Deck Beam to Post Connection

InterNACHI’s illustrated deck inspection article says that beams must be notched or resting directly on a deck post. I almost never see that. I have always called it out if missing, especially when just a few nails or deck screws were used to fasten a beam to the posts–no notching or bearing. Is it really that big a deal if multiple bolts are connecting it though?

Just curious on what people report. Seems like there are very few decks built “properly”.

I rarely ever see a deck that was built even 95% correct (to older standards), and absolutely never 100% to current standards!!
(Note: that does not include decay or wear and tear).

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that’s a sorry fact lol

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You have to make some judgement calls. How old is the deck, how is it performing etc?

Here in GA, for older decks I always call out wood to ground contact, ledger flashing issues and notched guard posts. Other issues may have been allowed at the time of construction so safety and performance becomes a priority. Ultimately, I write hard on all decks.

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This was about the worst constructed deck I had ever inspected. I threw the entire deck under the bus.

“Deck was found to have substandard framing including inadequate girder attachment to posts, insufficient joist spacing, undersized joists, over spanned joists, unsupported sistered joists and over spanned deck surface.”


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Good news, it is only a foot off the ground.

Can’t you span 2x4’s 20 feet on 4’ centers? :wink:

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IMHO: I call out all that is improper. I do not make it a opinion-piece (as in - I’ve got a hunch that this deck foundation, which is improper or “old school” probably won’t collapse). I inspect decks and porches based on modern code and building practices. There is a reason why codes and practices are updated or improved, and it is likely based on the number of national deck collapses, injuries and deaths.
A common response from sellers is “the deck has been that way for years, and we’ve had no problem”. Fact is: who knows how the present owner uses the deck, or how often…compared to how the new owner will use the deck. The present owner may occasionally sit on the deck and read the newspaper, or use his bbq grill. The new owner may use it with 15 people and a keg.
Note also that correction of post/beam connections is fairly easy, using retrofit hardware. So it’s not like you’re condemning a building. You’re more like improving safety for your client while covering your own backside.
Just sayin.

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The funny thing about decks (and other components) is that they work well…until the don’t.

Great point! And those 15 people will all lean on a crappy guard rail.

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I agree. The Condo that collapsed in Florida could of been said to have “been that way for years” as well.

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I have seen a few like that. Absolutely a train wreck.

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