The testers measured the displacement of the ledger relative to the band joist for every specimen. The range of displacement for each connection detail is listed with the fastener schedule.
The testers measured the displacement of the ledger relative to the band joist for every specimen. The range of displacement for each connection detail is listed with the fastener schedule.

In August 2003, we ran the article "Attaching Deck Ledgers," in which authors Cheryl Anderson, Frank Woeste, and Joe Loferski presented fastener schedules based on code-referenced structural design methods. Though the number crunching was accurate, some of the bolt and lag spacings seemed impossibly conservative, as both the article and several follow-up letters pointed out. Even before the article reached your mailbox, Joe Loferski and Frank Woeste had agreed to build samples of the ledger-to-band-joist connections and test them in the wood science lab at Virginia Tech. The tests would show how theoretical structural connections designed using engineering formulas compared with the actual connections, tested to destruction under code loads. As promised (Letters, 11/03), here are the results. You'll find them a little more builder friendly. Many thanks to Joe, Frank, and team for undertaking this important work. Unfortunately, just as we bring greater focus to one area of deck construction, another issue has reared its head — the corrosive nature of the new pressure-treating chemicals coming onto the market. Extensive testing by connector manufacturer Simpson-StrongTie has shown the new treatment formulations to be more than twice as corrosive to hardware as the CCA treatment that is being pulled from the market. We plan to look more closely at this issue in the future; for now, it's best to play it safe when working with the new pressure-treated lumbers and stick to minimum G185 galvanized hangers and hot-dipped fasteners, or stainless-steel hangers and fasteners. Do not mix stainless with galvanized. For more information, see the box at the end of the article.--Don Jackson

In the article "Attaching Deck Ledgers" (8/03), the authors used a procedure from the National Design Specification for Wood Construction (NDS-2001) to calculate the required on-center spacing of lag screws and bolts for deck-ledger-to-band-joist connections for various deck widths. Although the calculated spacings were "to code,&...

or Register to read the full article.