I'm rebuilding my deck (the existing deck suffered the fate of dryrot and carpenter ants). Originally, it was a one level rectangular deck with a single ledger attached with lag bolts to the rim joist on the house. The rim joist is sitting on a plate, on top of a concrete block foundation.
For the new deck, we'd like to get fancy and drop a portion of the deck two steps. My first thought was to attach the ledger for the lower portion of the ledger to the concrete block using straight through bolts (I can access both sides of the wall), but I'm not sure this is a good idea. I imagine either cracking a block by over tightening the bolt, or in the process of trying to drill through... not to mention the weight pulling down and away from the block. Am I being over nervous about this?
I read about long tail joist hangers, I suppose that's an option though I cannot find them anywhere.
I also suppose I could build that portion of the deck freestanding, with posts about 2' from the house (so I don't hit the footing of the foundation" and cantelever the deck across the footing to the side of the house...
Can anyone suggest the right approach in this case? (hopefully I've described this well enough).