Last year I removed the rotting deck that was on the back of my house and this year I am replacing it. The previous ledger board was bolted directly against the shingles in the position indicated by the red lines. I was intending to place the new one in the same location.

Today I planned to attach the flashing and ledger board. I removed a double-layer of cedar shingles, the tar paper beneath them and the fiber board under that - and was surprised to discover I was looking into my house. I moved further and found a rim joist that covers part of the floor joists, although it doesn't look particularly sturdy and is between the joists rather than capping them.

Wide shot

enter image description here

Any thoughts on how I should proceed?

I can remove further shingles, but I didn't want to make the hole bigger until I had a better understanding of what to do.

  • 1
    I'm curious what it was bolted to before. Might be easier and safer just to pour a couple more deck footings and make it free-standing instead of trying to get a secure attachment to the house. – Comintern Apr 26 '14 at 22:56
  • I don't understand your last sentence. is the "rim joist between the joists" you are describing visible in the second pic? – Paul Apr 27 '14 at 2:55
  • @Paul, Yes. I just mean that I expected that joist to in front of them, not flush with their ends. Presumably there are more joists behind it though - there doesn't seem much design to it. – TomDestry Apr 27 '14 at 11:41
  • @Comintern, yes I'm pretty curious too. There were lag bolts every couple of feet going through the shingles. But I took it off last year and didn't notice where the holes were when I was pulling off the shingles. – TomDestry Apr 27 '14 at 11:43

The way I see it, you have two options to make things correct:

  1. put blocking between them and a header joist over them to tie it together (It would be the equivalent of a 1-1/2 inch cantilever). But you'd have to deal with siding over the little bump-out
  2. cut back the joists 1.5 inches and put in a rim joist and splice it to the other joist with a tie plate. Cutting back the joists will be a real pain.

I'd be tempted to just put in the blocking and sheet over it with something pretty good like half inch laminate, however I'm pretty sure that wouldn't pass an inspection.


Is that basement behind there? It looks like there's an oil tank. How did you fill the tank when the deck was there? If that was my house I think I'd put some kind of joist blocking/bracing in everywhere there isn't any deck or no deck. Under the circumstances free-standing would probably be the better plan. Why aren't you placing the deck level with the inside floor?

enter image description here

  • Yes, the basement (strictly, speaking the garage). Yes it's an oil tank. I don't know how they filled it, I've never been there when they did it. I'm not placing the deck level with the floor to stop snow or rain building up and coming in (I'm in New York). – TomDestry Apr 28 '14 at 0:27
  • If the deck was only a few feet out from the house I guess the oil guy just ducked under. I'm in PA and have a 40' deck across the back of my house level with the floor inside and 2 patio doors. One of the doors is a 16 footer. For weeks last winter the deck had about 3' of snow on it, but it's not a problem because none of the snow touches the house. Probably because of the roof eave and the warmth of the house. – Rand Apr 28 '14 at 19:15

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