08-22-2020 09:30 PM

and on permit issuance, each area has its own interpetation of requirements. from picture it appears you already had a deck, so a permit in {our” area would not be required as its a rebuild. assuming major structual changes weren’t made. If in doubt have it drawn and detailed by a knowledgable individual to cover ones keyster. lol, comments on the insurance issue.
best of luck
Rj in az

-- Living the dream

View isuhunter's profile

isuhunter

15 posts in 972 days


#27 posted 09-24-2020 05:29 PM

Ledger board is up and now its time to start building the beam while I wait on Windstream to move a phone line that runs where footings need to go.

My beam will be – 3 – 2×10’s with 2 – 1/2” treated PLY sandwiched between them to bring to the full 5.5” dimension. Now when putting the beam together, how long of screws would you use I plan to screw from both sides? 5 1/8” GRK RSS screws? Or is crewing the the middle 2×10 just as structurally sound?

View Bstrom's profile

Bstrom

205 posts in 86 days


#28 posted 09-24-2020 07:01 PM



I can t remember the specs, but I know that with the Trex (and other non-wood decking) you need tighter joist spacing versus wood. The decking is quite springy and get soft when in the heat. For the joist hangers, the ones I ve used in the past (Simpson) specify a certain nail. Though I really like the pull-out resistance of screws, their shear strength might make a difference so it s good advice to use what is spec d from the mfgr.

Looks like it s going to be a sweet addition to your property!

- splintergroup
Yeah, it’s screw shear strength that makes they proper galvanized nails the edge for strength.

I’ll just add that altho Trex uses a top surface fastener, I’d try to find an underneath approach – did this with my wood deck and it looks really good almost ten years later. Just sayin’...


-- Bstrom

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