Hi. Looks like I am in for some experience. I have a nice deck,
which is supported by 6 x 6 posts. Unfortunately, I have found that
two of the posts are simply driven into the ground, and not on a
concrete footing or pier. In addition, those two posts are, you
guessed it, rotting out. In order to replace the posts I would have
to remove the deck "skirt" and some decking, and then detach the post
from the deck joist, where it is nailed (not lag-bolted) to the post.
I don't see any real way to remove all the nails without damaging the
attaching pieces. If possible, I think a lap joint cut into the deck
post would work well. I'll have to pour a footing, but after that is
done, I think I could put in a lap jointed post and lag the two posts
together. I'd sure like to hear some comments about this idea.
That is a viable solution. TOH showed Tom Silva (Or was it Norm?) doing the
same thing to an internal beam on a barn a couple of years ago- their web
site may have details. If the post is hidden, I'd consider using some thick
steel gusset plates on both sides, in addition to the lap joint. Just bolt
the hell out of it, including a couple bolts top and bottom through solid
post above and below the lap joint. Belt and suspenders, etc.
Other alternative, that may be cheaper and easier, if the rotten part
doesn't go too high. Cut back the bottom of post to solid wood, and instead
of a flush footer, pour a sonotube of rebar'd concrete high enough to meet
the bottom of the now-shorter post. Make sure to use a J-bolt and proper
standoff (Simpson or similar) on the new bottom joint, whichever way you go.
They make L-shaped ones with a flange you can lag into the hidden side,
since you won't be able to end-bolt or drop center-drilled post over a rod.
Standard precautions about jacking the deck to take the load off the post
being worked on apply. Decks will usually flex an inch or so with little
How high is the deck? Do you use the underside as a patio or anything? Is
it visible? It may be possible to just add a new post next to the old one
and then cut out the old one flush at the bottom of the skirt.
cut out the rot and splice a new pc of 6x6 pt to the bottom.
| > If possible, I think a lap joint cut into the deck
| > post would work well. I'll have to pour a footing, but after that
| > done, I think I could put in a lap jointed post and lag the two
| > together. I'd sure like to hear some comments about this idea.
| > Thanks.
| How high is the deck? Do you use the underside as a patio or
| it visible? It may be possible to just add a new post next to the
| and then cut out the old one flush at the bottom of the skirt.
Sorry for the late reply--I've been having some trouble figuring out
how to respond to everyone in the post thus far.
The deck is on a grade, the height varies. The shortest post runs
about two feet between the dirt and the skirt. The longest post is
about five feet between footing and skirt.
I'm concerned that if I side-saddle a post the weight will be
extreme on the mechanical attachments. It seems safer to either butt
joint or lap joint the new post in. I just don't know if there is any
code requirement as to depth of the lap, side-strapping, etc. I'll be
heading to the library this morning to review the IRC. Checking with
my city, they have no additional provisions or restrictions to the
IRC, so that is good...I think.
Thanks to all who have responded thus far. It seems like the
conscensus is to either lap joint or pour up the footing after cutting
off the bad wood in the post. I'm going to consider the second
option--not one I had thought of before--because it sounds like an
easier way to go than having to lap and lag a joint. I have since
checked the other two posts along the side where I have the problem,
and found that they too are in poor shape, so I think I'll have to do
whatever I do to all four posts, one at a time. If I opt to pour up
the footing, what sort of bracket do you recommend which will both
allow for a secure attachment to the remaining post, and allow the
post to slide into the bracket to secure it?
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