Make Any Deck Ledger Secure
Following code ensures a safe, strong ledger connection—but what do you do when the conditions don’t meet the code’s criteria?
Synopsis: Code updates have made standard ledger attachments safer than ever, but you still need to judge when they can be used.
There are more than 10 critical connections that keep any deck in place and safe. The one that’s received the most attention by code officials and deck builders over the past few years is also one that I see done inadequately more often than done well: the ledger-to-house connection. There are two parts to any ledger connection that must be addressed when building a deck: the vertical load and the lateral load. My focus here is on the vertical load.
The cause for concern is obvious: An improperly attached ledger can lead to a deck collapse. While the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) is a minimum construction standard, in the case of deck ledgers it reaches close to the level of best practices for lag-screwing and through bolting,…