We have an addition that we are adding to our house. We built a new foundation (J-shaped, see image below). Building the floor frame over the new foundation will be done with the standard sill plate and rim joist setup on the right side, but how we do connect the joists to the existing rim joists on the left? I see two options but not sure which is code compliant and easy to get approval from the building inspectors:

  1. Use a joist hanger on each joist (lost of hand nailing!) to connect them to existing rim joist.
  2. Build a standard frame with a new rim joist on both sides and nail the new rim joist to existing rim joist.

Structural details: the new area is 12 feet by 4 feet, pretty narrow. So we are using 2x6s for the joists.

Image showing existing structure and new addition

  • If you go with the joist hangers get yourself a palm nailer, I have an air powered one but I believe there are electric versions. They can drive nails like they are going into butter. Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 21:13
  • Yes, I got one on Amazon yesterday after doing all my research. So seeing your comment just gave that purchase extra validation!
    – 0pt1m1z3
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 13:29
  • I don't think this little job calls for a dedicated tool. You'll probably only be driving hanger nails into the ledger, where you have plenty of space to swing. Most hangers now use a toenail arrangement for nailing into the common joists.
    – isherwood
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 13:35

1 Answer 1


You'll need to use hangers regardless. Face-nailing (as I assume you're implying by your mention of a "standard frame") isn't adequate to carry joists. They need actual bearing.

An alternative could be a new ledger set below the existing rim joist, itself mounted with structural steel ledger hangers, on which the joists rest. I suspect that your inspector would still require a more substantial wall connection for each joist, though.

  • Thanks, so if we are going to use hangers, which is the better option: Install hangers into existing rim joist or into a new nailed / sistered piece?
    – 0pt1m1z3
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 13:27
  • Not being able to see your rim joist (and what's over, under, and around it), I can't say.
    – isherwood
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 13:34

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