Self Builder - Joining Different Lengths of Joists

I had plans drawn up for a addition to an existing deck. There is a 14 foot span to the first beam then an 8 foot span to the next beam. It calls for 2x10 on the 14 foot span and then 2x8 on the 8 foot span. What is the best way to match these 2 different width joists?

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Apr 10, 2010
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Joining Joists end to end
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

I think this sounds a bit odd. Using different width joists means you have to alter the height of your supporting beams and it also means a complicated set up on the beam where the two different sized joists join.

To be perfectly honest I have never seen or heard of this in all my years of building decks and certainly with houses. I think the joists should always be the same width to simply things.

Anything is possible but the engineering changes and this is a bit of a make work project.

At any rate, whenever you join joists you should overlap them together and directly over the supporting beam. I would overlap these at least 24" so your 14' joist becomes 16" and your 8" beam becomes 10".

Keep in mind this also alters you nailing or screw fastening pattern from above on the deck boards as the two joists are offset by 1-1/2".

Any other builders out there with a few good tips please join in.

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