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Installing a Ledger on Siding

Project Overview

Installing a Ledger on Siding

Installing a ledger on the house is the first step in laying out an attached deck. The ledger, which is actually a header for the joist, establishes the height of the deck and transfers the weight of the deck to the foundation of the house.

3 Steps

  1. Mark the Ledger Location
  2. Install Flashing
  3. Level the Ledger
Mark the Ledger Location
Mark the Ledger Location

Step 1

Mark the Ledger Location

Mark the outline of the ledger so the top edge falls at least an inch below the exterior door. Extend the line with a level to mark the ends of the ledger, adding 1 1/2 inches at each end to allow for the rim joists. Snap chalk lines to outline the positions of the ledger. Set the circular saw blade (a metal blade for vinyl or metal siding) to cut through the siding but not the sheathing. Cut just to the outside of the lines, stopping the blade when it touches the corners. Snip out the corners of vinyl or metal siding and remove it. Cut the corners of wood siding with a chisel.

Install Flashing

Step 2

Install Flashing

Slide galvanized flashing (often called Z-flashing) so at least 1 inch fits behind the siding. Pressure should keep it in place until you install the ledger. Notch the flashing to fit around door thresholds and make any overlaps at least 3 inches wide.

Level the Ledger
Level the Ledger

Step 3

Level the Ledger

Cut the ledger to length, mark the location of the joists, and raise the ledger into the cutout. Center the ledger in the opening and drive one nail at the center of the top edge. Level the ledger and drive nails in the upper corners. Reinstall cut siding pieces along the bottom of the ledger, if necessary. Slide the upper edge of the siding underneath the ledge before driving the fasteners in the next step. Drill pilot holes and install the lag screws so they penetrate the sheathing and the house band joist by at least 1 1/2 inches. Tighten each screw until the washer begins to compress the wood underneath.

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Project Details

Skill Level: Intermediate

Time: 3 hours

Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.

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