Spacing Deck Facias for Bolt Heads
How do you deal with bolt heads sticking past the face of the deck rim board when planning for a facia board? One bad option is to countersink the bolt head. Countersinking weakens the strength of the connection. You could carve out recesses in the back of the facia board – but many facia boards are only 1/2 in. thick so the recess will come dangerously close to the facia surface.
I’ve gotten in the habit of installing spacer strips ripped from scrap PT lumber blocks to the rim board. The strips are sized just slightly thicker than the crown of the bolt heads and spaced 12 in. to 16 in. apart around the perimeter of the deck. Not only do the strips bridge the facia board over the bolt heads, the space it creates is like a rainscreen that lets water drain and helps keep the rim board dry behind the plastic facia. Plus, if the rim board isn’t perfectly straight, the strips can be sized to create a flat plane so the facia looks perfect.
You do have to plan for the facia space when dialing in the size of the deck. If you want full size deck boards from house to overhang, make sure to size the deck frame to account for the space.
Wood strips ripped from left-over PT blocks are nailed about 16 in. apart along the rim joist.
The stirps space the facia far enough away from the rim joist to clear the bolt heads.