…and a Deck Ledger
The most important thing I’ve learned about installing doors and windows—and of course I learned it the hard way—is this: Look at the Whole Picture, then always start at the bottom and get the sill perfectly level. That lesson paid off big time while setting a French door and sidelights in my own home.
A Note from the Publisher:
WARNING: POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST!
Many people have asked about my new home and shop, so we’re publishing a new series of From the Road articles. You’ll notice I’m using a lot of Katz Roadshow-sponsored materials. We choose our sponsors carefully, from among the best manufacturers in the industry, and that’s why I chose to use their products on my own home, too, some of which were donated.
The back third of my new home is a converted patio. The roof is supported by 4×4 posts on concrete piers set every 4-5 ft. (the span varies…a lot!). The floor is framed from 4x4s, too, hung parallel from the same posts, and set on more concrete piers.
The span between joists is over 3 ft. I’m certain the original owner/builder used a string vial to level the entire foundation and floor system. Thankfully the floor sheathing is 2×6 T&G—that’s the only reason the floor doesn’t bounce!
So when I decided to install a French door and sidelights in my new bedroom, I ran into an interesting problem (which had nothing to do with the door or sidelight openings). There wasn’t anything to attach the deck ledger to, at least down where ledgers are normally mounted. And I’d need a deck outside that door—the finished floor was 16 in. off the ground.
I hadn’t really thought about the deck until that moment. Like most decks, I imagined I’d tackle that project later and build more or less a large landing outside the door. But planning the deck wasn’t something I could put off.
I knew I’d be installing a ledger somewhere on top of the Zip R-panel I installed…
But before I could to that, I had to level the sill—right…always start at the bottom and get the sill perfectly level…