I removed the old deck and found out that the previous ledger board was just nailed to the house. See pictures attached. The wooden boards you see are also nailed to the house, and the ledger board was nailed to those... https://i.stack.imgur.com/d9Lmg.jpg Now that I don't see the house rim joist, how can I attach the deck to the house ? Do I have to remove the house insulation ? Do I build just a free standing deck ? Thank you for your help !


  • 2
    Do you have access to the floor joists behind that side of the house? And if so, in what direction do those floor joists run?
    – SteveSh
    May 7, 2023 at 0:28
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    Building a free-standing deck eliminates the problems of attaching a ledger board to the house. But you need to provide more posts, footers, and a beam to run across the posts.
    – SteveSh
    May 7, 2023 at 0:30
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    Building free-standing might also make your permits process easier. Check with your local building dept. May 7, 2023 at 1:12
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    Free standing can be a floating deck. If allowed in your area (IIRC years ago when I built mine, it was allowed in all states except NJ) there are likely limits on size and height. But if you can legally build a floating deck it can be a lot cheaper. May 7, 2023 at 1:27
  • 1- The floor joists in the basement are parallel to the deck (if that is clear) 2- I am in quebec and no permit is required for a deck attached or not. and I am ok with using more material and puting in more work, if it saves me screwing things iup May 7, 2023 at 11:04

1 Answer 1


I would cover the scar on the house with siding to match, after sealing any holes from fasteners.

Build a freestanding deck. No risk of water infiltration causing degradation to the home. Further, if you decide to change it or remove in the future, you have no work needed to the home.

  • You can put a ledger on without risking water damage if you flash it and tape the flashing correctly. Not a big deal.
    – matt.
    May 7, 2023 at 20:59
  • Or not need it and not have to do any of that.
    – RMDman
    May 7, 2023 at 21:07
  • That's not the point, you're inferring that by installed a ledger to the building that you risk water damage which simply is not true.
    – matt.
    May 7, 2023 at 21:10
  • Sorry but it is true. Diligence will mitigate, but the possibility exists. Where as not attaching a ledger means no intrusions. A hole not made does not need to be sealed.
    – RMDman
    May 7, 2023 at 21:28
  • Water trapped between a floating rim joist and siding that has nowhere to drain could cause rot as well. A pressure treated framing member with metal flashing and flashing tape works perfectly fine. Guess we will just have to agree to disagree. Good day.
    – matt.
    May 7, 2023 at 21:33

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