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Spring is here so I finally started to take measurements for materials I will need to build a new deck on my recently constructed home. I just realized that this isn't going to be quite so simple as I originally planned.

My house was constructed with engineered I beams and what I believe is an engineered OSB rim joist perpendicular to those (looking from the back of the house). Knowing this I knew that lag screws or even carriage bolts to hold a ledger board would not be sufficient. Upon my own research it seemed the accepted way to handle this is to take a piece of 2 by into the inside of the I of the joist, and run a carriage bolt, through the ledger board, sheathing, rim joist and finally the added block, and to do this twice, staggered and 16" OC for each joist after that.

My father-in-law who has built several decks and is critical to this DIY project refuses to do this and he has his reasons which I respect and won't get into.

A better plan in his opinion would be something similar to what is described in this article

In the old days when he built decks with his dad, they used to lag and anchor ledger boards to the concrete foundation and then toenail the joists on top. They apparently make special ties now for this purpose that is an improvement on the old toe-nail method. It seems like a much better idea and if I use 2x10 or 2x12 joists then the deck will be pretty much at the bottom of the kitchen door where it needs to be.

Question 1: I assume that if these clips are still being produced that it must be code assuming proper lag screws and spacing have secured the ledger board?

My second complication... assuming I go this route, only 1 deck ledger board will be attached to a poured concrete wall (the garage). The very back of the house is actually not a poured foundation wall but a 2x6 framed exterior wall with sheathing, and a decorative stone masonry product.

Question 2: If I were to cut away the masonry and lag into the 2x6 studs for the ledger support, would this be a sturdy code compliant ledger board?

And finally, if applicable, if I were to cut away the masonry to mount a ledger board, I would be worried about water possibly penetrating and getting behind the decorative masonry.

Question 3: What is the most appropriate way to prevent water from getting behind my ledger board or the masonry?

Here is a link to my previous question for a quick diagram of the current plan:

What is a good strategy to support this deck?

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and my father in law thinks I am insane for even considering calling the local code guy (he has had some bad experiences with this guy in the past over a septic system and he is convinced the guy is a sadistic monster who likes for people to spend absurd amounts of money on frivolous things). If I can't find a clear cut answer then I will probably just hire somebody to do this because the aggravation this is causing me is not worth it.

EDIT

On request here is what the back of the house looks like, to the right not in view is the garage. This is not in a seismically active area.

enter image description here

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You have a few options here, all IRC compliant. I am a bit confused by the different faces you want to secure to. The house rim joist, the knee wall and/or garage. Can you attach a couple of pics of the surfaces and a sketch of the relationship of the deck to the existing structures? I am also questioning the rim joist of the house. In most cases, the rim joist is solid, even if you have I-beam floor joists setting on the sill plates. Check them carefully from the inside. Once we solve the initial rim joist attachment, the rest will be easy for you with readily available hardware. –  shirlock homes Apr 1 '13 at 10:55
    
@shirlockhomes My father in law will refuse to help me if I try to go through the rim joist. Are one of the IRC compliant options setting the deck ledger board below the rim joist and setting joists on top the ledger with special ties? One second on the picture... –  maple_shaft Apr 1 '13 at 11:13
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As Shirlock has already suggested I would add a row of posts close to the house to carry the support beam for the deck. This solves many many problems with cutting into the house structure and dealing with environmental sealing issues. If you do this make sure to add triangulation members make the deck assembly strong and eliminate scissoring and sway. With such construction you can probably limit your connection to the house to just the short area under the patio door in the area that already setup for that purpose (I note the differing material there in the picture). –  Michael Karas Apr 1 '13 at 13:13
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AS you asked earlier, joists resting on top of a ledger beam are perfectly fine. The real question here is where to attach the beam. Doesn't make any difference where the joists sit, there is hardware that works for either method. –  shirlock homes Apr 1 '13 at 14:50
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@decker I didn't set up the scaffolding in this picture, this was the work of the masonry subcontractor while the house was still being built. They were all Mexican, probably here illegally, and probably didn't have any kind of insurance if they would have gotten hurt to make matters even worse. –  maple_shaft Apr 3 '13 at 15:35
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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

First off let me quote the American Wood Council PRESCRIPTIVE RESIDENTIAL WOOD DECK CONSTRUCTION GUIDE (which I recommend looking through).

MANUFACTURED WOOD I-JOIST: Many new homes constructed with wood I-joists include 1" or thicker engineered wood products (EWP) – such as oriented strand board (OSB) or structural composite lumber (SCL) including laminated veneer lumber (LVL) – as band joists (or rim boards) that can support the attachment of a deck. However, some older homes might be constructed with band boards that are too thin (less than 1") to support a deck. In such cases, a free-standing deck or a full plan submission is required.

You asked:

Question 1: I assume that if these clips are still being produced that it must be code assuming proper lag screws and spacing have secured the ledger board?

Yes.

It doesn't matter how the joists have bearing, whether it is a hanger, ledger, or beam. Just use the appropriate hardware/fasteners for the application.

Joist-to-beam connection

Question 2: If I were to cut away the masonry and lag into the 2x6 studs for the ledger support, would this be a sturdy code compliant ledger board?

Back in the "good old days" when homes were balloon-framed they would use let-in ledgers or ribbon boards to support the floor framing (which was also nailed to the studs, though). So, it is doable, but you may need special permission or even engineer's drawings/specs for approval (might also include blocking and extra hardware). Either way, I would say it is not exactly ideal, but at least you could use structural screws like Ledgerloks or GRKs, since they are smaller diameter and self-drilling and not nearly as likely to split the studs.

Balloon Framed, Ribbon Board w/ fire blocking

(balloon-framed, ribbon-board (ledger) and fire-blocking)

LedgerLOK

And finally, if applicable, if I were to cut away the masonry to mount a ledger board, I would be worried about water possibly penetrating and getting behind the decorative masonry.

You would have the same worries doing the same thing when cutting out siding for a ledger. Flashing to the rescue :)

Question 3: What is the most appropriate way to prevent water from getting behind my ledger board or the masonry?

Again, flashing is the most important part (aside from proper fastening). You have to lap the flashing properly with the building paper. Just remember the direction water flows so the surfaces have to lap the same way a shingle would. See image below for a good illustration of proper flashing. You can also read this short article describing some of the flashing material choices.

Ledger Flashing

After all that, I would say your best bet is to verify your rim board thickness and do a normal ledger. The second best option is a free-standing deck.

Just be careful there is a lot of bad advice and information on the internet!

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Thank you this is a great answer! I worried about splitting studs as well but this laglok product seems good for this. –  maple_shaft Apr 3 '13 at 9:56
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Sorry, I posted this late last night and looking at it again with fresh eyes, the balloon frame image is using a ribbon-board and not a let-in ledger as I had it originally labeled. So don't go around calling that a let-in ledger when it is really a ribbon-board! Also I added an image of joist-bearing options. –  decker Apr 3 '13 at 18:20
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So I guess then it is still considered acceptable to toenail joists in? I personally would feel more comfortable with hurricane clips or other strong ties. Delays in the landscaping mean that I won't be able to start this project until probably summer, but I should get a chance to talk with my old project manager about the type of rim board used (manufacturer, thickness, etc...) to determine my options. It will be a month or two but I will be sure to report back and let you know what I find out. –  maple_shaft Apr 3 '13 at 18:31
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Just thought I would update with new information after talking with the PM. He said it is 1 1/4" engineered rim and acceptable for mounting a ledger board to. If his crew were building the deck they would stagger in a W formation with every top fastener being a carriage bolt and every bottom fastener being a lag screw going into the sill and they would space them apart every 16". He said that all the local code enforcers in this region find this more than acceptable. –  maple_shaft May 28 '13 at 9:27
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Great news! Although you can't carriage bolt unless you have access to the back of the rim from the inside, i.e. cut open the drywall if it is finished interior space. You could ask the inspector to "okay" lags or ledgerlok-type screws. –  decker May 30 '13 at 21:23
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