Ledger
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How To Build A Deck - Attaching the Ledger Board

Attaching a ledger board to the house rim is the most basic and best option of all the ledger board applications. Hold the flashing in place as you lift the ledger board into position.Use a 4’ level to make sure you apply it perfectly straight.Using your pencil marks as guides; install your fasteners through the ledger board, through the house rim board and directly into the ends of the floor trusses or wall studs.You should install two fasteners every 16” on center alternating top and bottom.



Once the ledger board is in place; bend the flashing over the top and around the corners to provide drainage for water away from the house.Use silicon caulking to seal all opening where water could potentially enter the house especially where flashing overlaps and at the corners and bottom of the ledger board.Never nail or screw decking through the flashing through the top of the ledger board. These punctures can allow water to easily penetrate the flashing and pour into the house.

Pay attention to every detail when applying the ledger board.The ledger board and the footings are the two most important and sometimes complicated components of deck construction.

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Comments, Questions and Reviews

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Question: I want to anchor my ledger just on the top of a window (walk out basement). it looks like the brick thickness is about 3/4 in. and there is a metal plate in L shape behind. Can I use a 3/4 lag shield knowing that the thickness of the brick is 3/4 in or I need to drill through the metal and use a carriage bolts? Thanks.

posted by estamant at 5/10/2015 6:03:14 PM


Question: My house is stucco, can I install the Ledger board on to of the stucco ?

posted by Marion at 5/8/2015 5:25:42 AM


I don''t want to attach the ledger board to the house. can I construct an independent deck system? It''ll be adjacent to the house.

posted by 1bethie at 4/26/2015 2:35:30 PM


if I want to have an overhang beyond the corner of the house by about 18" can the ledger board extend beyond the house or do I need to install another post and if I do need another post, how would I attach the ledger board to the new beam going to the post?

posted by Mylinda at 4/20/2015 3:11:08 PM


Ledger question: I have an existing deck that is being redone with new floor and railing. I''m keeping the posts and joists. I want to expand the deck 2ft wider from 14ft to 16ft. In order to do this I want to lengthen the front beam and ledger, then add one more joist to each side. My question is... Can I add 1ft to each side of the ledger? Or does the ledger need to be one solid piece?

posted by Gamon at 3/8/2015 5:53:39 PM


The ledger board doesn''t need to be one solid piece if you properly flash it.

posted by mike at 3/9/2015 9:01:21 AM


How can you avoid nail or screws in the ledger board which has flashing bent over it when you install the deck boards?

posted by jayge at 11/5/2014 4:10:02 PM


My situation is a bit different from what is described in your tutorial. On my house the (outdoor) porch joists are parallel to the ledger board so they don''t attach to it at all. Instead, they all attach to the end joists. Thus, the floorboards run perpendicular to the ledger board (many of the porches in our local community of small bungalows are that way). So my question is, aside from the above, will everything else be the same as in your tutorial? Thanks.

posted by Ray at 10/9/2014 7:08:34 PM


The ledger board connection should be the same. Make sure you use a double joist hanger to attach the rim joists to the ledger board.

posted by mike at 10/10/2014 8:55:31 AM


Just doing some beginner''s research here- how are you supposed to find the floor joists or studs from the outside of the house?

posted by inboxforjason at 10/2/2014 12:05:32 PM


Excuse me, floor trusses, told you it was beginner''s research.

posted by inboxforjason at 10/2/2014 12:06:25 PM


It is NOT clear how far above the ledger board to cut the siding. One of the pics looks like the siding is about 1/2" above the flashed ledger. Is 1/4" above the ledger enough to prevent wicking (except if it snows)? Another place says to cut the siding 3/4" ABOVE the top fo the deck boards--but this seems far too high.

posted by billybard at 6/2/2014 5:49:15 PM