Building inspector/permit question
I've used this site as a source for the past year as we've planned our deck and begun construction. But after a visit from the building inspector today, it's now time to make my first inquiry.
We have an existing deck -- house and deck were built in 1996 -- that is built to state building code standards of 60 psf load. It is attached to the house and has one 2-2x8 beam resting on 5 4x4 posts. I've done the load analysis and it meets the 60 psf code. This deck is 6'-10' off the ground (sloping yard.) This deck is not really the issue, but is a comparison.
We are building a mid-level deck between the existing deck and a patio. This deck is free-standing. To meet the 60 psf code, it requires 2-2x10 beams. These numbers come from deck building software and have been confirmed with analysis and tables. The building inspector insisted on 3-2x12 beams. Rather than fight, we capitulated and built 3-2x12 beams. (bugger to move about!) We figure this lower level deck will be able to hold an elephant.
The beams are 14' long. We had 12' lumber. We spliced the beams as 2+12, 6+8, 12+2 -- spreading the splices along the length of the beam. The beams are nailed together every 16", plus have 2 carriage bolts on either side of each splice for a total of 12 carriage bolts per beams. (bolts, splice at 2' on piece 1, bolts; bolts, splice at 6' on piece 2, bolts; bolts, splice at 12' on piece 3, bolts.)
The rub seems to be the splices do not fall exactly above the posts -- they are within 6" of the post, but not directly above. All the framing is complete. The inspector failed us because the splices are not above the posts. To re-do the beams, we would need to start over -- remove joists, rim joists, beams -- not really in the game plan.
Given 2-2x10 beams meet code, having him reject the 3-2x12 beams based is a bit frustrating. We have unspliced 2-2x12's between any and all spans given we spread the 3 splices on the three pieces about.
What do others suggest?
1.) Is this really a flaw? We can't find anything indicating the splice must align with posts.
2.) If it is a flaw, can we remedy without taking the whole frame apart?
3.) If we choose to just ignore the building permit and continue with surfacing, will this bite us in the tush?
Any advice would be appreciated.
P.S. We just finished an addition last fall and had issues with this inspector. He wanted to know if our pool cover met certain safety standards -- we showed him the info on the cover and our receipt for buying that cover -- he said we couldn't be sure that the cover we received was the same cover we paid for, so therefore he would not accept it as a safety cover.