Deck around box bay - ledger board length

markwarren66July 24, 2013

I am looking to build a deck attached to my house and have a question regarding the ledger board. I have built a deck before but it was freestanding. There is a deck in place that is 9' wide, which is the span of my kitchen box bay. The bay is built into the foundation and the current ledger is attached to it.

I want to extend the width of the deck and have limitations on each side (basement stairwell on one side, vent on the other. While I know I can relocate the vent, I'd prefer not to.

I have 5' on the stairwell side, and just about 3' on the side before it hits the vent. My question, is, can I install a ledger board that is only 3' long? I want the total width to be 16'.

Let me know if that makes sense or if you need more info. Basically, it would be 3 ledger just short of 5', one 9', and one just short of 3'.


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I wouldnt and I'm pretty sure your local town code wouldnt let it pass either. I'm not and engineer, but it seems the srength of the ledger is the multitude of bolts holding it across its total length. FYI, most codes don't allow ledgers to be attached to cantilevers, which is what your bay window is if I'm reading it correctly. I just built a raised deck with two cantilevers; one a bay window and the other a fireplace. We had to run the joist wild under the cantilever and attach it to the house underneath. This made the floor lower and may require an extra step to the door, but the building dept would not allow it any other way.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 9:03PM
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I'm not an engineer either, but I disagree with Peak. I don't see why 3 sections of ledger board would be any weaker than a single one, as long as they're all sufficiently bolted into the rim joist. If you think about what's putting load on the ledger, it's the joists that are butted into it and the boards on top of them. A long ledger is supporting all the joists collectively, but a short ledger only has 3 (or 5 or whatever) joists bearing on it.

You are correct that the ledger needs to be attached to the main rim joist, not a cantilevered bay. But it sounds like the OP's bay may be built in such a way as to support the ledger.

Got pics?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 9:12AM
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I agree with weedy and have seen ledger boards pieced in the past. As long as it is thru bolted to the rim joist should be no issues.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 9:16AM
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