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In my deck design I have some beams (triple 2x10) that meet at posts (6x6). If I align the angled beam with the edge of the post, then that would allow the remaining 1" of the post for the ends of the north-south beams to rest on, which I feel is too little.

My current thought is to use 6x8 posts instead of 6x6 in these locations so that the ends of the north-south beams will have 3" to rest on. Is there a better solution?

enter image description here

This is what I imagined in the 6x8 post scenario. The bottom beam would be attached using a bracket, and the Top beam could be attached using straps. enter image description here

Edit: Corrected perpendicular verbiage Edit 2: Added secondary image

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  • I don't suppose you'd be willing to run a set of piers dedicated to that edge/beam? You could move your current piers a bit "north" and have some cantilever. Or—and I have no clue whether or not this would meet code, but what about using extra big footings on that edge, and simply inserting an extra 6x6 in the footing, at the proper angle for the diagonal beam?
    – Huesmann
    Aug 17, 2023 at 12:53
  • @Huesmann Yeah I'm playing around with using dedicated piers, or placing two posts on the same footing as you suggested - The only concern I have with the latter is getting the placement correct such that the two posts don't exert an uneven load causing the footing to skew. If I use a 6x8 as depicted in the second image, I could potentially cut out the exposed face of the post and use a secondary post bracket for the angled beam. Aug 17, 2023 at 14:51
  • Though, I'd only have to add 2 more piers to have dedicated posts...perhaps that's the way I'll go so that I won't worry in the future. Aug 17, 2023 at 15:06
  • The base of the footing should be large enough, and the columns stiff enough that any "skew" from an offset column won't matter. Did you have a footing diameter already determined?
    – Huesmann
    Aug 18, 2023 at 11:57

1 Answer 1

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I presume you're talking about the diagonal beam meeting the "north/south" beam (since I don't see anything that looks like parallel/perpendicular at a post).

You can use joist hangers - put the "north/south" beams on the posts, then use 60° joist hangers to locate and support the diagonal beam.*

Using joist hangers is a recommended practice anyway, since it makes a much stronger joint than through nailing into end grain or toe nailing them together. In many places, it's actually required by code to use them. You'd probably want to use post cap "joist hangers" (not sure of the technical term) to affix the beams to the top of your posts, also. You can get 6" by triple-2x caps that will work perfectly in this situation.


*I suggest this way because I'm not aware of any post caps that are designed to support a beam at a 60° angle to the top of the post. Of course, if you were to rotate your posts to line up with the angled beam, I'd recommend you do so, then you can set the diagonal beam in proper post-caps and use 60° joist hangers to hang the north/south beams from it. I'm not actually sure if joist hangers are made to support going the other way around, to be honest...

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  • The joist hangers would need to be upside down to work correctly. I also suspect that's not "approved" use. The alternative of having the posts support the diagonal beam and hanging the north-south ones onto that would avoid this issue.
    – Olivier
    Aug 16, 2023 at 15:38
  • Agreed, @Olivier. That's the main reason I posted the edit. Don't think I've ever seen something that would support the beams in the way I originally described, and I'm having trouble even envisioning it.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 16, 2023 at 15:41
  • @FreeMan So I did look into joist hangers but couldn't find any that were skewed at 60 degrees - all the ones I found had a max of 50. Are these hangers bend-able? Or are you aware of some that are made at 60 degrees? Aug 16, 2023 at 16:17
  • TBH, @RyanMcClure, no I haven't, however, I've never looked. If necessary, I'd suggest changing your design to accommodate the hangers available, as that would make for a stronger deck than trying to go without. Of course, the call on that is yours, or at least, your inspector's if this is permitted. The other option, of course, is to get drawings done by an engineer who is willing to sign off on a design that includes fastener schedules but excludes hangers. It's his career on the line if that fails, so it ought to be good, and would satisfy the inspector.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 16, 2023 at 18:24
  • If the deck is up to 18" off the ground, failure isn't likely to be fatal, just annoying and possibly a trip to the ED. If it's beyond that, a failure in one of those joints could be fatal, and the engineering fees would seem cheap in comparison...
    – FreeMan
    Aug 16, 2023 at 18:25

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