• In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva explains how to attach a deck to a house.


    1 Remove old ledger and flashing, then inspect plywood sheathing for rot; patch sheathing, if necessary.
    2 Cover sheathing with two layers of adhesive-backed flashing.
    3 Fasten metal L-bracket to end of rim joists with special hanger screws.
    4 Set ends of rim joists against house and screw L-brackets to plywood sheathing.
    5 Install ledger between rim joists; fasten to house wall with 3-in. decking screws.
    6 Secure ledger to sill with ½-inch-diameter lag screws; drive the long screws with an impact wrench.
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      depending on size and height of deck
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      Tools List

      • 30-foot tape measure
        Tape measure
      • two-foot level
        used to check deck frame
      • circular saw
        Circular saw,
        used to cut lumber to size
      • impact wrench
        Electric impact wrench,
        used to drive lag screws
      • drill

      Shopping List

      1. Adhesive-backed flashing

      2. Pressure-treated lumber,
      for deck framing

      3. Galvanized metal L-brackets,
      used to fortify wood joints

      4. Hanger screws,
      used to attach L-brackets to rim joist and to house 5. ½-inch-diameter x 8-inch-long galvanized lag screws and washers,
      used to fasten ledger to house

      6. 9/16-inch-diameter spade bit,
      used to bore clearance holes through ledger for lag screws

      7. 3-in. decking screws,
      used to secure ledger until lag screws are installed