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Help with Determinig size of Beams, Ledge, and Rim Joists for building a deck.

Hi All. I am building a 20' x 16' deck on my house, which will be on grade. I visited This Old House's website to get some Ideas.,,262821,00.html They have a good article about building a deck, but I am a bit confused. In the article, the builder doubles up his boards to make beams and the rim joists. However, to determine the width of the board, he matches the width in inches of the board to the length of the board, so if he is building a 12 food deck, his beams, ledger, or rim joists will be 2x12's. I am confused because I am building my deck 20 feet long. They don't make 2x20's. (Nor do they make 2x16's) What is usually done Here? Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. Thank You.,-   


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Posted 2012-06-07T08:06:28+0000  by ResidentialMike ResidentialMike

Just use shorter 2x12 stock, and glue nail/screw the pieces together to make a 20' beam. Don't forget to stagger the joints.

Posted 2012-06-12T02:52:03+0000  by bugsy

This is the Deck Bible, if you will. The American Wood Council's Wood Deck Construction Guide based on the 2009 International Residential Code.


Your local building code will, undoubtably, be based off some form of the IRC code. It may not be up to the 2009 standard, but you won't go wrong following this to get your design ready for approval. It will explain everything you need to know about sizing your lumber, spans, joist, beam and post sizes, ledger construction, etc.

Posted 2012-06-12T03:17:14+0000  by Paul
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