Preparing Siding for Ledger
The ledger board is attached directly to a house wall after the siding has
been cut away, and it supports one side of a deck.
first steps in attaching the ledger board are determining where the top of the
deck hits the house, where the ledger board goes and where the siding needs to
As a general rule, it's best to anchor a ledger board directly to an existing
rim joist in the house framing.
rim joist is found on the outside edges of the home's floor framing, so if the
deck goes at the same level as the existing home floor the rim joist can support
the ledger board.
the deck is to be located higher on the wall, you can secure the ledger board
to the studs inside the wall.
the deck is to be located along a section of poured concrete or concrete block,
you can secure the ledger board to it but you must drill into concrete with a
masonry drill, insert masonry anchors and then lag screw the ledger board into
Top of Deck on Siding
To determine where the ledger board should go, first mark on the siding where
you want the top of the deck to end up on the house wall.
will usually be a point the same height as the interior floor and just below the
threshold of any existing or planned door leading onto the deck.
a level with one end against the mark, hold it level along the siding and draw
a line representing the top of the deck.
the line in each direction to the full width of the deck. That gives you the top
horizontal cutting line for the ledger board pocket.
Siding for Ledger Board
To mark the bottom horizontal cutting line, first measure down from the top line
for the thickness of your deck boards (usually 1-1/2 inches, the thickness of
a 2x4 or a 2x6).
from there, measure down for the height of the ledger board, in this case another
9-1/2 inches (the height of a 2x10 board).
the same measurements on the other end of the ledger board and snap a chalkline
between to represent the bottom cutting line for the ledger board.
Use a circular saw to cut along the horizontal cutting lines, with the blade set
at a depth that won't cut into the sheathing below the siding.
making the top and the bottom cuts, use a jig saw to make the vertical cuts on
the ends. Then
pry up the nails holding the boards in the cut-out area and pull the boards off.
To remove vinyl siding, find a special “zip lock tool." Put the curved end under the bottom of a row and hook it onto the back lip of the piece. Then pull down to disengage it from the row below it, and slide it along the length of the piece. You will probably end up having to re-mark the locations of your deck surface and ledger board on the walls sheathing after you have removed the necessary pieces of vinyl siding. When the deck is complete, you will have to install new J-channel where the deck meets the house. You’ll also have to trim the pieces of siding as you re-install them.
(See our Vinyl Siding “how-to” pages.)