Usage of Joist Hangers (help)

velanziaAugust 29, 2011

Hey Guys - This is about usage of joist hangers. So I'm building this 14x16 freestanding deck. It is not attached to any foundation. It just sits on top of 9 legs. height is about 2' on deep end. My questions is this, should I be using Joist hangers at either end of joists?

Reason why I'm asking is most of the decks I see with joist hangers are for the decks attached to house. Joist hanger is in-between ledger and joist. Header is just screwed or nailed in. Since mine is a freestanding, no ledger - I was thinking should I really need joist hangers?

Let me know. I don't wanna take any shortcuts - I already purchased the joist hangers but if it serves no purpose I'd rather return them. Thank you.

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With out going into all the reasons you should use joist hangers and what happens if you dont use them or the equivalent.

You would be taking a very stupid short cut if you did not.Free standing or leadger makes no differance.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 4:41PM
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If the joists are sitting _on top_ of girders, no joist hangers per se, but probably should use some hurricane ties to prevent uplift. The band joists will keep the j's from rolling over sideways; solid bridging or x-bracing will help w/that too if the span is greater than 16'.
If there is a structural rim joist bearing the joist weight you need hangers (or the largest steel corner plates) at each joist.
A substantial ledger strip of 2x4 under the joist ends is just as acceptable, but demands a band joist/girder 3" wider than the joists to attach the 2x4 ledger onto. So, a 2x12 band with a 2x4 ledger spiked on to carry the bottom edges of 2x8 joists; so this scheme is likely to require an additional mid-span girder once the span exceeds 12 feet, (the rule-of-thumb limit to 2x8, 16" OC)
End nails or toe nails alone aren't satisfactory.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 8:05PM
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I've linked the American Wood Council's guide to deck building below. It's a great, easy-to-understand guide and I recommend you follow it religiously. :-) Page 7 deals with joist hangers. And yes, you do need them. It has nothing to do with free-standing vs. attached via ledger board to the house.

And unfortunately plenty of people do build decks without joist hangers, but it's not to code.

Here is a link that might be useful: AWC Deck Building Guide

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 7:43AM
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I do not use joist hangers for beam to joist connections if the beam can support the joist from below. It is stronger to build with continuous joists bearing on top of beams.

As pictured in the link Weedy provided:
"joist to beam connection"

This is best way to build. Sometimes it is not possible because of height or headroom issues. In these cases, when the joists have to connect flush to the beam, ledger, or header, joist hangers are required by code. Nailing the boards in from the ends is not acceptable.

The joist hanger is a solution to reduce the height of the framing by avoiding joists resting on top of beams. This is pictures in Weedy's link where the joist attaches to the ledger board.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 1:11PM
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