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Building a Deck

How to Construct a Deck Perimeter

With the support posts anchored in dried concrete, the next step in the project is constructing the deck perimeter.

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  • Time

    Weekend

  • Price Range

    $500 - $1,000

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard

Highlights:

Step 1: Start with the Ledger Board

To begin this stage, attach a ledger board on top of the existing concrete landing along the house. As part of the deck perimeter, the ledger board ultimately serves to connect the deck to the house. Take into account the small space above the concrete patio and below the front door, measure and rip 2" x 8" boards to a thinner width using a portable table saw (Image 1).

To attach the first ledger, embed a pair of lag shields onto the house's brick facade. Using the board as a reference, drill directly through the wood to score the brick on the other side (Image 2). Using these marks, bore two holes into the brick using a hammer drill (Image 3).

Step 2: Insert Lag Shields

Insert the lag shields into the holes, tapping them into place using a hammer (Image 1). Then secure the board to the house by tightening a lag bolt and washer through the wood, and then into the embedded lag shields (Image 2). Continue attaching the remaining ledger boards to the house with lag bolts. As each board is attached make sure each it is leveled with its neighbor (Image 3).

Step 3: Set Rim Joists

With the ledger board attached, move on to the deck's perimeter by setting 2" x 8" rim joists. Once attached, the rim joist must be perfectly level and equal to the height of the ledger board. Using a wood block template, line it up and nail a galvanized steel joist hanger to the ledger board (Image 1).
After setting one end of the rim joist in the hanger, check for level, and then clamp the other end to the first adjacent support post (Image 2). To attach this end of the rim joist, first pre-drill through the wood and post to prevent splitting. Then screw the joist to the post using a pair of lag bolts (Image 3). Finish fastening the rim joist by hammering side nails into the holes provided by the hanger. This permanently fastens the joist to the attached hanger.

Step 4: Finish the Perimeter

Continue leveling, clamping and bolting rim joists around the support posts (Image 1). To correct the offset post described in the foundation construction, fashion a wood spacer and screw it directly to the post (Image 2). Complete the perimeter by fastening the last joist to the other end of the ledger board with a joist hanger.

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