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Thread: Ledger board

  1. #1
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Ledger board

    Not sure if this the deck joists are anchored to the header joist or if this is a ledger board. Looks like a ledger to me.

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  2. #2
    Aaron Hayward's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Mathew,

    ledger boards are typically installed underneath joists. The joist in question in the picture you have provided is more of a hybrid joist. It is kind of like a header joist but they are typically used or located around openings through floors in conjunction with trimmer joist. When the floor members are framed perpendicular to a joist in this fashion they are often referred to as ribbon boards or rim boards and sometimes even header joist.

    This assembly type resembles that of a side loaded built up wood beam the most to me.

    If you call it a ledger board i think that you will find most people will understand when they look at the deck which member you are talking about. I think that by default most people just call it a ledger board but I am not totally convinced that is correct name for the member.

    Aaron


  3. #3
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    Not sure if this the deck joists are anchored to the header joist or if this is a ledger board. Looks like a ledger to me.
    The attached picture shows what I consider to be a ledger board.

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  4. #4
    Aaron Hayward's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Yeah, you guys are right, the ledger i had stuck in my head was the one used to support joist in ballon framing. I guess now having said that one can call any board which is for the most part fully supported along its length or fastened to framing members at regular intervals a ledger board if this is the board that transfers the load from the joist to the vertical members.

    Make sense?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Looks like a new stucco overcoat to me. I think I would recommend bolts!

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Ledger board

    I do not see where the ledger board is bolted to the floor band or foundation.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  7. #7
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Vern, GOOD eye, you are correct. So it seems bolts are needed???


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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    Vern, GOOD eye, you are correct. So it seems bolts are needed???
    If the seller doesn't think so, show him some of the deck failures that have been posted recently!

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Ledger board

    "I think I would recommend bolts!"

    Why?

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Since I don't see any anchor bolts, how is that deck secured to the house?

    -Jon
    Errickson Home Inspections, LLC
    http://www.erricksonhomeinspections.com

  11. #11
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Is the band joist secured to each joist in the floor of the home, therefore bolts are not needed?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    Is the band joist secured to each joist in the floor of the home, therefore bolts are not needed?
    Mathew, I've got to run, but try looking up table R502.2.2.1

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Mathew
    If you are asking, is it allowed to attach the deck joist directly to the joist band of the house. I do not think it is allowed.

    The ledger board is to have positive connection (bolts/lag screws) to the House joist band or built as freestanding (there is another option, but I won't go there).

    2006 IRC
    R502.2.2
    ...Where positive connection to the primary building structure

    cannot be verified during inspection, decks shall be selfsupporting.

    Recommending that bolts be installed, is specifying how to do the repair, and could be wrong.
    What is behind that board, what are you bolting too.
    At this time you really do not know.

    You might say:
    Positive connection of the deck to the house cannot be verified.
    I recommend that a qualified and competent contractor, familiar with deck construction, determine how or if the deck is connected to the house properly, and make repairs as appropriate if needed.


    Last edited by Rick Cantrell; 06-04-2010 at 09:24 AM.
    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    Not sure if this the deck joists are anchored to the header joist or if this is a ledger board. Looks like a ledger to me.
    I have a number of friends who live in Park City...
    It appears from the size and spacing of joists that this deck may have long spans or heavier loads. Regardless, it appears that proper fasteners between the ledger and house are missing.

    A good online deck resource can be found here: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/p...ks/details.pdf
    Ledger fastening can be found on sheet 10.


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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Fred,

    That's a good resource. I've used it for years. It's a reprint of the DCA Guide, found here: http://www.awc.org/Publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6-09.pdf


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    Default Re: Ledger board

    My guess, looking at the picture, is it that's incorrectly attached ledger, not an exposed rim/band joist, which would be set further back in the wall - it also looks to me like the stucco may have been extended outwards over some other original cladding, for example look at the way the vent termination / electrical box / whatever to the right of the deck is set back into the stucco.

    But none of that really matters: the construction/mode of attachment of the "ledger" cannot be verified as correct without further investigation exceeding the scope of a home inspection, I'd just report the deck's support at its attachment to the structure as requiring verification and correction as required by carpenter or contractor familiar with the local codes governing deck construction, and move on.

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 06-04-2010 at 11:19 AM.
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  17. #17
    Mr. Deje Glassburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ledger board

    2006 R502.2.2 is certainly the route to go. I'm curious though; are any of you inspecting for flashing installed on top of the ledger board that is tucked (in this case) under the EIFS? Read 2006 R703.8 #5.
    R703.9 and R703.9.1 might catch your attention, as well. It appears to me that no matter what kind of exterior covering you have, attaching a deck to a house requires flashing on top of the ledger board, unless of course it is self supporting.


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    Default Re: Ledger board

    "are any of you inspecting for flashing installed on top of the ledger board "

    Look at the 1st photo, under the deck, it shows what looks like flashing

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    ...the construction/mode of attachment of the "ledger" cannot be verified as correct without further investigation exceeding the scope of a home inspection, I'd just report the deck's support at its attachment to the structure as requiring verification and correction as required by carpenter or contractor familiar with the local codes governing deck construction, and move on.
    All due respect, photos appear to provide sufficient evidence that the ledger is INCORRECTLY fastened and the deck LACKS proper structural support (according to current standards.)

    Is it a disservice to a client for an inspector to simply refer "this to a carpenter or contractor familiar with the local codes governing deck construction, and move on?" Why not take a moment to inform the client of the significance and explain why the deck needs repair and what may happen if it's not.

    The last house warming party I attended featured a keg in the middle of the deck and was surrounded by more than 30 people.


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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Comb View Post
    All due respect, photos appear to provide sufficient evidence that the ledger is INCORRECTLY fastened and the deck LACKS proper structural support (according to current standards.)

    Is it a disservice to a client for an inspector to simply refer "this to a carpenter or contractor familiar with the local codes governing deck construction, and move on?" Why not take a moment to inform the client of the significance and explain why the deck needs repair and what may happen if it's not....
    As more than a few agents and sellers can attest, I'm not the least bit shy about recommending that significant safety hazards of any type present at decks be corrected "before anyone walks no it", or even "before occupancy" if I feel it's inherently unsafe even without additional load - and in red, if I feel strongly enough about it.

    And I'd have no problem verbally explaining to a client why that ledger attachment appears insufficient, and my report would include a link to the appropriate page of the same AWC document reference below in support if my opinion that the deck attachment did not appear to me to meet current national standards.

    What you won't see me doing, however, is recommending how that ledger should be installed, because I don't want to be hearing from a client six months later, informing me that when the carpenter came to fix it he discovered that everything behind it, and for 4 feet below it behind the stucco under that ledger, was rotting out

    "When you said all that was needed was to have it bolted to the structure..."

    That is a sort of "misunderstanding" I don't need.

    So in this situation I would not recommend a method of correction no matter how certain I am that it's "correct", and would instead recommend that the condition of the ledger board, the structure behind, it and the adequacy of the attachment of the two be investigated and corrected as required by carpenter or contractor familiar with what will be required required by local AHJ - because they are the final arbitrators of what is acceptable or not. (And that's a whole 'nother issue.)

    Michael Thomas
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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    Not sure if this the deck joists are anchored to the header joist or if this is a ledger board. Looks like a ledger to me.
    Take a look at the Simpson Strong-Tie website. The details show hold-downs to secure the joist framing to the house. Otherwise, the nails in the joist hangers are not enough to resist lateral movement away from the house.

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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Take a look at the Simpson Strong-Tie website. The details show hold-downs to secure the joist framing to the house. Otherwise, the nails in the joist hangers are not enough to resist lateral movement away from the house.
    It's a bit more complicated that that, here's the best discussion I've found to date:

    Professional Deck Builder: STRUCTURE: New Code for Resisting Lateral Loads

    Michael Thomas
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    So in this situation I would not recommend a method of correction no matter how certain I am that it's "correct"
    I subscribe to the notion that inspectors are professionals and we are experts in our field. As such, we should know more than contractors and we should be able to accurately prescribe and direct appropriate repairs when necessary.

    Most decks are simple structures; entry level inspectors should be able to quickly assess and determine the structural adequacy of any ledger. The level of the inspectors professionalism will dictate what he/she says and does from there.

    I'm curious, what makes you think everything behind the ledger and 4' below may be rotting out? I saw not such indication in the photos provided.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Comb View Post
    I subscribe to the notion that inspectors are professionals and we are experts in our field. As such, we should know more than contractors and we should be able to accurately prescribe and direct appropriate repairs when necessary.,.
    Those services (assuming they can be legally provided, I can't design a truss repair, spec a foundation footer or engineer a deck attachment providing lateral supports as an alternate to the diagram in R502.2.2.3) are well beyond the scope of a home inspection. I'm not paid for design services or construction supervision, my insurance does not cover me if the buyer decides to sue me not the basis that my advice is defective, and IMO providing both inspection and construction supervision/contracting services at a property inspected under my state's HI law creates significant legal and ethical problems even if I meet the conditions for legally doing so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Comb View Post
    I'm curious, what makes you think everything behind the ledger and 4' below may be rotting out?
    Experience. Damage that extensive is unlikely (and without seeing the rest of the property, I don't know how unlikely) but I would certainly caution a buyer that there is a real possibility of hidden damage behind that stucco application.

    Michael Thomas
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    Default Re: Ledger board

    "I'm curious, what makes you think everything behind the ledger and 4' below may be rotting out? I saw not such indication in the photos provided."

    So you are willing to say that there is no damage behind the stucco or ledger?
    It's not that I think that there is, I just don't know for sure, but I do think that there could be.

    Have you ever even seen the damage and rot that can be behind stucco siding. By your comment, I don't think so.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  26. #26
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Comb View Post
    I subscribe to the notion that inspectors are professionals and we are experts in our field. As such, we should know more than contractors and we should be able to accurately prescribe and direct appropriate repairs when necessary.

    Most decks are simple structures; entry level inspectors should be able to quickly assess and determine the structural adequacy of any ledger. The level of the inspectors professionalism will dictate what he/she says and does from there.

    I'm curious, what makes you think everything behind the ledger and 4' below may be rotting out? I saw not such indication in the photos provided.
    Here is what the NC SOP says about engineering without a license.

    (c) Home inspectors shall not:
    (1) Offer or perform any act or service contrary to law; or
    (2) Offer or perform engineering, architectural, plumbing, electrical or any other job function requiring an occupational license in the jurisdiction where the inspection is taking place, unless the home inspector holds a valid occupational license, in which case the home inspector shall inform the client that the home inspector is so licensed, and therefore qualified to go beyond this section and perform additional inspections beyond those within the scope of the Standards of Practice.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Here is what the NC SOP says about engineering without a license.

    (c) Home inspectors shall not:
    (1) Offer or perform any act or service contrary to law; or
    (2) Offer or perform engineering, architectural, plumbing, electrical or any other job function requiring an occupational license in the jurisdiction where the inspection is taking place, unless the home inspector holds a valid occupational license, in which case the home inspector shall inform the client that the home inspector is so licensed, and therefore qualified to go beyond this section and perform additional inspections beyond those within the scope of the Standards of Practice.
    I don't think it's rocket science - its basic construction and inspection knowledge. If a deck lacks proper structural support an inspector should be able to recognize it and put it in writing "deck lacks proper structural support." If an inspector has reason to suspect decay behind or below the ledger he should put it in writing, "suspect decayed structural components in wall behind ledger."

    If the inspector does not possess the knowledge to recommend specific repairs, fine, then he should refer it to another professional, but he does need to be able to recognize something is wrong or in this case missing, and say so.


  28. #28
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ledger board

    Never said it was rocket science. i"m saying once you wander outside of your states SOP then you are on your own. I have a electrical, plumbing, and HVAC license so I do elaborate a bit more on these items in my report but I never tell someone how something should be repaired even though I know. Don't need the liability of someone doing what I suggest incorrectly. I never venture into structural issues....I only suggest further evaluation and repair by a qualified person....and that ain't me!


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