Sorry if my terminology is bad, I tried to pick up some of the terms and do some research in the ICC before posing the question here.

I've got a contractor replacing a deck for me and I noticed that he attached the joists to the ledger, then removed the screws and (looks like) pulled out a corner of the frame. This now caused a gap to gradually increase in distance from the ledger to the point where some of the boards now terminate in the hanger just before the hangers can screw into the board.

I understand that the best support for the joists, the wood should be fit as far in as possible. Is this an allowable gap? What should I expect to see in a fix of this is out of code?

  • 1
    An accurate measurement to the nearest 1/16" would be helpful. It sounds to me like there's as much as 1/2" to 5/8" gap. I'd consider that unacceptable strictly from a workmanship standpoint. It's unlikely that the deck will suffer structural issues if the joists are anchored well by cross-nailing through the hanger holes.
    – isherwood
    Feb 1 '16 at 1:21

Most building authorities will insist that all framing connections are joined so that there is no space between them. Most carpenters will follow this idea as a matter of principle.

When metal framing connectors are used the joists should abut the metal plate in the same way; as close to the inside of the connector as possible with no space.

  • Thanks. This confirms my thoughts. In my area, replacing an existing deck doesn't require a permit. If he tells me it's acceptable, should I bust out the code or have an inspector come out?
    – Ian
    Feb 1 '16 at 0:54
  • 2
    I don't want to instigate bad feelings towards your builder so I won't say how you should handle this issue. What I can say and suggest to you is if you have any reservation or doubt as to the safety and reliability of the deck it should be explained to the builder in a respectful manner. If your worker is a reasonable person he will fix the issue that has been pointed out. This all depends on what has been previously agreed to and how your relationship has been. Most contractors will correct sloppy work when it's noted in a cordial manner.
    – ojait
    Feb 1 '16 at 1:11
  • I'll see him tomorrow and discuss with him. With having a lifetime of cover and alignment in the military, it grabbed my attention.
    – Ian
    Feb 1 '16 at 1:17

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