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What constitutes a "free standing" deck?

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  • What constitutes a "free standing" deck?

    My question is, what classifies, or makes a deck be considered in the industry as "free standing?" I paid to have a "free standing" deck with a rear support beam and rear support poles. What we got is a fully attached deck with a beam and support poles installed at the end of the deck build.

    Over 60% of the joists have an air gap between the joist and rear beam closest to the home.

    The joists are in no way anchored to the rear beam, but are all anchored into joist hangers attached to a ledger board that is fully attached with lag bolts to the house.

    We are not even sure anything can be done at this point.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Insights?
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Trexfamily2016; 04-11-2016, 11:52 AM.

  • #2
    Re: What constitutes a "free standing" deck?

    Is the first image prior to the rear beam installation? From the other images, it appears the rear beam serves only as a decorative measure, or to appease your desires.


    • #3
      A free-standing deck does not touch the house at all.....the decking should come within 1/4" of the siding.

      The ledger and beam issue may not be your only problem. If he framed with 2x12's the span may be ok if it's around 12' from house to far edge of the deck, but the posts on the perimeter should have been at least 4x6 and there should be no ledger bolted to the house. The beam he added does not touch the bottom of the joists...probably because they can vary in width up to 3/8" [one of the wonders of treated pine...almost all sizes can vary this much]. This can be remedied with the addition of lag screws through the beam into the joists [long enough to get a few inches into the joists].

      The posts all need to be either in cement or bolted to stirrups on top of the cement pier for a solid connection. Ours are set up to 3' in the ground for a deck like yours. At this point I wouldn't have the current builder do another thing on your deck....time to call in a pro.

      Kelly Hanna
      Hanna Woodworks
      Decks & Pergolas