How to Install a Deck Ledger
The traditional method of attaching a deck ledger is to drive 1/2-in. galvanized lag screws following a fastening schedule from the building code. Doing that job right means pre-drilling the holes, and then reaming the outer portion of the holes to fit the unthreaded portion of the lags. And then you’d have to place a washer over each lag and drive it home. That’s three steps for each lag. Few people do, or even know about, all these steps. Available for only a few years now, structural screws provide a much simpler and faster option. No predrilling is required: You simply sock the screw down with an impact driver. As with lags though, there’s a little more to know than what’s on the surface. Like lags, structural screws must be installed according to a schedule, but in this case one provided by the manufacturer. Likewise, they must fall within a specified distance from both the edges of the ledger and the edges of the band joist to which the ledger is being attached.