The lateral tension devices are included in the current International Builders Code:

R507.2.4 Deck lateral load connection.

The lateral load connection required by Section R507.1 shall be permitted to be in accordance with Figure R507.2.3(1) or R507.2.3(2). Where the lateral load connection is provided in accordance with Figure R507.2.3(1), hold-down tension devices shall be installed in not less than two locations per deck, within 24 inches of each end of the deck. Each device shall have an allowable stress design capacity of not less than 1,500 pounds (6672 N). Where the lateral load connections are provided in accordance with Figure R507.2.3(2), the hold-down tension devices shall be installed in not less than four locations per deck, and each device shall have an allowable stress design capacity of not less than 750 pounds (3336 N).

Here is a shot of the exterior side of one of these in action:

enter image description here

But guess what, the same device has an internal analog. And that's where the fun lies. My question is: in the case of retrofitting an existing [older] home/deck with these tensioners, how can the internal home side be installed? This case is for a second story deck so it would seem necessary to rip up a lot of stuff in the [basement] ceiling and main story subfloor to get the elbow room for installing these in their correct locations. Ripping up [and re-doing] a bunch of well smoothed/mudded drywall and matching the existing paint jobs is possible to do.. but are there any approaches to minimize that collateral damage?

I'm thinking along these lines: we need to at the minimum open up an area six inches into the home from the siding and a few inches of width to install the devices. But when I think about actually being able to get in there to find the precisely correct locations to attach to the floor joists and then have the space to do the drilling it could be a few square feet of wallboard etc. Any thoughts on how to do a more surgical installation?


  • 1
    With drywall it usually does not take any more time to fix a big hole as it does a small hole. Trying to do work in a tiny hole usually takes more time. Matching the paint is probably the hardest to do and might be a bit easier with a larger surface than a tiny section.
    – crip659
    Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 19:09
  • Downside of larger area is that if the match were not perfect than it's a bigger imperfection. But I would leave adequate space to do the work. I have a bunch of right angle drill attachments to reduce the area required so there are ways to keep the damage in check. Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 22:53

1 Answer 1


There may be options that do not require the interior to be disturbed.

Check thisLateral Deck connections

enter image description here

  • I had seen the elbow-brace version but was uncertain about whether it is accepted. The L bracket is really simple. Four of those and we're done. I've taken the liberty to paste in a screenshot of it into your [now accepted] answer Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 21:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.