Do I need ledger board when expand deck?


The purpose of a ledger board is to give you surface onto which you can nail/attach the rest of the deck (and flashing to keep water out of a house- usually). Your question is, do you need it for attaching two decks.

I think the answer to this is a decision for personal convenience, tools, or need. I personally don't undersand the use of a ledger board here (as far as straight forward construction goes). Suppose you add a ledger board, then what? How would you attach the deck? How does it help you to build this deck? I think it would help you to write the steps out.

What if you didn't use a ledger board? Would you want to offset the new joists, so that you can nail through the old rim joist or will joist hangers be enough to hold the weight? Where are the new joists being supported? If you don't offset the joists, will the nails from the new hangers run into existing nails from the old hangers or joists?

Or if you build the new deck a few feet away, how...

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If you cut out your siding to install a ledger board, careful steps must be taken to ensure that moisture cannot reach your house. Infiltrating rainwater can travel downward, sideways, and even a bit upward, so special flashings must be used. In the past, metal flashing and extra layers of roofing felt (tar paper) were often used, but nowadays vinyl “Z” flashing and rolls of vinyl back flashing do a better job.

Ideally, the house’s sheathing should be triple protected from moisture: with building paper or roofing felt stapled to the sheathing; then with back flashing; and then the Z flashing, which also protects the ledger itself.

The flashing configuration shown in this article is quite common. However, your codes may call for other methods, so check with your building department before you start work. For instance, some inspectors may prefer self-adhering flashing (which is much the same as self-stick ice and water shield often used at roof eaves) instead of vinyl...

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By Todd Fratzel on Decks & Porches, Framing

Deck Ledger Board Flashing Detail

Lately I’ve been seeing problematic deck ledger flashing details so I’d like to share with you my perspective on how to properly flash and secure your deck to the house. Properly flashing a deck ledger seems to be a lost skill with most weekend warriors…..let’s discuss how to properly secure the deck ledger and install the flashing.

Building a new deck isn’t really that difficult of a project. However, there are some details that must be followed in order to prevent premature failure of your deck and the area of your house that it’s attached to. The problem with attaching a deck to the house is it creates a great area to collect water. The intersection of the house and deck is extremely vulnerable to moisture problems.

As you can see from the diagram and the photo flashing must be done in layers. The best way to think about it to visualize what a drop of water will...

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The ledger provides much of a deck’s strength; it supports the joists at one end, and it provides stiffness to the framing. (A freestanding 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 1990's 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...

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I have a stucco house and want to build a very simple cover over a patio. Right now, the patio is simply dirt, but I plan to pave it in the near future. I need the patio cover on before I pour any cement for obvious reasons.

Not sure what I'll use for a cover - probably something fairly cheap and inexpensive. I MIGHT use some sunscreen "mesh" that I used to cover our playground set - Hot here in Phoenix in the summer. It was very easy to build a wood "frame" over the playground and then tightly drape and use these simple "staple plates" to attach the green mesh to the frame. Used pressure-treated wood so it'll hopefully last in the hot sun. The mesh would be nice over the patio because it would let the hot air (and BBQ fumes) out but keeps the hot sun out. The disadvantage is that it lets the rain in. Thought about doing half the patio cover using some simple roofing material and the other half in the mesh.

So - the Pro's and Con's of each option - attach to...

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Not knowing size, budget, deterioration, etc, DON"T BOTHER to sand or plane,,,sigh. It would be as much a bargain to replace the 2 by whatevers.

Shim is the way to go for a quick fix, and HD or Lowes sells them in packets, here in the USA. OR you can craft your own.

NEW??? Is that NEW as a DIY? OR a contracted job? If contracted THEY should bear any responsibility,,,though you don't state HOW NEW!!!

The leveling certainly should have been determined before any decking was installed, and the way the Uprights were installed might answer this problem, though not strictly solve it.

If the issue is severe, IE: waves, then definitely something is/was wrong with the base structure installation. Shims will help, but only be a band aide.

Another solution, expecially if it's a DIY is to add 2 by stock to the current joists, plus smaller, brace pieces, and level those first. Added cost and labor, but more stable and lasting than shims. Attach with carriage bolts or...

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DEAR TIM: I need to install a deck ledger board against a house with wood lap siding. Soon I'll be doing the same on a brick home. What's the proper way to install flashing so I don't get any leaks where the ledger board connects to the house? My online research indicates this could be a serious problem. Something tells me that it's very important to get this right. Tony P., Waltham, MA

DEAR TONY: Your research is spot on. Leaks at or around deck ledger boards are a serious issue. A couple of years ago, a new home was being constructed next door to me. I was stunned when I saw the builder nail a deck ledger board directly to the side of the house. Not only was no flashing installed, the builder nailed, instead of through bolting, the board directly to the oriented strand board sheathing with no water membrane behind it.

The correct flashing with the proper profile is seen overlaying the inferior deck flashing that was installed by a nonprofessional. PHOTO CREDIT: Tim...

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Decks provide a stylish and elevated dimension to backyards. They function as an outdoor extension of a home, serving as gathering places for homeowners and their guests. Decks accommodate large amounts of weight, as they not only hold people, but they also hold barbecue grills and patio furniture. Building decks requires drawing plans, installing footings, ledger boards, and deck flooring, as well as building a staircase. It is important that homeowners know how to build decks properly to ensure safe and long-lasting investments to their properties.

Drawing Plans

The first step to building a deck is to draw up or design a plan. This helps in determining the function of the deck and the amount of materials necessary for construction. Multiplying the length and the width of the deck, including stairs, provides an idea of the square footage of material needed. Lumberyard or home store professionals are able to look at the plan, determine what type of wood is most...

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Mark the place where the bottom of the deck is to go.

From the line you just marked, measure down the thickness of the deck boards (usually 1 to 1 1/2 inches, or 2.5 to 3.75 centimeters), plus the height of the ledger board. (If the ledger board is a 2 x 10, this will be 9.5 inches, or 23.75 centimeters.) Mark this line across the entire length of where the ledger board will go.

/9/92/Build a Deck Step...

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The flashing in post 2 appears to have the wall leg of the flashing is tucked behind the ledger. The leg should be up and tucked behind the WRB. I also add a secondary flashing that goes over the deck planks.

When you installed the door, the lower siding should have been removed a Z flashing fabricated that tucked under the Protect O Wrap, down the face of the wall, then over the deck planks.


You are SPOT ON!!! Builder flashed it that way!! Idiot right?

I was lazy, and when I was doing the slider I told myself the slider was all my mind could deal with..I kind of knew that flashing below was installed wrong, but just wanted that door in..Water obviously pooled in there and I am paying for that decision now, lesson learned. I should have ripped out the first few deck boards, redone all the flashing as you said with a Z flash, then put the slider in and put that crappy tape everywhere..Not sure where I went wrong, laziness I guess. Not a trait usually...

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InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

The deck ledger, the horizontal framing member that connects the deck to the building forms the starting or reference point for the rest of deck construction. The ledger defines the deck location, width at the building, and height from the ground. The ledger forms the key reference point from which all other deck measurements and plans will be made.

Here we describe how to locate and install the deck ledger board. This article series describes critical safe-construction details for decks and porches, including avoiding deck or porch collapse and unsafe deck stairs and railings.

Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved.

Deck Ledger Boards: Connections Between Deck & House

Attaching the ledger board for a deck

The ledger is a board that is bolted to the...

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by Rich Bergman

Read This Article First...

A great place for you to start before you get into this specific article would be to read what I think is a seminal article on the topic of basic ledger techniques. Then come back and dig into all this other stuff.

A recent investigation in the Chicago area emphasizes the importance of proper deck ledger attachment. In 2009 a deck collapsed injuring a woman. She sustained a compound fracture and the builder agreed to pay $1 million dollars to the woman.

I just read this in the Journal of Light Construction November 2010 issue and thought that it would be a great thing to reiterate because it is crucial to the safety of homeowners if you are attaching to the ledger of the house - and that would apply to any deck that is over 6 feet above grade. Double check in your local area as to how high you can build a free standing deck.

This turned out to be an isolated case for the builder. Sounds like this...

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It is very important that you use the correct size and type of fasteners to install your ledger board. Your deck will depend on the load carrying capacity of these screws or bolts to support hundreds of pounds and prevent the deck from ripping away from the house. Make sure the bolts are compatible with pressure treated wood. They should have a washer or a large head. You will usually need to predrill a 5/16” pilot hole into the rim joist if you are using...

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Everflashing - A Complete Deck Flashing System

Described as the “last deck flashing you will ever need,” Everflashing was developed to greatly reduce the possibility of water intrusion which can lead to further issues such as dry rot, connector corrosion, mold and ultimately deck ledger failure. When used as part of a complete deck flashing system, Everflashing’s perimeter flashing is designed to allow decking products to expand and contract, while maintaining a clean, finished looking perimeter edge.

Everflashing helps avoid deck ledger failure and greatly reduces moisture problems. The product is engineered so that, once installed you will never have to intrude the wall envelope again, even to resurface. Everflashing offers multiple types of flashing. Available in Stainless Steel or Galvanized styles for use with ACQ treated...

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By Bruce W. Maki, Editor


Ensuring Level Framing:

In fact, I want the deck to have a slight slope away from the house, so this dimension, about 1/8" lower than the old deck, is just fine.

At the other corner the dot landed on 2 inches, so I loosened the clamp and raised the rim joist by 3/8 inch.

Ensuring A Square Layout:

I needed to adjust the frame so this longer dimension would shrink by more than one-half inch. I just picked up the frame and shoved it over a bit, then re-measured the diagonals. They were within 1/8" of being the same, which is good enough for something like a deck.

Except that this was WRONG! I decided to deviate from the original plan and put the support posts 6 feet apart, like the old deck, instead of 8 feet apart, as originally planned. But this would cause problems later, so I reverted back to the original plan.

This entire process was kinda tedious. If the tamper handle...

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by Nick Gromicko, Founder, International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)

More than 2 million decks are built and replaced each year in North America. InterNACHI estimates that of the 45 million existing decks, only 40% are completely safe.

Because decks appear to be simple to build, many people do not realize that decks are, in fact, structures that need to be designed to adequately resist certain stresses. Like any other house or building, a deck must be designed to support the weight of people, snow loads, and objects. A deck must be able to resist lateral and uplift loads that can act on the deck as a result of wind or seismic activity. Deck stairs must be safe and handrails graspable. And, finally, deck rails should be safe for children by having proper infill spacing.

A deck failure is any failure of a deck that could lead to injury, including rail failure, or total deck collapse. There is no international system that tracks deck...

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If you’re a regular reader, you know this detailed guide is the culmination of many days shadowing expert general contractor and carpenter Steve Wartman. I was on-site as he and his crew built this deck, taking pictures of the progress, documenting the work and discovering tips and tricks. I’m convinced that there’s no better way to learn how to tackle home improvement projects than following a licensed contractor through a build. If you enjoy this article, check out our other Project Guides. To stay current on all our Pro-Follows, subscribe via RSS or email.

If you live in the greater Baltimore area and are considering adding a deck to your home (or any other sort of home improvements), I suggest you give Steve a call. This article is a great example of the high quality and professionalism that Steve and his crew bring to every job. For more examples, check out our articles on building a shed or how to hang drywall.

How to Build a Freestanding, Composite...

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You Have No Idea What You Are In For

Unless you are an experienced carpenter, do not try to attach your deck to a ledger on an existing home.

To properly attach a ledger board to an existing home can be a major task. If the ledger is built during construction of the house all the details like flashing and siding are so much simpler.

This Is A Simple Example

This ledger was installed after the house was built. The exterior was vinyl siding so much easier to deal with then brick, stucco or cementitious fiber board. But this was still a big job.

The rim and floor joists were engineered I-beams so the very first difficult task is to determine exactly where the rim joist is and remove the siding to match it.

Then each space between the joists had to be block with 2x8 material because the rim joist was OSB board.

Double Overlapping Flashing Is Essential

The first layer of flashing extends from under the ledger to...

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This footing type uses a concrete pier that extends from the footing base to above grade. There are several variations of this footing type that are commonly used.

Small diameter footings may use a cardboard form tube that is set to the acceptable depth and filled with concrete to produce a monolithic footing.

For larger diameter footings it is more practical to pour a footing base to the appropriate size and depth and extend the footing to the surface with a smaller diameter pier. In order to sufficiently connect the footing to the pier you will want to use two * L shaped pieces of rebar.

The top of the pier will need to be fitted with a concrete anchor and post base connector in order to accept the deck post. There are different kinds of concrete anchors to choose from that can be installed. Some anchors are set while the concrete is still wet; others are predrilled and then tightened with a wrench to expand into the hardened concrete. Post bases are...

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