View Full Version : We Don't Need No Stinkin' Ledger Board

Bruce Breedlove
06-17-2007, 09:20 PM
Who needs a ledger board when you can attach your deck directly to the rim joist? (Answer: Harry Homeowner. That's who!)

Bruce Breedlove
06-17-2007, 09:27 PM
Ooops! Didn't mean to insert the last pic.

(Brian, how does one delete a pic from a post?)

Robert Schenck
06-18-2007, 03:48 AM
Bruce, …. Good pictures, but your post and pic’s made me stop and think here (ugg, too early in the morning for me to be thinking). Although the deck wasn’t installed in the conventional fashion by use of a ledger board, flashing, etc… what makes the install any less effective (floor joist directly to rim joist) ? Not trying to sound argumentive here, … just curious is all, and a general question to everyone.

Does installing the floor joists directly to the rim joist make it any less structurally sound ? If you think about it, by installing the floor joists directly to the rim (with hangers of course), there’s less (or no chance) of the ledger board ever falling off (due to poor craftsmanship). It’s highly unlikely the rim joist will come down, especially with a deck that small, since it’s built into the flooring (main structure).

I do see an increased chance of water infiltration, but if flashed properly from above (which I can’t tell from the picture), I would think it shouldn’t be a problem. I do see a need for the exposed rim joist to be painted and/or flashed, to protect it from the elements. At least Harry Homeowner was smart enough to use them thar hangers – lol.

Does anyone have an IRC Code on ledger board use for decking ? :)

Joseph P. Hagarty
06-18-2007, 03:50 AM
Improper use of screws to secure the joist hangers.

Rick Bunzel
06-18-2007, 06:56 AM

What makes the screws improper? As long as there are not threaded to the head, they should be just as strong as a nail.


John Arnold
06-18-2007, 07:38 AM
Rick - The screws have probably been hardened so they can be driven into the wood, and this reduces their shear strength. Same reason attic pull-down stairs usually are required to be installed with nails.

Michael Thomas
06-18-2007, 08:35 AM
There are heavy-duty hangers intended for use with screws such as the Simpson SDS/SD types:

HUCQ Heavy Duty Joist Hangers (http://www.strongtie.com/products/connectors/HUCQ.html)

but AFAIK no screws listed for use with standard-duty hangers - the Simpson documentation specifically states that such fasteners are only for the uses specified in the Simpson literature.

Nick Ostrowski
06-18-2007, 10:59 AM
The joist hanger may (or may not) have installation info stamped on it indicating the type of fastener the hanger manufacturer wants to be used.

Martin lehman
06-18-2007, 11:32 AM
Like Michael said, the only screws allowed with a Simpson hanger are their own specified brand, and those ain't them.

Michael Thomas
06-18-2007, 12:27 PM
BTW, you CAN use the SDS screws when attaching a ledger:

pp 7 http://www.strongtie.com/ftp/fliers/F-DECKCODE07.pdf

Bruce Breedlove
06-18-2007, 04:19 PM

Off the top of my head I can think of two reasons why a ledger board is needed:

1) Load distribution

2) To maintain a weather-tight building envelope. With the gaping hole cut in the siding moisture can easily enter the wall cavity. And the rim joist is now subject to moisture damage as it is exposed to the elements.

Eric Shuman
06-19-2007, 12:41 PM
And here is one good reason why the ledger and tops of the joists should be properly flashed. A bolted ledger would have been a plus, too!