I am planning on redoing the surface and the railing of my deck. In the process, I plan to remove the cantilevered portion past the existing beam. This will place the existing 2x10 joists resting to the end of the outer edge of the beam. I will need to cover these ends up. To do so I plan to use a couple of 2x10 rim joists. This is kind of visible in the following image (despite my efforts, this is still kind of hard to see in the image):

enter image description here

The rim joist is highlighted in red and the existing beam is highlighted in blue. Note that the rim joist does not rest on the beam. (Should I do that?) How should I connect this rim joist? I live in northern Virginia and have referenced the "Typical Deck Details" document offered by my county (Fairfax). I am having difficulty in seeing what the acceptable methods of installing this Rim Joist are. The section on joists (pages 6-9) does not specify and the section on rail posts (pages 20-21) suggests that I use hold-down anchors (Figure 36) at the rim joist / joist intersection. It could be I just do not know how to read this document.

I would like to avoid having too much visible hardware on the outside of the deck. I understand the need for the hold-down anchors near the guard posts. I just do not want to have to do that at each joist intersection.

Could I use just an angle iron type tie at each intersection on the inside of the deck? This would hide the hardware and avoid screwing into the end grain of the board which I am sure is not as strong.

1 Answer 1


the rim joist does not rest on the beam... Should I do that?

You don't need to, the beam is supporting the weight bearing joists.

How should I connect this rim joist?

In the "Joists" section of the document you linked it tells you: "Attach a rim joist to the end of each joist with (3)10d nails or (3)#10 by 3-inch wood screws."

You have to fasten the rim joist to each joist as directed (with 10d nails or screws). You also have to strengthen the rim joist wherever it will be supporting a guardrail post, as directed, with anchors.

  • So that means that I must screw it from the outside in? I was really hoping to h able to attach it from the inside. Commented May 30, 2018 at 3:11
  • Well, yes according to the written instruction that seems to be the case. IMO you could use angled framing braces/ties on the inside for each joist connection, but if you are having it inspected then get a written variance from the inspector. You could also countersink the screws and putty over the heads after inspection, if aesthetics are your concern. Commented May 30, 2018 at 6:37
  • Call and have a conversation with your inspector.
    – Stanwood
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 10:52
  • Yea, I called them this morning. Unfortunately I have to take the plans down to them for review before they can answer any questions. Specific to this question, they said there is an alternative which is available in their office and not online. Sounds like I know where I am going tomorrow... Commented May 30, 2018 at 17:00
  • The person I spoke with at the county apparently does not exist and neither does his theorized solution. The inspector told me that the critical part is that there are heads on the outside of the board going in. Screwing from the inside is fundamentally against that. He suggested I do as the manual states and then place a piece of 1x on the outside and screw that from the inside out. That would not be load bearing and therefore ok. Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 12:08

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