Hometime Team
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Trans 1) Deck Overview Trans
2) Materials & Tools
3) Preparing Siding for Ledger Board
4) Preparing Ledger Board
5) Attaching Ledger Board
6) Digging Footings & Pouring Concrete
7) Cutting & Raising Posts
8) Installing Beams
9) Installing Joists
10) Installing Deck Boards
11) Building Stairs
12) Installing Railings

Preparing Ledger Board

Once the siding is cleared away and the sheathing exposed, you can measure and cut the ledger board.

It's a good idea to test fit the board and make sure the length's right before marking the joist layout and nailing on joist hangers.


TIP: If you're planning a skirtboard to cover the rim joists, cut your ledger board a total of 1-1/2 inches shorter (3/4-inch on each end) so you can run the skirtboard (usually 1x10 or 1x12) into the cut-out right up to the sheathing.

Marking Ledger Board

The ledger board serves as a beam, supporting one end of the joists which are usually laid out 16 inches on center.

It's most convenient to mark the joist locations on the ledger board and nail on joist hangers before securing it to the wall.

Marking Ledger BoardStart the layout on one end by marking off a pair of joists to represent the rim joists, which are often 2 joists side-by-side for strength on the edge of a deck. Then hook a tape on the end of the board and measure out 16 inches.

That represents the center of the first regular joist. To show where the edge of the joist should hit, measure back 3/4ths of an inch (half the joist thickness) to 15-1/4 inches.


TIP: Mark the other side of the first joist at 16-3/4 inches (1-1/2" total). Otherwise, you might forget later on which side of the mark you're supposed to put the joist on.

Marking Ledger BoardContinue laying out the joists for 16-inch centers by making marks every 16 inches from the first marks all the way to the end: at 31-1/4" and 32-3/4" at 47-1/4" and 48-3/4" and so on.

Then at the end, mark off the rim joist positions to finish the layout. This often results in less than a16-inch spacing on the end, but that's immaterial.

Once all the joist positions are marked, use a square to trace perpendicular lines at each joist mark and highlight where the edges of the joists should hit.



Marking Beam

Marking the Beam After laying out joist positions on the ledger board, it's a good idea to transfer the layout directly to the beam opposite the ledger board that'll support the other ends of the joists.

Cut a board to length for the beam.

Line up the edges of the beam and the ledger board with the help of a framing square and then copy the marks from the ledger board right onto the beam.


Nailing Joist Hangers

Nailing Joist Hangers Nail a joist hanger at each joist position. This is much more easily done before the board's attached to the house.

Use a scrap of joist material to make sure you're not nailing the sides too close or too far apart.

Hangers come in many sizes so make sure you get the ones designed for your joist size.

Use joist hanger nails to secure the hangers. They're short enough to drive into dimensional lumber without going through the back. But they're thick enough to prevent shearing off after installation.

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