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Old 04-12-2018, 09:21 AM   #1
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Deck Spacer


Hey guys,

The deck season has started here in Canada and I wanted to have your feedback on ledger deck spacer.

First of all, my project is too build a 20' X 10' deck attach to a ledger board on the side of the house and using screw pile system to have good foundation.

Now, I've read a lot on the subject and there are people who recommend it and others don't. The argument is that spacers might weaken the structure and only a good flashing is necessary to prevent the ledger board to rot.

Here's the best tutorial in my opinion for attaching the ledger board:
https://hammerandhand.com/best-pract...-deck-ledgers/

(However even this tutorial don't mention flashing on the sides which it seems important to me).

My questions: Do you think spacers will weaken the structure? Should I use spacer or not?

Photo of the spacers attached
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:59 AM   #2
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Re: Deck Spacer


I have not seen them but the explanation or instructions or very good with or with out the spacers the instruction are the same.
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Old 04-12-2018, 12:38 PM   #3
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Re: Deck Spacer


I use spacers often depending on the type of siding and a couple of other factors.

I cut my own though out of 1"-2" diameter PVC pipe (whatever I have laying around).
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Old 04-12-2018, 12:45 PM   #4
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Re: Deck Spacer


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Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post
I use spacers often depending on the type of siding and a couple of other factors.

I cut my own though out of 1"-2" diameter PVC pipe (whatever I have laying around).
But are you following the instructions posted by the OP or are you just leaving vinyl in place? Or?
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Old 04-12-2018, 01:06 PM   #5
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Re: Deck Spacer


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But are you following the instructions posted by the OP or are you just leaving vinyl in place? Or?
I don't see where OP mentioned vinyl.

Don't use the spacers on vinyl siding or other siding where the spacer could crush or otherwise damage the siding.

The spacers work great for t-111, cedar shingles and wood or cement lap siding where you can control the bolt layout.

If you can place the bolts where the siding overlaps and there is solid material between the ledger and the sheathing then great. If layout dictates that bolts need to go through the part of the lap siding where there's a void between the back of the siding and the sheathing then don't use the spacer method as you'll damage the siding.
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Old 04-12-2018, 01:21 PM   #6
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Re: Deck Spacer


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Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post
I don't see where OP mentioned vinyl.

Don't use the spacers on vinyl siding or other siding where the spacer could crush or otherwise damage the siding.

The spacers work great for t-111, cedar shingles and wood or cement lap siding where you can control the bolt layout.

If you can place the bolts where the siding overlaps and there is solid material between the ledger and the sheathing then great. If layout dictates that bolts need to go through the part of the lap siding where there's a void between the back of the siding and the sheathing then don't use the spacer method as you'll damage the siding.
So you would bolt thru siding for the ledger and your spacer would protect crushable siding? If I understand that correctly you are leaving out the flashing that goes behind the house wrap and over the ledger?
If that is correct, how do you protect the siding from the dirt and moisture that will get trapped in the top contact area?
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Old 04-12-2018, 01:32 PM   #7
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Re: Deck Spacer


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So you would bolt thru siding for the ledger and your spacer would protect crushable siding? If I understand that correctly you are leaving out the flashing that goes behind the house wrap and over the ledger?
If that is correct, how do you protect the siding from the dirt and moisture that will get trapped in the top contact area?
You do the spacers instead of the traditional ledger/flashing detail.

The ledger gets held off the house about 3/4-1". It's kind of a ledger/floating deck hybrid.

We started doing this years ago in the Pacific NW where over half the year things never dry out. It's a good alternative when a freestanding deck won't work.
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Old 04-12-2018, 06:06 PM   #8
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Re: Deck Spacer


Quote:
Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post
You do the spacers instead of the traditional ledger/flashing detail.
Shouldn't it be more safe to flash the ledger even if there're spacers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post
The ledger gets held off the house about 3/4-1". It's kind of a ledger/floating deck hybrid.
I like this idea of a ledger/floating deck hybrid. I'll feel more secure knowing that the ledger is not directly in contact with the house.

In this tutorial (see links below), they recommend fastflash to cover the exposing part of the house. Would it be possible to cover it with plastic instead of fastflashing?

(https://hammerandhand.com/best-pract...-deck-ledgers/)
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Old 04-12-2018, 06:42 PM   #9
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Re: Deck Spacer


Quote:
Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post
You do the spacers instead of the traditional ledger/flashing detail.

The ledger gets held off the house about 3/4-1". It's kind of a ledger/floating deck hybrid.

We started doing this years ago in the Pacific NW where over half the year things never dry out. It's a good alternative when a freestanding deck won't work.
I have seen the idea in practice when it failed. Leaves and debris filled the space held moisture and rotted the plywood siding, no sealer between spacer and the rim joist so some moisture around that area.
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Old 04-12-2018, 06:49 PM   #10
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Re: Deck Spacer


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Originally Posted by martynator View Post
Shouldn't it be more safe to flash the ledger even if there're spacers?



I like this idea of a ledger/floating deck hybrid. I'll feel more secure knowing that the ledger is not directly in contact with the house.

In this tutorial (see links below), they recommend fastflash to cover the exposing part of the house. Would it be possible to cover it with plastic instead of fastflashing?

(https://hammerandhand.com/best-pract...-deck-ledgers/)
He is talking about a different system and I have seen it fail. I would follow the link that you have with or with out the pacers.
The ledger is usually 1/2" lag bolted every 32" with the spacer you would need two, one above the other. Some other details are the deck should be about 6" below the interior sub floor and with the new treated lumber there is a peel and stick that is good on the top of the joists and the flashing on the wall is a great idea.

BTW those instructions you have with out the spacers is code.
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:04 PM   #11
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Re: Deck Spacer


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BTW those instructions you have with out the spacers is code.
Awesome! I got it. Thank you Nealtw.
I'll verify to be sure, but do you know if the spacers installation is code as well?
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:14 PM   #12
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Re: Deck Spacer


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Awesome! I got it. Thank you Nealtw.
I'll verify to be sure, but do you know if the spacers installation is code as well?
I don't think so but as everything else is they would not hurt anything.
You might want to check that extra wide flashing is available.
Flashing by the way can not be aluminum, the copper treatment in the lumber eats it.
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:32 PM   #13
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Re: Deck Spacer


0 I I'mHuh
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I have seen the idea in practice when it failed. Leaves and debris filled the space held moisture and rotted the plywood siding, no sealer between spacer and the rim joist so some moisture around that area.
No different than a free standing deck as far as debris.

I know that these days simply hosing things down every once and a while is just to much maintenance for most to deal with.

Never had a pvc pipe spacer cause a leak. You all must be doing it wrong up there if you're seeing failure.

Don't know anything about the spacers op posted, just saw the pic and posted the correct way to do spacers because i can see issues with that flat washer looking thing.

I've repaired more rot behind traditionally flashed deck ledgers than any other flashing detail on a structure ten fold.

It's not that a deck ledger can't be done correctly it's just that the MAJORITY get it wrong regardless of how many pictures that you may feed them.

How many on this forum preach "free standing" "ledgers are bad, don't do it"?

When free standing is not possible then a properly done spaced ledger is a great option as long as a few pre-qualifying conditions are met.
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