Expanding my current deck


I’m expanding my deck and have noticed that not a single joist hanger has been used in its construction. This a 2-story deck and it appears the joists are just toenailed into the header board. I plan on using the hangers on the expansion, but should I go back over the existing deck and install joist hangers?

  6 answers
  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Jul 20, 2018
    Sometimes they are nailed without joist - toe nailing is not up to code. You can go back and add joist hangers on the existing part of deck. Toe nailing is not a good way to keep deck secure.
    • Bil28807452 Bil28807452 on Jul 20, 2018
      Thank you Cheryl. I sure wouldn’t build a deck this way. I guess I’m going to have to go back and put hangers on the old sections of decking. Ugh.
  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Jul 20, 2018

    Toenail decking joists into position along the wall ledger using a galvanized 16d nail. Make sure the top of the joist is even with the top of the flashing on the wall ledger so that decking will go on evenly. For outdoor work, use hot-dipped galvanized nails; for indoors, use common (not sinker-type) nails.

    Some builders like to install the board first, then the hangers; others install the hanger first; others partly install the hanger, then insert the joist and finish ...

    Sorry forgot to add this info. I would also check my local code requirements.
  • Shuganne Shuganne on Jul 20, 2018
    Bil, go back to the guy that built it and tell him to get it up to code fast or you're going to "take it to the next level." That could be the Better Business Bureau, the governmental body that issued his license, word of mouth, and the good old internet. You could ask your Facebook friends to email him a request to get your deck done right. Give him 48 hours to get in touch with you. Then ask your friends to ask their friends to do the same thing. He will never (do shoddy) work in your town again.
    • Bil28807452 Bil28807452 on Jul 20, 2018
      No can do. We bought this house 2 years ago and it was built some 18 years ago. No idea who or when this deck was built. I guess I’m going to have to invest in joist hanger stock!
  • William William on Jul 20, 2018
    The deck was probably built before joist hangers were available. That is how it was done. Built many in my time. You can add joist hangers to the existing deck if you want. Since you are adding to it current building would apply. If you left it alone it would be grandfathered in.
  • Shuganne Shuganne on Jul 20, 2018
    Tough break, Bil! The only positives are you know you'll be safe now and we can all learn a lesson to have the house inspected before you sign the paperwork.... Maybe you have some friends who would pitch in for an evening of your version of pizza and beer?
    • Bil28807452 Bil28807452 on Jul 21, 2018
      Thanks. What sucks is that the house WAS INSPECTED before we bought it. I guess no one takes pride in their jobs anymore.
  • Shuganne Shuganne on Jul 21, 2018
    So can't you go back and get some retribution from the inspection company? Don't they have to tell you about anything not up to code, as well as anything old and worn out? Don't they have to warranty their work? A quick call to a lawyer would answer whether you have some recourse beyond swearing.   They need to feel your wrath!
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