I have an old cedar deck, and most of the decking and vertical support posts are rotted out. I'd like to rebuild the deck as-is, just replacing the rotting pieces.
The current design is as follows:
- 2x8 treated ledgers anchored to concrete foundation
- 2x8 treated joists coming off the ledgers
- 2x8 treated rim joists around the edges
- 4x4 cedar posts around the edges (4 foot intervals), sitting on concrete footings
- Posts are notched and are supporting the rim joists, attached with nails
- There are no other supporting posts or beams
- Deck extends about 8 feet out from the house
- Deck is about 4 feet off the ground for one section, and 2 feet off the ground for the other section
- Deck is located in Texas, so snow is not a concern
My concern is that all the information I've found on decks shows people using 6x6 posts as the main supporting structure, with beams on top of those and joists on top of the beams. I only see 4x4 posts used to form the supports for the railings.
I'm hoping to use the current design, and replace all of the posts, decking, and railings. The only significant change I have planned is to attach the posts to the rim joists using carriage bolts instead of nails. Is it reasonable to have 4x4 posts as the primary support, or do I need to consider more significant design changes?