Rim joist serving as the beam???

I am looking for some advice on this deck situation. Most of the decks I see are constructed like this - rim joist attached to the posts with bolts. Ideally there should be a beam under the joists and that beam should be resting on and attached to the posts. In this situation the rim joist is bolted to the posts and it serves as the end beam.

Is there ever a situation where this is ok?

What verbiage would you use?

Observation I have included in my report so far are listed below.
For added child safety I recommend reducing the riser openings to less than 4 inches or totally enclose them.
Decks greater than 6 feet above grade should have diagonal bracing from posts to girder, and/or from posts to joists for added stability.
The weight of the deck(s) was being supported by the sheer strength of the bolts. The beams should bear directly on the posts. Recommend a licensed contractor evaluate the deck and make necessary repairs.
No visible deck ledger board flashing. The flashing protects the ledger and keeps water away from the side of the house. There was no visible damage. Repair as needed.
Some flaking paint/sealant noted. Suggest cleaning and sealing the deck(s), steps and railings where needed.
The upper level deck railing was loose Recommend a securing the railings where needed.
For added safety balusters should be added to the open area of the stairs to prevent a fall.
Thank you for your advice all!!
Have a safe day



Would not fly here on for a few reasons. Biggest concern is the weight of the deck resting on the bolts alone, All fasteners have a sheer rating which can be easily determined.
Also the smaller deck area help up by bracing is a possible hazard.

I think you got it covered but I suggest the buyer see if the local building department issued a permit and passed this installation. I’m guessing this was not permitted.

Thank you

Agreed. Looks like a single ply rim joist from here. I doubt this was designed by a professional.

Yes it is a single rim joist.

Thank you

Is there a single footer there ?
All I see is posts sitting on the retaining wall even for the first landing .

Bob, I couldn’t tell if there was a footing. There was a poured wall and floating slab up to the house. The wall had a vertical crack but looked pretty good.

Thank you for the illustrations.

Yeah looks like the entire weight is on that retaining wall.
My guess is this place is on a hill.

You guessed correctly. There is a creek at the bottom.

That is a pretty deck. Won’t look so pretty when it falls down due to excess weight. It is an accident waiting to happen in my opinion. Even the stair bracing looks pretty sketchy.

That retaining wall better be strong.
Normally my main concern here would be ledger bolt attachment .

Ledger board looks ok except for no flashing. They used lag and carriage bolts. The spacing isn’t perfect but they didn’t just use nails or deck screws like I often see.

Number one cause of collapse is ledger attachment such as nails which simply pull right out.

Not sure about using retaining wall to support all posts as far as code goes.

Not sure either about the retaining wall but it appears to the least of the problems if a problem at all.

Yes it is a nice looking deck. It will even be better when it is beefed up.

One other note beside the many:
The top deck also appears to be attached to the home.
Attachments to exterior veneers (brick, masonry, stone)
and to cantilevered floor overhangs or bay windows are
prohibited. In such cases the deck shall be free-standing.

Thank you Ken.

It doesn’t look like that railing is “graspable” either…

What’s a footer Bob? :mrgreen:

Sorry…for all you language purists :

Footing. The concrete pad that supports the column pedestal. The footing
extends into the ground where it spreads out the weight of the porch or deck.
Footings should be made of concrete and extend to a depth of at least 36
inches below the top of soil.

Technically it should have a concrete pedestal and the column or post should have a metal pad [attachment] help me with the name… to prevent water osmosis into the wood .