Attaching a Ledger Board for Your Deck
The ledger provides much of a deck’s strength; it supports the joists at one end, and it provides stiffness to the framing. (A free-standing deck, of course, does not have a ledger.) The ledger is made of the same material as the rest of the framing—usually pressure-treated lumber.
Some builders install the ledger first, before they lay out for the footings and dig the post holes. They then use the ledger as the basic point of reference for determining footings, posts and all the framing.
If your house was built since the mid 1990s, there is a chance that the floor system is constructed with a MWJ (Manufactured Wood Joist) floor system. In these cases, it is very important to consult with a building inspector, engineer or architect to understand how to correctly attach a ledger board to the house wall.
[tip] Lower the Deck to Keep Snow Out
In areas with heavy snowfalls, it may be desirable to have the finished deck 1 1/2 inches or so below the sill. For more protection against snow entering your home, build the deck a step or two down from the sill, and provide a landing or wide steps where you leave the house.
Do not attach a ledger board to brick or stone veneer exteriors. In these cases, you will want to build a free-standing deck frame.
Step-by-step instructions on how to install a ledger board to a concrete house foundation wall using expansion anchors.
Do you have brick siding? You should never attach to just the brick. This is very dangerous.
When it comes to cleaning your deck, it's important to choose the right pressure washer. Use this pressure washer buying guide from Decks.com to help with your decision!
Concerned that your deck no longer meets safety regulations? Want to know how to spot signs of trouble for your deck? Review our checklist for inspecting your deck at Decks.com.
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