previous
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • 9 Concrete Countertop Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertop Ideas
  • Install a Vinyl Privacy Fence
    Install a Vinyl Privacy Fence
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • Deck Design & Construction
    Deck Design & Construction
  • Ultimate Deck Build 2015
    Ultimate Deck Build 2015
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
    Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
  • Radiant Heat Comparison
    Radiant Heat Comparison
  • Remodeling Articles
    Remodeling Articles
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
next

Mounting Deck Ledgers to Engineered Floor Systems

comments (0) March 29th, 2012 in Blogs
Mike_Guertin Mike Guertin, editorial advisor

The AWC DCA6 Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide ledger fastener table.
The AWC DCA6 Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide ledger fastener table.Click To Enlarge

The AWC DCA6 Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide ledger fastener table.

Photo: American Wood Council

 

The 2012 IRC ledger attachment schedule only works on house rim joists made of solid-sawn lumber or Douglas fir laminated veneer lumber (LVL).  You can't follow it when mounting deck ledgers to rim joists made of engineered wood products (EWP) such as parallel strand lumber (PSL) laminated strand lumber (LSL) or LVL.  Instead we have to look to resources provided by fastener manufacturers, engineered wood manufacturers and industry associations to ensure these connections are made safely.

Engineered I-joist floor systems complicate deck ledger attachment because there is such a variety of rim materials out there on houses. The first of many challenges in mounting a ledger to an engineered floor system is determining what the rim board material is. Is it solid rim board or just an I-joist? If it's solid rim board, what is the material and how thick is it? Many of the I-joist systems in the 1980s and 1990s relied on Âľ-in. plywood or OSB rips, none of which are solid enough to support a deck ledger. When I encounter these, I opt for a free-standing deck.

Engineered rim boards come in different thicknesses and densities, so they perform differently and you'll need to identify exactly what exists and then look for attachment solutions. My first step is to find a manufacturer mark on the rim joist material and then consult the manufacturer's installation guide.  Many now have prescriptive deck ledger installation details. But often those details only apply to newer engineered wood products and aren't applicable for out of production products.  In those cases, I contact the manufacturer directly for guidance.

The American Wood Council's DCA6 "Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide" has a table similar to the IRC ledger fastener table and it includes lag screw and bolt schedules for common 1 in. and 1 1/8 in. EWP rim joist materials.  Many building officials will accept the AWC DCA6 details for deck construction.

Products such as Attach-A-Deck and some structural screw makers have tested their products for use with EWP so you can follow their fastening schedules.

 

Also, read the other articles in the dificult-deck-ledger series:

Freestanding Decks Solve Ledger Attachment Challenges

Mounting Deck Ledgers to Floor Trusses

 


posted in: Blogs, deck, deck ledger, DCA6
Back to List

Comments (0)

Log in or create a free account to post a comment.