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Old 09-25-2008, 01:54 AM   #1
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Alternative Method to Attach deck?


I'm having a new deck built and my contractor installed the joists directly to the house (did not use a ledger board and this is not a freestanding deck). The joists are are attached using joist hangers nailed directly through the siding (T-111) into the house's rim joist. Is this an acceptable construction method? I am concerned about structural strength and potential for rot introduced into the house framing. Thanks for your help.

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Old 09-25-2008, 07:42 AM   #2
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Alternative Method to Attach deck?


Your concerns are justified. The method your builder is using is not ever acceptable. He should be attaching a ledger/rim to the house (spaced a little bit off the siding) with lag screws into the house's rim and hanging his joists off of that.

Good call on your part. Send this guy packing if he won't re-do it.

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Old 09-25-2008, 09:03 AM   #3
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Alternative Method to Attach deck?


Thanks for your response. Is there any code I can refer to when speaking to my contractor? The deck is located under a large oak tree. The contractor said that he is attaching the joists directly to the house because he is concerned that the ledger would be a continuous maintenance problem from debris from the oak tree, and the ledge would quickly rot.
Thanks again for your help.
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:39 AM   #4
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Alternative Method to Attach deck?


He is wrong about the method of attachment he is using. - It is just plain awful and tacky.

He is right about the mainatenance problems and that is why some areas do not permit ledger attached decks. Free standing decks offer more durability, fewer moisture/mold problems and structural advanatges.

If you feel you must have a ledger attached deck, do it right including through bolts, moisture barriers and flashing (possibly double flashing).
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:49 AM   #5
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Alternative Method to Attach deck?


So, he should actually be constructing a free standing deck in this situation? He is 50% completed with the deck; can he easily turn the deck into a free-standing design? It seems at this point that he would need to disassemble the deck to add a ledger. I don't care which method he uses, I just want a structurally sound deck. He also put huge spaces (1/2") between the deck boards; is this common practice. Agian, he is saying he wants to make sure oak tree leaves/debris can be easily cleaned from the deck. Thank you for your help.
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:06 AM   #6
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Alternative Method to Attach deck?


In an answer to your question on my profile page regarding applicable codes...

Typically, most cities adopt deck ordinances that govern the construction of decks. Although there are bits and pieces of the code that could probably be applied, the local municipality would be the prescriptive body.
Does he have a permit for this deck? If not, why not? If it is over 30" tall, in most cities he/you should have a permit. It would be beneficial to know what the inspector would think of this installation, as they might really be a great advocate for you.

No, he doesn't necessarily have to construct a freestanding deck. I personally think that is silly in most cases, although it does have its benefits as well, it tends to be impractical and unnecessary in most cases. Sometimes it is necessary, such as when attaching a deck to a cantilevered floor.

Yes, he'd need to somewhat disassemble the deck to add a ledger.

Spaces between the deck boards is builder/buyer preference. Personally, I butt my deck boards tight because they'll inevitably shrink and cause larger gaps. If the wood I'm using is very very dry, I'll space the boards with nails to allow for a little expansion when they get wet. 1/2" gaps are amateurish...Unless the customer wants them for some reason.

Based on what I know so far, I'm scared as hell about the overall quality of this guy's work.
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:12 AM   #7
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Alternative Method to Attach deck?


Check this product out to avoid attaching the ledger directly to the house.
http://www.deckbracket.com/printable.html
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:15 AM   #8
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Alternative Method to Attach deck?


Thank you again for your reply. Normally this guy does good work and I have no concerns. However, with this project things have taken a fast slide. I don't know what going on with him, but I'm giving him a call now to tell him to stop work. Thanks again!
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:31 AM   #9
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Alternative Method to Attach deck?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Clutchcargo View Post
Check this product out to avoid attaching the ledger directly to the house.
http://www.deckbracket.com/printable.html
Innovative way to do something usually done with wood. I like it.

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