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DECK & PORCH CONSTRUCTION
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STRUCTURAL WOOD ASSESSMENT
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This article explains critical safe-construction details for decks and porches, including avoiding deck or porch collapse and unsafe deck stairs and railings. Also see DECK LEDGER BOARD INSTALL - for the basics of locating & installing the deck ledger in our online deck design-build guide.
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Deck Ledger Board Connection to Building Band Joist
This article explains deck framing. Also see critical deck flashing details for the ledger board, found at Deck Flashing at Building. Basic building framing information is found at FRAMING SIZE & Spacing, Age, Types. Also see Deck Framing Tables, Spans and Deck Nails, Screws, Hidden Fasteners. And see Preservative-Treated Framing Lumber.
Band Joist-to-House Connection.
Ledger-to-Band Joist Connection & Bolt Spacing Requirements
The table immediately below gives the bolt spacing requirements for connecting a deck ledger to the building when the ledger board is bolted directly to the structure.
Table of Bolt Spacing for Deck Ledger Spaced Away from the Building
Soak the holes with a preservative before inserting the bolts. Spacing for bolts and lags are shown in Table 4-5 below.
In humid climates, some deck builders prefer to leave a 1/2-inch air space between the ledger and house to assist with drying in the event that the ledger area gets wet. Because this weakens the connection, through-bolts should be used, as shown in Table 4-6 below. [Click any table or image to see an enlarged, detailed version.]
To prevent splitting, lag screws or bolts should be held back two inches from edges and staggered as shown in Figure 4-7 just below.
Alternative to Deck Ledgers: Self-Supporting Decks & Porches
-- Adapted with permission from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction.
Details about selecting the proper fasteners for constructing decks and porches and how they are installed can be read at Deck Nails, Screws, Hidden Fasteners. Also see critical deck flashing details for the ledger board, found at Deck Flashing at Building.
Also see DECK COLLAPSE Case Study (collapse of a new code-approved deck) and DECK FLASHING LEAKS, ROT Case Study for an example of an older deck with rot and collapse due to improper construction and missing building flashing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about deck ledger board installation & best construction practices
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