A deck makes a great addition to a house, but that attractive curb-appeal enhancer can bring some problems, notably the trick of attaching it to the house. If done improperly or carelessly, a deck ledger can lead to rotten house framing. Montana builder Michael Ayers has figured out a way to avoid that hassle: He builds decks freestanding, eliminating the ledger and the risk to the house. Instead, Ayers takes care to regulate the deck’s spacing from the house while keeping the deck close enough to be able to be used directly from the house. In the project featured in this article, Ayers also builds in benches to provide cozy seating and a pergola above to help shade the sun.
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