am I supposed to know if my porch or deck should be free standing
or attached to
"So what makes a 2x10 'structural' and who cares anyway?"
A 2x10 is structural because it will support weight and sustain lateral forces. If you try to attach your new deck band to an existing house rim joist composed of 1/4" plywood or wafer board (I saw cardboard used in one home), the deck won't stay attached long.
"That is not good. How can I tell if my house has a plywood or wafer board rim joist or a real 2x10? By the way, if I find out he used cardboard, I'm gonna sue him!"
"Don't keep me in suspense. How can I tell from looking at my neighbors' decks?"
You will see a row of 6x6 posts near the house which are supporting a beam and are making the deck free standing.
"Hmm. So then
that would mean my porch floor will also have to be free standing?"
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