FAQs: Deck Attachment at House

When must I build a free-standing deck?

You are required to construct a free-standing deck when utilizing the Fairfax County Typical Deck Details if:

  • Your home's band board is made of plywood, a manufactured wood I-joist or a manufactured band board less than 1inch thick.
  • The floor joists of your home are open web trusses.
  • Your home has a brick veneer.
  • There is any type of overhang in the area where you want to attach the deck to the house.
  • The elevation of the deck is above the house band board. Decks cannot be attached to a stud wall using typical details.

How can I determine what type of band board I have in my house if I have a finished basement?

You may consider one of the following options:

  • If available, your home’s original building plans will specify the type/dimensions of the band board. Fairfax County retains building plans for two years after final inspection. Telephone 703-324-1895, TTY 711 for more information.
  • Look in an unfinished area like a laundry or utility room since these area are generally not finished.
  • Check a neighbor’s house that is similar to yours that does not have a finished basement.
  • If all other methods fail, you may choose to use a free-standing deck.

Can I attached a ledger board to a brick veneer on the back of my house?

No. The building code stipulates that nothing shall be supported by, or attached to, a brick or stone veneer. If you do want to attach to a veneered house by transferring the load from the ledger board through the veneer to the band board, a professionally designed attachment detail must be submitted to the county for a thorough review during the permit application process.

More Questions?

Please contact Building Plan Review via e-mail or telephone at 703-222-0114, TTY 711. You may also consult the Decks publication or the Fairfax County Typical Deck Details.

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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