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  1. #1

    Default Crowded porch collapses in Richmond, 21 injured

    See story at:

    http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/news.a...1-08-0174.html

    Frank Woeste
    Professor Emeritus
    Virginia Tech University

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Marysville, WA
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    266

    Default Re: Crowded porch collapses in Richmond, 21 injured

    Wow. Please keep us updated. It will be interesting to see if the workmanship contributed, as well as the overloading.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    St Louis, Mo for the past 25 years
    Posts
    7,556

    Default Re: Crowded porch collapses in Richmond, 21 injured

    Does not say how big a porch it was but to have 21 folks on it must have been pretty good size. However since I am not a structural engineer I would have to guess that most porches are not rated for that many folks on them at a time. Plus who knows how they were dancing. I have stood on roofs that felt a little uneasy but will hold you up until you start bouncing up and down on them. That is all I am going to say about that....

    I also found it interesting to read that the 19 year olds were complaining of noise and folks sitting on their cars at midnight, calling in a noise complaint. The one lady who is quoted is 32 I think I read. I would have thought it would have been the other way around to be calling in a noise complaint.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    3,771

    Default Re: Crowded porch collapses in Richmond, 21 injured

    I used to party alot at the college's around here... There was many nights a small 10x10 porch would have 20-30 people on it. Stairs would be crowded with people coming and going. Many nights I wondered how they didn't fall. Kegs of beer, people wrestling etc all elbow to elbow.

    I was framing at the time so I always looked at stuff like this when out. I didn't need a college edjucation I was going to make my money the old fashioned way.... Boy did reality hit me a few years ago. ;)

    For the age it really doesn't matter whole lot. There's always the people that look to old to be at the party and there's always a bookwork living close by to complain.

    I really am surprised this doesn't happen more often. Around here I see some crazy scary decks old and sagging but with nice furniture on them like they get used everyday.
    Last edited by J.Buesking; 11-09-2008 at 07:25 PM.
    Louisville Exteriors
    Professional Installers of:
    Siding | Replacement Windows | Roofing | Hand Rails | Gutters | And More!

  5. #5
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    Apr 2005
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    crested butte colorado
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    324

    Default Re: Crowded porch collapses in Richmond, 21 injured

    I was doing some work on a new house last week and found a deck installed with those 10 d 1.5 inch nails and simpson hangers. Problem was that they also used those 1.5 inch nails in the angled double shear slot that calls for a 10d common. the 1.5 inch nails did not hit squat. Its probably just fine till some has a hot tub party on the deck, with some music that you can bounce to.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Bergen County, NJ
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    4,410

    Default Re: Crowded porch collapses in Richmond, 21 injured

    Quote Originally Posted by CB Rob View Post
    I was doing some work on a new house last week and found a deck installed with those 10 d 1.5 inch nails and simpson hangers. Problem was that they also used those 1.5 inch nails in the angled double shear slot that calls for a 10d common. the 1.5 inch nails did not hit squat. Its probably just fine till some has a hot tub party on the deck, with some music that you can bounce to.
    What's scary is that your average homeowner never even considers just how much that new hot tub they just bought weighs wet. They'll just stick it on the old deck.

    The last hot tub I had to design around weighed 6800 pounds wet and could hold six people! Talk about live load...

    When I told the HOs that this tub would require some serious framing mods to make work, they told me to go scratch more or less. What do I know?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Marysville, WA
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    266

    Default Re: Crowded porch collapses in Richmond, 21 injured

    What the hell do you know about building decks? You've only been doing it for a decade. Now, I have owned this house for six months, and I once helped my uncle build a deck, so I know that 8d commons will work for holding a deck frame together. So go **** yourself and stop trying to tell me what to do, I need to have a new hot tub by next week for the party I am going to hold on my back deck.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2005
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    crested butte colorado
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    Default Re: Crowded porch collapses in Richmond, 21 injured

    you know whats kinda funny, is that the deck is the one that goes under this porch roof. The beam spans about 20', and got loaded with an extra large ice damn from excessive roof melt. I caught flack from the builder for suggesting that they have the beam checked by an engineer.

    Frank, just checked out your homepage. that is one heck of a resume!
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    Last edited by CB Rob; 11-10-2008 at 08:47 PM.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2005
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    Marysville, WA
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    Default Re: Crowded porch collapses in Richmond, 21 injured

    Jaysus CB. What engineer signed off on that?

    I used to do work for Bill Norton of Norton and Schmidt. He was the first engingeer on the scene of the Hyatt Walkway collapse in 1981 That sort of thing was what caused that disaster, double loading a plate instead of using a single member to carry the load all the way through the structure. This is bad juju all around.
    Last edited by Brian Steele; 11-11-2008 at 02:46 AM. Reason: Spelling, caps

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Richmond, VA
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    77

    Default Re: Crowded porch collapses in Richmond, 21 injured

    According to the news yesterday, they had upwards of sixty people at the party. The bldg inspector released a statement that the deck had been improperly attached to the house, came loose and feel down. It was built without a permit and was never inspected, and they were going to fine the owner of the home (rental house) even though they had owned it onlyfor a few years, and the deck had been built prior to them taking ownership of the property. They also mentioned that there were several other violations that would result in fines, but did not disclose what they were.
    Bruce

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Crowded porch collapses in Richmond, 21 injured

    I've just finished a 20x23 deck in Burke, VA (final inspection this week). As I was building it, the homeowner had alot of questions of the type..."Is that really necessary?" He was referring to things like the number of ledger bolts and the idea of using 3" 10d nails through the hangers!
    I just forwarded him that article. I wonder what he'll say now.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Crowded porch collapses in Richmond, 21 injured

    Update from newspaper:

    http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/news.a...1-11-0132.html

    Frank Woeste
    Professor Emeritus

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Dallas,PA
    Posts
    1,054

    Default Re: Crowded porch collapses in Richmond, 21 injured

    I can remember going to an open house at a newly constructed home about 15 years ago and upon looking at the deck support posts could not believe what I was seeing.The 4"x4" pt posts were side (toe) nailed to the built up support beam with 10d commons. This was on a deck 60' long and 14' deep and 9' above grade. No posts bearing under the beam. Needless to say, I did not venture onto the deck. Could you imagine the crowd that deck could have supported,(or not)?
    "ALS IK KAN" - Stickley

  14. #14
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    Jul 2007
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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    832

    Default Re: Crowded porch collapses in Richmond, 21 injured

    Just as I was wondering, I read that "Richmond's Commissioner of Buildings says there were too few bolts and they were too small. He also said the deck was attached to the building which is not allowed."

    This issue of freestanding vs. attached decks has come up at this forum, with some scary examples. Though I've always attached, as that is Code here, it seems that freestanding would be safer, especially over the long run as subsequent owners may not maintain or check the connection area.

    Once, when carrying 5 gallon paint cans in each hand, I slammed right through a rotted (but nicely stained) porch step. I've seen decks that didn't look much better.
    Last edited by worthy; 11-11-2008 at 08:45 PM.
    "The fatal flaw of all revolutionaries is that they know how to tear things down but don’t have a f**king clue about how to build anything." Jim Goad

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Crowded porch collapses in Richmond, 21 injured

    During this discussion, the issue of using the short(1-1/2") joist hanger nails instead of the specified 10's or even 12's was raised. I am still uncertain about this issue. Most of the gun nails used in the flanges on joist hangers are shorter than those the manufacturers specify. Is this now considered acceptable practice, or should such larger nails be installed by hand?

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