I am installing a deck where I want to have one level 18" above the other. The lower level will be 18" above grade, and the upper level will be 18" above that. So overall, not that high. The issue I'm wondering about is how best to share the posts for these two levels.
I've read that the wrong way to install beams is bolt them to the outside of posts (even though this is allowed per code in my area), I've read that it's better to notch the posts or simply place the beams on top of the post, and this makes sense to me, so this is what I'm doing for all the other post connections. However, I obviously can't do this with the shared posts.
I will be increasing the shared post size to 6". I saw a connection detail that had each set of beams notched only halfway (2") into a 6" post, with another 2" block on the outside supporting the leftover 2" beam overhang. Is that a good way of doing it? My concern is both notching into the posts and also bolting through them will weaken the post.
The other way of doing this that I was considering is to attach the beams to each outer side of the post with bolts, without the notching, the method that many say to avoid.
What is the best way to do this?