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EXTERIORS of buildings
AGE of a BUILDING - how to determine
BEST CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES GUIDE
BUILDING SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
CHIMNEY CHASE Construction & Defects
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
COLD POUR JOINTS, CONCRETE
COLUMNS & POSTS, DEFECTS
CONCRETE FOUNDATIONS, PRE-CAST
CONNECTORS, FASTENERS, TIES
Cracks, Checking or Splitting Beams & Log Homes
DECK & PORCH CONSTRUCTION
DEBRIS STAINING on ROOFS
DEFINITIONS of Mobile Home, Doublewide, Modular, Panelized
DEFINITIONS of ENGINEERED WOOD OSB LVL etc
DEW POINT CALCULATION for WALLS
DEW POINT TABLE - CONDENSATION POINT GUIDE
DISASTER BUILDING INSPECTION & REPAIR
EARTHQUAKE DAMAGED FOUNDATIONS
EIFS & STUCCO EXTERIORS
ENGINEERED WOOD Flooring
ENGINEERED WOOD Products
FIRE DAMAGE vs MOLD DAMAGE
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FOUNDATION BULGE or LEAN MEASUREMENTS
FOOTING & FOUNDATION DRAINS
FOUNDATION CRACKS & DAMAGE GUIDE
FRAMING DAMAGE, INSPECTION, REPAIR
FRAMING DETAILS for BETTER INSULATION
FRAMING DETAILS for DOUBLE WALL HOUSES
FRAMING CONNECTORS & JOIST HANGERS
FRAMING FASTENERS, NAILS, SCREWS, & HIDDEN
FRAMING & SUBFLOOR for TILE
FRAMING MATERIALS, Age, Types
FRAMING METAL STUD PERFORMANCE
FRAMING METHODS, Age, Types
FRAMING SIZE & Spacing, Age, Types
FRAMING TABLES, SPANS for DECKS
FROST HEAVES, FOUNDATION, SLAB
I-JOISTS, Wood Roof Floor
ROOF ICE DAM LEAKS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INSECT INFESTATION / DAMAGE
LOG HOME GUIDE
MODULAR HOME CONSTRUCTION
MOBILE HOMES, DOUBLEWIDES, TRAILERS
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
PORCH CONSTRUCTION & SCREENING
PRE-CUT & KIT HOMES
Preservative-Treated Framing Lumber
RAILINGS, DECK & PORCH
RETAINING WALL DESIGNS, TYPES, DAMAGE
RETAINING WALL GUARD RAILINGS
ROT, FUNGUS, INSECT DAMAGE
ROT RESISTANT LUMBER
ROT, TIMBER FRAME
ROT, TIMBER ASSESSMENT
SEARS KIT HOUSES
SHEATHING, GYPSUM BOARD
FIBERBOARD SHEATHING, Celotex Homasote & Other
SHEATHING, FOIL FACED - VENTS
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS
STONE CLEANING METHODS
STRESS SKIN INSULATED PANELS
STRUCTURAL DAMAGE PROBING
STUCCO WAll FAILURES DUE TO WEATHER
STUCCO WALL METHODS & INSTALLATION
STUCCO OVER FOAM INSULATION
STUCCO PAINT FAILURES
SURFACE GRADING, SITE DRAINAGE
TEST KITS for DUST, MOLD, PARTICLE TESTS
Thermal Expansion Cracking of Brick
THERMAL EXPANSION of HOT WATER
THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
THERMAL IMAGING MOLD SCANS
THERMAL MASS in BUILDINGS
TRIM, EXTERIOR CHOICES, INSTALLATION
TRIM, INTERIOR INSTALLATION
TRAPPED MOLD BETWEEN WOOD SURFACES
TRUSS UPLIFT, ROOF
TRUSSES, Floor & Roof
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO
VINYL Siding or Window PLASTIC ODORS
VOCs VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
WALL SIDING TRIM & FINISHES
WALL FINISHES INTERIOR
WALL CONSTRUCTION BARRIER vs CAVITY
WATER BARRIERS, EXTERIOR BUILDING
WATER ENTRY in buildings
WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS
WIND TURBINES & LIGHTNING
WINDOWS & DOORS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
WOOD, COAL STOVES & FIREPLACES
WOOD STOVE SAFETY
ZONE VALVES, HEATING
Deck girders & beams guide: This article reviews the proper construction and connection of beams or girders used to support a deck or porch.
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Our page top photo shows an unsafe (incomplete) deck girder construction with only minimal connections between the girder and the post top.
[Click to enlarge any image or table]
When you find a deck built like this one, it makes sense to check every point where a connection should have been made.
This article series discuss best porch & deck construction practices, including choice of framing materials, decking or flooring choices & installation, how to select and use deck and porch structural and flooring fasteners, actual deck & porch framing construction details & connections, deck joist & beam span tables, how to build leak-proof rooftop decks, construction of covered & screened porches, deck & porch railing construction & materials, choices of finishes and stains for decks & porches, and past & current deck lumber preservative treatments with related health & environmental concerns. This article series includes excerpts or adaptations from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction, by Steven Bliss, courtesy of Wiley & Sons. Also see ourreview of that book.
For the strongest connection of beam to post, place the support beam directly on top of the posts, rather than bolting them to the side, so the full load is transferred to the posts.
To keep the post in place and to prevent any twisting or shifting, the connection should be reinforced with steel strapping, a steel connector, or a treated plywood cleat (Figure 4-13).
In general, notching a 4x4 post will leave too little wood for an adequate connection. A double 2x beam can rest on a notched 6x6 post, as shown.
For the strongest connection of joists to the support beam, the joists should sit on top of the beam. For a more streamlined appearance, however, joist hangers are acceptable.
Make sure the hangers and nails are approved by the manufacturer for use with the new types of pressuretreated wood (ACQ or ACZA) and fill all the holes in the hangers with properly sized nails.
In general, nail into the joists with 1 1/2-inch joist-hanger nails and nail into the beam with 10d to 16d common nails, as specified by the hanger manufacturer. Sizes for joists and beams are shown in Table 4-7 and Table 4-8 below.
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Deck & Porch Resources, Products, Manufacturers: Where to Buy
See Deck & Porch Products, Manufacturers for our complete/updated listings of manufacturers of porch & deck products, materials, coatings, fasteners, lumber, tools.
Prefabricated Deck & Porch Railing Systems
Avcon Structural Railing Systems www.avconrail.com Thermoplastic and aluminum railings
CertainTeed www.certainteed.com EverNew PVC railing system
Global Dec-K-Ing Systems www.globaldecking.com DEC-K-ING aluminum railing system
DecKorators Inc. www.deckrail.com Decorative aluminum balusters and connectors for wooden railing systems. Also, tempered-glass balusters
Duradek www.duradek.com Durarail powder-coated aluminum railing system and walk-on vinyl decking membrane.
FSI Home Products Division www.railingworks.com Aluminum railing systems
Fypon www.fypon.com Polyurethane railing systems in classic architectural styles
HB&G www.hbgcolumns.net PermaPorch cellular-polyvinyl chloride (PVC) railings and posts reinforced with wood or aluminum; cellular-PVC or aluminum balusters Kroy Building Products www.kroybp.com Classic Manor PVC-railing system
L.B. Plastics www.lbplastics.com Sheerline PVC-railing systems and PVC- post cladding
Royal Crown Limited www.royalcrownltd.com PVC railing system with steel reinforcing
Shakespeare Composites Structures www.armor-rail.com Armor-Rail structural fiberglass (FRP) railing system with turned balusters
Thermal Industries www.thermalindustries.com Dream Rail PVC-railing system with optional tempered glass balusters
U.S. Plastic Lumber Corp. www.carefreexteriors.com Recycled HDPE railing system
Hidden Deck Fastener Suppliers
BEN Manufacturing www.premier1.net/~ben69 Dec-Klips fit between deck planks with prongs into edges; nailed into top of joists; electrogalvanized steel
Blue Heron Enterprises www.ebty.com Eb-Ty UV-resistant polypropylene biscuit fits into slots in edge of decking, screws into top of joist Grabber Construction Products www.deckmaster.com Deckmaster angle bracket screws to side of joist and up into decking; available in galvanized or stainless steel
Simpson Strong-Tie www.strongtie.com DBTC deck ties screw down to top of joist with prongs into edges of decking planks; triple-zinc-coated or stainless steel by special order; disposable plastic driving tool
Spotnails www.spotnails.com Tebo stainless-steel fasteners fit between decking boards with prongs into edges of decking; installed with mallet and proprietary tool
TY-LAN Enterprises Inc. www.shadoetrack.com Shadoe Track angle bracket nailed along top of joist and screws up into bottom of deck boards; available in galvanized, powder-coated, and stainless steel
USP Lumber Connectors www.uspconnectors.com Deck Clip screws into edge of one decking board and locks to next board; requires toenailing one edge of each board
Screen Systems for Porches
One BetterWay www.screentight.com Screen-Tight vinyl porch screening system screws to exterior of porch framing; snap-on facings conceal screws and screen splines; available in white, beige, gray, and brown
Sources of Deck Finishes, Stains, Preservative Coatings
Amteco www.mfgsealants.com/amteco.htm Sealers, preservatives, and deck stains
Cabot www.cabotstain.com Clear sealers and deck stains
Cuprinol, a division of Sherwin Williams www.cuprinol.com Sealers, preservatives, and deck stains
The Flood Company www.floodco.com Clear sealers and deck stains
Penofin www.penofin.com Lightly tinted oil-based sealers and stains
Olympic, PPG Architectural Finishes www.olympic.com Clear sealers and deck stains
Wolman Wood Care Products, division of Zinsser Co. www.wolman.com Wolman sealers and deck stains and DAP Woodlife clear sealers
Deck & Porch Industry Associations
American Wood Preservers Association (AWPI) www.awpa.com
California Redwood Association www.calredwood.org
Deck Industry Association www.deckindustry.org
Forest Stewardship Council www.fscus.org Information on certified tropical hardwoods
Rainforest Alliance, Smartwood Program www.rainforest-alliance.org Information on certified tropical hardwoods
Southern Forest Products Association www.sfpa.org
Southern Pine Council www.southernpine.com
Western Wood Products Association www.wwpa.org
Western Wood Preservers Institute www.wwpinstitute.org
-- Adapted with permission from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction.
see CODES for STAIRS & RAILINGS for details about stair building codes and specifications.
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