Messages

Subject:
Since you ask, here is my 2¢

Keith L Newton
First off, let me just state, the structural part is not what you need to worry about, but, DECAY is the enemy of all your efforts and expenses. One of the things that I try to avoid, having torn down plenty of rotten decks and docks is to never have the broad faces of the lumber together where it can hold water and all the grunge that will wash in after it rains, then holds water along with pollen, decaying leaves, dirt and spores. Even the best pressure treatment doesn't permeate the resin rich cells of heart pine, so that will be the first place where the decay will get started. Once someone starts seeing mushrooms growing out of there, folks get jittery and the whole thing comes down.

I think you have gone way overkill on what was needed. Instead of 6x6" joist, 2x8 would have been my choice, even though 2x6 might have met code, but I don't know what the span is to check it. Then earlier did I see 2x6's flat, on top of the 6x6's that the deck is screwed down to? that is two layers of flat faces together destined to hold water. Then I'm not sure what the curb board is supposed to do, but that will provide another trap for water and debris.

As for all the bolts, have you taken a look at Timberlock screws? They will drive even without a pilot hole, although I always do when near the ends of boards, or when going really long. They are coated and of harder steel than lags, and the heads wouldn't need countersinking. https://www.lowes.com/pd/FastenMaster-0-x-2-7-8-in-Black-Ecoat-Flat-Head-Interior-Exterior-Structural-Wood-Screws-50-Count/3295058

I don't know if it was necessary to run the deck boards across rather than longitudinal, which probably would make steering less risky when individual boards cupped. So to get rid of the 6x6, with 2x6 flat, I would start with 2x10 drop girders running across maybe on 6' centers, with 2x6x12' joist on 16" centers running longitudinal, then decked with the standard 5/4x6 decking running across. If the drop girders are run long enough, the post for the rail could then run down to the bottom, and be fastened on beside it, as well as through the joist. I'll assure you that would be stronger than using those metal brackets.

I like to use 4x4 post, with 2x6 cap rail which has a top bevel on both sides leaving about 2" flat in the middle like a roof, as well as cut a little 1/4" groove back 5/16 from the edge, so all the water drips off out there rather than ever getting to under the cap. This also prevents the inevitable cup caused by the Sun drying the top out faster than the moisture comes out from the ever enlarging checks on the top face or just leaving it flat.

I would also drop those other 4 2x6s of the railing down to 5/4 x 6" and leave the curb off the deck so all the stuff which settles out of the air can just wash on off the ends of the 1-1/2" overhang from the last joist.

I hope you can follow this, and let me know if you have questions.

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