Q. We’re planning a deck for our second floor so we have a better view of the water from our house. Part of the deck will be over our roof, and part will extend into our backyard and give shade to our patio. A contractor we called said we need plans first, and that he would make the deck attach to the back of the house with something he called a “ledger.” We looked it up, and were wondering if there was another way, since we would have to remove the gutters we just paid a lot of money to install. We wanted the deck to be above the gutter so we could use the gutter for our roof to drain into; otherwise the water will just pour onto our patio from underneath. What do you suggest?
A. As I wrote previously, you have the design issues with water and movement prevention, considering wind, rain, sun and fire. You have zoning and building code issues to resolve, and you have the cost issue, which is tied to everything else. The reason for the background answers in those two columns is that you need to know that the attached deck — any attached deck — can cause damage to the house if not done in such a way that it’s strong, and yet can still break away, if necessary, to avoid pulling the house wall with it.
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