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tom_matthews 02-03-2010 11:40 AM

deck ledger question
 
1 Attachment(s)
I plan to build a backyard deck, attaching it to the house with a ledger board.

Here's my problem: When I remove the siding from the house, I was hoping I'd find the house band joist flush with the exterior of the foundation wall that it sits on. Instead, the 2x8 band joist is set back on the wall, so I don't have a flush surface on which to lag-screw the 2x10 ledger board.

My proposed solution: To laminate a layer of 2x8 right on top of that band joist, bringing the 2x8 surface flush (or a little proud) of the exterior foundation wall, providing me a fastening surface on which to lag-screw the 2x10 ledger. In effect, I'd be stacking 2 ledgers, a 2X8 and then a 2x10.

I assume to keep eveything strong and code-compliant, I would have to lag screw in the 2x8 as well as the 2x10, just as though the 2x8 was the final ledger board.

My question is this: Do I have the right idea, or is there a better way to go about this?

I have attached a diagram to illustrate my situation. I'm wondering what is the best way to address the gap indicated by the "?" in the attached diagram.

Bob Mariani 02-03-2010 12:55 PM

a better approach is to not attach the deck to the house. This way you avoid the common flashing issues and protection of siding from rot that normally occurs when a deck is attached. You just support the deck with piers and leave it 1/2" away from the siding.

concretemasonry 02-03-2010 02:50 PM

Your posts and Sonotube foundations can be 2' away from the house and you just cantilever back to 1/2" of the house. This is code compliant. Some codes will allow attached to the house. If they do the best way is with through bolts instead of lags for a more durable positive connection.

The flashing and water proofing a ledger connection can be a very big troublesome problem and costly.

Dick

Kevin M. 02-03-2010 06:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tom_matthews (Post 394070)
Quote:

I plan to build a backyard deck
, attaching it to the house with a ledger board.

Here's my problem: When I remove the siding from the house, I was hoping I'd find the house band joist flush with the exterior of the foundation wall that it sits on. Instead, the 2x8 band joist is set back on the wall, so I don't have a flush surface on which to lag-screw the 2x10 ledger board.

My proposed solution: To laminate a layer of 2x8 right on top of that band joist, bringing the 2x8 surface flush (or a little proud) of the exterior foundation wall, providing me a fastening surface on which to lag-screw the 2x10 ledger. In effect, I'd be stacking 2 ledgers, a 2X8 and then a 2x10.

I assume to keep eveything strong and code-compliant, I would have to lag screw in the 2x8 as well as the 2x10, just as though the 2x8 was the final ledger board.

My question is this: Do I have the right idea, or is there a better way to go about this?

I have attached a diagram to illustrate my situation. I'm wondering what is the best way to address the gap indicated by the "?" in the attached diagram.

Are you planning to pull a permit? If so, you may want to check your local jurisdiction for code ammends. Our local code regarding decks is getting bizarre. It may be due to the fact our area has had a slew of sub standard deck constructs. Everytime one of them collapses, the code increases.

You may have to through bolt your ledger and rimjoist and tie into the floor joist? The ledger is only as good as the rim joist, so if it was nailed off minimally it may fail causing the ledger to fail. I just saw one of those last week caused by a major snow load.

I'm thinking your proposed construct would fly. You do need to pay attention to the ledger attachment as mentioned, otherwise you get a nice rot out on the rim. We use pressure treated vee shims for space clearance to allow for drainage. If you seal off the rim joist properly and shim the ledger it should work OK!

Kevin

tom_matthews 02-03-2010 07:33 PM

RE: responses
 
Thanks for the replies. A couple of you guys seem to be recommending building a freestanding deck, supported by two sets of cantilevered posts-and-beams supporting the joists. Am I right? I've actually built a deck this way in the past (well, with freestanding joists and posts--I didn't actually employ a beam because it was only about 2 feet high), but I did so because it was located against a mobile home, and I wanted to make sure the owner could pull away the mobile home without tearing things up, if/when he wanted to relocate the trailer. But when building onto a house, I want to comply with building code, and everything I read is talking about ledger attachment. I'm not married to the ledger attachment idea, though. I want to build with "best practices" in mind. So what's the consensus on "best deck support for a house"? Would that be an attached deck or a detached, freestanding deck? If anyone has any sort of building codes to reference, that would be sweet, as they are hard to decipher online.....

tpolk 02-03-2010 09:10 PM

if that is a 2x4 exterior wall and its like that all around the house I would fill that space with proper framing anyways to provide proper bearing under the wall. you have about an1-1/2" of bearing unsupported, thats a strange detail

firehawkmph 02-03-2010 09:13 PM

Tom,
There are many different ways to design and build a deck. Shortly after Chicago had the problem with decks falling off of structures, the magazine "Journal of Light Construction" did an in depth article on proper design and attachment of decks. They have a book out specifically on decks and porches. If you go to their website, you can check it out. I have been getting there magazine for probably better than 20 years and have found their articles to be very well written.
Mike Hawkins:)

tpolk 02-03-2010 09:16 PM

excellent mag, one of the commercial companies i built churches for got every supe a subscription

MJW 02-03-2010 09:33 PM

The flashing also helps with splash that the deck will create from rain. Just an FYI for the OP. Wherever the deck is, make sure it is waterproofed correctly.

How old is the house? Any pictures?

Usually the rim has 1 1/2" foam then plywood on the outside, but that is newer homes. Is it on the main floor or second? What type of home?

Make sure you use the correct lag screws.

Gary in WA 02-03-2010 09:38 PM

Check local code if a basement, piers within 5' need to dig to house footing depth. http://www.awc.org/Publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6-09.pdf

Be safe, Gary

oh'mike 02-04-2010 06:21 AM

Do a little code checking--and the tax man-----------------

In my county a free standing deck is taxed less than the same deck attached to the house with a ledger board------------------Goofy tax system----------grrrrrrrr

SULTINI 02-04-2010 06:41 AM

I would fill in the ? area with another 2x8 and then sister my 2x10 ledger board against it and drill and bolt thru all 3 with heavy duty bolts, washers and nuts. I would drill between where every hanger is placed.

Bob Mariani 02-04-2010 07:28 AM

And in many areas a deck not attached to the house does not need a permit nor will it effect your tax assessment.

tom_matthews 02-05-2010 12:29 PM

update
 
Thanks for all the advice. Here's an update, for anyone interested:

I met with my local building inspector again this morning and I think I'm going to forget about building a deck ledger board against the house and instead build a deck supported by two cantilevered beams. This would basically be a deck that is not attached to the house -- a freestanding deck about 1/2" away from the house. Evidently this is code-compliant here in Fultondale, Alabama, but the inspector doesn't seem to be much more knowledgeable about current building code issues than myself.

His main concerns with a detached deck was its height, and since mine will be supported by 6x6 posts with doubled 2x10 beams, and have a maximum deck height of only 5 feet, he didn't feel there would be a problem with stability.

Of course, now that I'm changing the deck design, I'm short about 6 posts and 40 feet of 2x10. (Deck will be almost 40'x12'). Back to the lumber yard.....


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