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I am building a deck on a part of my house where it will go up agianst two sides of the house (see picture). I know I'll have a ledger on the longer side of the deck (below the two windows) but do I also want to attach the deck to the side of the house with the sliding door? If so How should I?

Where the deck will go

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2 Answers

I'm not a fan of ledgers, ever.

You can place a beam 3ft out from the house, cantilever the joists over the beam (secure them to the beam with hurricane ties) and wrap the joist ends with a rim joist. Make the structure within 3/4" of the house.

Do a double rim joist in front of the doorwall side.

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What are the pros of this? Do I leave the siding on the house if I do that? I considered this to just not deal with a ledger as this is the first time I would be making a deck and the ledger was the part I was most confused about. –  Michael Jun 7 '13 at 16:00
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It avoids all attachment issues (bolting, flashing, house integration, drainage at house), improves drying (of deck), lessening rot issues. I also like the clean, unbroken look. House water-plane (behind siding) integrity is not affected. –  HerrBag Jun 7 '13 at 16:35
    
You also need to consider lateral bracing if you do not attach to the house. –  decker Nov 7 '13 at 20:16
    
How would you repair/replace the siding when the deck is within an inch? Do you leave the siding unattached in that space, or disassemble and reassemble that part of the deck? As bad as ledgers are, they minimize the risk of the deck pulling away from the house and avoid a post adjacent to the house where it may be inconvenient. Just a little devil's advocate. –  BMitch Nov 7 '13 at 21:55
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You do not need to attach it to the side under the door.

You could also make it free-standing but remember where you are putting footings might be too close to the house to avoid undisturbed soil (depending on the age of your house and stuff).

Generally if you need to place a footing on soil that has been "disturbed" you will have to dig down until you reach undisturbed soil, sometimes making for very deep footings.

If you do not attach the deck to your house you also need to consider some form of lateral bracing in both directions instead of just one.

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