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I'm building a 12x16 ground-level deck in my backyard (not attached to the house). I'll have 4x6 beams anchored to concrete footing.

My question is: can I install a 4x6 ledger beam that will have its ends up against a post base (the beam will be supported by Simpson Strong-Tie framing angles)? I'm hoping my Sketchup model will illustrate clearly what I'm trying to explain. For some reason I don't think you can/should, but I don't know anything about building decks (I'm learning as I go!). Any help/advice would be awesome. Thanks.

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  • What are you concerned about ?
    – Alaska Man
    Jun 10 '19 at 17:50
  • those brackets look too small, enough for a joist perhaps, but not for a beam.
    – Jasen
    Jun 11 '19 at 5:01
  • It is good unless they rust away. My galvanized brackets rusted away in less than 20 years in some locations ( warm moist location). Mar 7 '20 at 16:01
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There is nothing wrong with this from an architectural standpoint. Honestly you should only have tied in framework touching the support posts. Meaning here - if the footing heaves, the ledger is failing no matter what. Either it adjusts because of the tie or the concrete, result is the same.

It would be against standards (and maybe code) to have non-tied framing laying on or within a micro-distance of the support posts.

Being practical though, this is poor design. At least give yourself some wiggle room. I would say 2" at least. What if one of your pours doesn't set right, what if your measurements were slightly off level, whatever. I wouldn't want to have to shave concrete out to make the ledgers level.

So my answer is in theory fine, but not practical. Also it sounds like you are a DIYer and haven't built 40 decks. Don't make things so hard on yourself.

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Structurally this is a marginal installation.

Those are Simpson A35 Angles (clips). They have an allowable load of between 510 lbs. and 600 lbs. each depending on the species and grade of the beam.

I’ll assume your beams are 4’ on center and span 12’ (the short distance of your deck size) and Code requires a Live Load of 40 psf and a Dead load of 10 psf for a total load of 50 psf. Therefore, the actual load on this connection is:

12’ / 2 x 4’ x 50 psf = 1200 lbs.

If each clip can resist about 510 lbs. to 600 lbs. , then the connection could be over stressed, depending on the species and grade of the beams.

Remember, this clip ONLY works if the nails are ALL installed and the wood does NOT split. The likelihood of that is slim plus you’d better be using Douglas Fir No. 1 beams or better. In addition, if you’re using pressure treated lumber, you should reduce the allowable stress values by 10% or more...that would make the connection over-stressed and could fail.

Don’t use that type of clip/hanger.

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  • I think it is being suggested that because the 'bottom of the tee' is resting directly on the pile, gravity loads would not have to be transferred through the brackets - they would only be for bracing and other sideways movements. I'd be concerned about movement and the small surface area, though. But I'm not a builder. Mar 7 '20 at 5:35

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