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Old 12-10-2010, 01:11 PM   #1
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Re-attaching Deck to Ledger Board


When our deck was constructed, the builder framed the rectangle of the floor structure on the ground using 2x10's, then raised it into place (9 feet above ground level) and fastened it through the header into the ledger board using galvanized nails - no joist hangers or lag bolts. We recently had to remove the deck to repair some water damage by constructing some temporary bracing to support the end closest to the house, zipping off the nails holding the deck to the ledger, zipping off the nails holding the joists to the beam, and sliding the deck away from the house. When I jacked the deck back into place after the water damage was repaired there was a gap of about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch between the deck header and the ledger on one end. I thought I could drive it into place by driving 4 inch galvanized spiral spikes through the header into the ledger using a sledge hammer. The header moved just fine, however, the joists didn't and now I have a 1/4 to 1/2 inch gap between most of the joists and the header closest to the house. What is the best way to drive the joists tight to the header given that the deck is 9 feet off the ground? The deck is 12'x16' so it is also fairly heavy. I plan on installing lag bolts as well but I want to fix this problem first. I would appreciate any advice.


Last edited by B-Web; 12-10-2010 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:53 PM   #2
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Re-attaching Deck to Ledger Board


“Header closest to the house” I don’t understand what you mean.

You should have the ledger against the house, the joist but into that and the new hangers you’re putting in. The rim capping off the joist away from the house and the beam 10’ or so off the house.

The way I read it is you cut the joist away from the rim and beam and slid the deck back out of the way. Then removed the ledger made your repairs re-installed the ledger and now can’t get the joist back tight to the ledger. Is this correct? If so your probably just getting snagged up on one of the nail stubs that are left after you cut the joist away from the beam. If not post some pictures.

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Old 12-10-2010, 05:18 PM   #3
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Re-attaching Deck to Ledger Board


Try using a few come-along winch's .You need to attach the ledger anyway so lag-bolt it . As you pull it toward the house use a sledge on the outside band to vibrate it back into place. Attach some scrap lumber so you dont beat up your finished wood.Does it have joist hangers?Im guessing not when you get it back in place install them on every joist.
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:14 AM   #4
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Re-attaching Deck to Ledger Board


Hi kwikfishron

Sorry for any confusion if I misused any terminology.

There is a 2x10 attached to the house which I referred to as the "ledger" board. The floor structure of the deck was framed on the ground using 2x10's on all four sides to make a box and 2x10 joists perpendicular to the house. So when the floor framing was raised into place and fastened, there are two 2x10's against the house. Attached are some photos taken after the deck was removed from the house. Photo 101 shows the ledger board still fastened to the house. Photos 102 and 103 were taken after the ledger was removed (you can see that what I referred to as the header in my initial posting is still attached to the floor framing - perhaps this should have been referred to as a rim board or a 2nd ledger board). The fasteners holding the joists to the deck floor framing were never removed. What has happened is that when the "rim" board (or 2nd ledger) was re-attached to the ledger, the rim board pulled away from the ends of the joists and the fasteners are now visible in the 1/4" to 1/2" gap that was created (I'm having trouble scanning a sketch but I can send it later if you want). I need some advice on how to "pull" the joists tight against the rim board and eliminate the gap. Thanks.
Attached Thumbnails
Re-attaching Deck to Ledger Board-101_69382.jpg   Re-attaching Deck to Ledger Board-102_70092.jpg   Re-attaching Deck to Ledger Board-102_70172.jpg  
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:45 AM   #5
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Re-attaching Deck to Ledger Board


If your lucky you can remove the bolts connecting the two ledgers and drive a wedge between them to suck it up. If not you’ll have to cut some nails on ledger #2 wedge it tight and install the hangers. When you reattach the two ledgers you need to move the deck to the ledger. Don’t use the lags to pull the deck or you will have the same problem again.
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:05 AM   #6
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Re-attaching Deck to Ledger Board


Thanks you for your suggestions. The 2nd ledger is attached to the first using 3 1/2" galvanized spiral nails, not bolts, so your other approach of cutting off the fasteners between the 2nd ledger and the joists seems more do-able. I would rather not do any cutting so I may try KCB's suggestion first. Thanks for your help. I will post the results after I try these suggestions.

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