Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Deck Design Do's and Don't's: Part 1

I recently visited a wood framed observation platform that I am replacing with new designs.  The owner wants to keep a small section of the platform that is newer while replacing the older portion that is failing in some areas.  I will post some of the failure items over the next few weeks so as not to show everything at once.

For Part 1, we can discuss the importance of post caps when bearing a girder on a beam.  See the photograph above.  Reasons to use a post cap for this condition include:
  1. Increases lateral strength of the connection.
  2. Eliminates use of toe-nails, which when improperly installed can split the top of the post.
  3. Contains movement of the wood girders relative to the top of post that results from the shrinking, swelling and twisting of wood as it reaches its equilibrium. 
Ultimately, you do not want the condition in the photograph to result in the photograph below. 

For more information about deck design, please see my previous post here.

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