Is a deck attached to the house something that can be DIY'd or leave it to the professionals?
My husband and I are fairly handy and do a lot of research before starting any project but neither of us have any deck building experience. Looking to build a basic 12x14 ft deck with ledger and posts.
Thats a great question, when attaching a deck to the house there's a few things that you should consider.
Weather e.i. thats behind the ledger to stop moisture from your home.
How to Secure it. If your attaching to (brick or concrete) you will need to put in anchors. If it's siding you will need to check your local building code to see the recommended anchoring weather the siding needs to be removed.
It's can be alot of work, and sometimes specialized tools are required. I would definitely recommend getting a few quotes just so you have an idea of the savings of doing it your self and that way you will also have a basic material list.
Yes you can but look into permits and the basic "know how" for attaching it to the house. It takes a little work but once done provides a solid part of the deck. don't skimp on the materials or the fasteners, they are recommended for a good reason. Enjoy the project.
Generally speaking, if your deck is attached to your home you will need a permit to replace it. Hiring a professional will ensure that all of the rules and regulations surrounding building code and local bylaws are followed. You can try to build it yourself but there will be a steep learning curve. Make sure to do all the research before you start. If you add up the hours you will need to spend on this you may realize that sometimes its just better to leave it to a professional.
It is not a difficult task to attach a ledger board to a house. What is most important is what you are attaching the ledger board to. It should be attached to the rim joist of your house and the rim joist should be solid. If the rim joist is compromised in any way you should not attach a ledger board to it. You can not attach a ledger board to a cantilever window and you should not attach a ledger board to brick because brick is not meant to support the load of a deck. Ledger boards should be attached to rim joists or solid concrete using lag bolts or anchors. If the house has siding, you should remove the siding and attach the ledger board directly to the solid structure. You need to put flashing over the top of the ledger board to make sure that the water does not get between the ledger board and whatever it is attached to. You should also put a drip edge on the bottom of the ledger board to break the surface tension of any water that could run under the board and get between the house cladding and sheathing. Make sure your ledger board is level and make sure you allow space for your top boards. When I do a ledger board I typically put two lag bolts per 16" although many deck builders claim that only one lag bolt is required over that span. For the sake of $10 I can not understand why anyone would not use the extra lag bolts and risk a possible deck collapse years down the road.
When ever possible, I like to free float deck a deck as opposed to bolting it to the house if it's low to the ground. I would check your building codes to determine the best and safest installation methods because there are many variables in play.
While we encourage homeowners to get involved with their projects and save money where they can, If your deck is elevated more than 4 ft off the ground, hire a professional. Deck collapses due to improper construction can seriously injure or kill someone. Improper construction methods can also drastically shorten the lifespan of your new deck.
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