Loading

Create a free account and get instant & exclusive access to all that Decks.com has to offer:

Checkmark 1,000+ How-To articles
Checkmark 80+ Free Deck Plans
Checkmark Deck Planning Calculators
Checkmark Free & Simple Deck Design Tool
Ready to Start Your Project?

How to Connect a Notched Wood Post to a Beam

Using a notched post and beam connection will lock the beam in place, secure it from rotating and resist wind uplift.  Notching a post does not weaken the structural integrity of the wood support post because the load for the deck is transferred down through the post to the footings.  The upright notched section of the post acts stabilizes the beam.  Most deck builders use a reciprocating saw to cut an L shaped seat in the top of the post large enough to hold the beam. Another building method to consider if you don’t have a reciprocating saw involves using circular saw to score the top of the post to remove the weakened sections with a chisel.  A 2-2x10 beam will require a notch 3” wide by 9-1/4 inches tall.  To hold the beam in place you will then need to predrill and run two ½” threaded carriage bolts through the beam and the top of the notch.

Measure the post
Measure the post

Measure and mark the section of each 6x6 support post one at a time to cut away for the beam pocket.

Cut the cross cut
Cut the cross cut

Use a circular saw at its lowest cut depth to cut out the post notch. The circular saw will not finish the cut with 2 passes.

Cut the shoulder cut.
Cut the shoulder cut.

Use a reciprocating or hand saw to remove the shoulder notch and clean up any rough edges.

Cut to length
Cut to length

Cut the post to the correct length. A sqaure as a saw guide helps quite a bit.

copper naphthenate
copper naphthenate

Apply a coat of copper naphthenate to all cut ends of the pressure treated 6x6 to prevent decay. Attach the post to your footing using a post beam connector.

Drill thru the beam and post
Drill thru the beam and post

Set your beam into the notched pocket and drill pilot holes for your through bolts set 2" from the top and bottom of the beam.

Do not over tighten.
Do not over tighten.

Hammer your through bolts through your pilot holes through the beam and post and tighten with a ratchet. Do not over tighten.


Popular Framing Articles
Deck Support Columns

How to Decorate Deck Support Columns

Browse some examples of decorative deck support posts for tall decks.

Deck Framing

Deck Joist Water Protection

Learn about a technique used by many pro builders for wrapping deck framing lumber with a waterproof barrier to prevent corrosion and rot.

Deck Support Beams

How to Install Deck Girder, Cantilever or Drop Beams

Learn about the pros and cons of installing a cantilever, girder or drop beam to support your deck joists. This method allows for a notched post-to-beam connection.

Next Step: Decking Articles
Decking Installation

Decking Patterns

Installing your decking at a 45-degree angle is a popular style for decks. This can be done to reduce decking seams or just for appearance.

Decking Installation

Best Hidden Fasteners for Decking

Hidden fasteners create a clean deck surface and can be used with composite, wood and other materials. Learn about hidden deck fasteners at Decks.com.

Decking Installation

Dos & Don'ts for Homeowners to Consider When Building a Deck

Your dream deck can take whatever shape you like. The trick is making it fit your budget and site conditions. While the deck doesn’t have to be built as a rectangle, there could be good reasons for doing just that.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox
More Helpful Resources

Explore Articles by Topic

Create a free account and get instant & exclusive access to all that Decks.com has to offer:

Checkmark 1,000+ How-To articles
Checkmark 80+ Free Deck Plans
Checkmark Deck Planning Calculators
Checkmark Free & Simple Deck Design Tool
Deck Support Columns

How to Connect a Notched Wood Post to a Beam

Using a notched post and beam connection will lock the beam in place, secure it from rotating and resist wind uplift.  Notching a post does not weaken the structural integrity of the wood support post because the load for the deck is transferred down through the post to the footings.  The upright notched section of the post acts stabilizes the beam.  Most deck builders use a reciprocating saw to cut an L shaped seat in the top of the post large enough to hold the beam. Another building method to consider if you don’t have a reciprocating saw involves using circular saw to score the top of the post to remove the weakened sections with a chisel.  A 2-2x10 beam will require a notch 3” wide by 9-1/4 inches tall.  To hold the beam in place you will then need to predrill and run two ½” threaded carriage bolts through the beam and the top of the notch.

Measure the post
Measure the post

Measure and mark the section of each 6x6 support post one at a time to cut away for the beam pocket.

Cut the cross cut
Cut the cross cut

Use a circular saw at its lowest cut depth to cut out the post notch. The circular saw will not finish the cut with 2 passes.

Cut the shoulder cut.
Cut the shoulder cut.

Use a reciprocating or hand saw to remove the shoulder notch and clean up any rough edges.

Cut to length
Cut to length

Cut the post to the correct length. A sqaure as a saw guide helps quite a bit.

copper naphthenate
copper naphthenate

Apply a coat of copper naphthenate to all cut ends of the pressure treated 6x6 to prevent decay. Attach the post to your footing using a post beam connector.

Drill thru the beam and post
Drill thru the beam and post

Set your beam into the notched pocket and drill pilot holes for your through bolts set 2" from the top and bottom of the beam.

Do not over tighten.
Do not over tighten.

Hammer your through bolts through your pilot holes through the beam and post and tighten with a ratchet. Do not over tighten.


Popular Framing Articles
Deck Support Columns

How to Decorate Deck Support Columns

Browse some examples of decorative deck support posts for tall decks.

Deck Framing

Squaring the Deck

Learn some tips on how to properly square your deck frame.

Deck Framing

How to Build a Ground Level Deck

Adding a ground level or floating deck to your home may be the perfect addition to your outdoor space. Learn how to build a ground level deck at Decks.com.

Next Step: Decking Articles
Decking Installation

Decking Patterns

Installing your decking at a 45-degree angle is a popular style for decks. This can be done to reduce decking seams or just for appearance.

Decking Installation

Decking Patterns

Installing your decking at a 45-degree angle is a popular style for decks. This can be done to reduce decking seams or just for appearance.

Decking Installation

10 Common Deck Building Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Building a deck can be a complicated process. Learn how to avoid falling into common deck building pitfalls with tips and advice from the experts at Decks.com.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox

Explore Articles by Topic

More Helpful Resources