Free Standing or...
Attached to the House?

"How am I supposed to know if my porch or deck should be free standing or attached to my house!?"

Actually, it is not too hard to figure out. Porch or deck floors cannot be attached to house walls that have non-structural (that is 'Builder Talk' for thin plywood or wafer board) rim joists along the foundation wall. Back in the day, home builders would cap off the end of their house floor joists with a real structural 2x10 rim joist (back when men were men and women were women), but not so much anymore.

"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!"

Two ways:

  1. If your basement is not finished, simply pull a section of insulation off and see if the rim joist is plywood, wafer board or solid 2x10 (assumes you can tell the difference... some folks can't).
  2. If this won't work, here is a good way: Check out your neighbors' decks on houses by the same builder. If their decks were permitted by the county (most are), then the Inspectors will not allow them to attach to the house if non-structural rim joists were used by the builder.

"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?"

Exactly. Your porch (or deck) will also need to be free standing. There are alternative methods (which you and I can discuss), but let’s keep this form simple, ok? Please see my drawing below for all you visual-conceptual learners.

 

free standing deck or porch
deck or porch attached to house

 


 
 

 

 
Virginia Decking & Remodeling LLC
PO Box 41157
Fredericksburg, VA 22404
 
 
 
 
Telephone numbers below:
 
   
 

Note: If you are calling for a telephone estimate, that's great. I only ask that you first work with my extremely powerful Excel Deck, Porch and Sunroom Price Worksheet. Then call.

Thanks!

 

General Inquiries

540 786-3534

Design & Build Projects in Maryland
540 786-3534
Design & Build Projects in Northern Virginia

703 494-6556

Design & Build Projects in greater Fredericksburg, VA
540 786-3534
Design & Build Projects anywhere USA
540 786-3534
Fax
540 786-3324

 

 
 
 
 

(Type email address into your email program. This is a spam stopping technique.)
 
 
 
 
Nation's First Deck-Porch-Gazebo Company on the Web
 
 

 
Navigational Links to All of Our Services

Back to first page

Recession Busting
Deck/Porch Combo
(New!)
Solving
Terrible Composite Decking Problems
Deck and House
Power Washing
Design-at-a-DistanceReferencesOrdering Standard PlansGazebos Kits & Plans
Catalog (1st Edition)
On Site DesignClient Testimonial LettersMoney back guarantee
for Standard Plans
Gazebo Pricing
Gazebo Ordering
Design/Build Anywhere USA
"Have Nail Gun, Will Travel"
Fact Sheet
(Our Credentials)
Sample Building PlanIpe Decks & Ipe Wood
Composite Decking-RailingFairway Vinyl RailingsHints & TipsStarting a Deck Business?
Hidden FastenersTransform funky area
below your deck
Deck Cost CalculatorFinancing Available
Fast-Easy-Affordable
Materials DiscountLinks of Interest Composite & Ipe Deck
& Porch Photo Gallery
Personal note
from the owner
Site Map"How to Plan a Deck""How to Build a Deck" Client Worksheet
(4 things to get started)
 
All prices are subject to change without prior notice (duh).

 
Copyright 2006-2013 by Mike French
DBA Virginia Decking & Remodeling LLC
All Rights Reserved

 

Deck Plans | Building Decks | Deck Builders | Screen Porch | Front Porch Designs | Porch Designs | Ipe Decking Deck Design
Deck Planning
| Composite Problems | Additional Resources | Deck Cleaning Services