Ledger strip nailing. OK or not.


The information you asked for is in the 2009 IRC TABLE R602.3(1) FASTENER SCHEDULE FOR STRUCTURAL MEMBERS:

Ledger strip supporting joists or rafters 3-16d (3 1/ 2" x 0.135") At each joist or rafter.

This may help.

Ledger Strip to Beam (face-nailed)3- 16d each joist


What is the condition of the base plate? This looks like they nailed a furring strip to it to conceal it. I may be off base but there is not enough to go on with those photos. The bearing on the “ledger” is inadequate.

As I recall, there wasn’t a base plate. You often don’t see them around here. This house had large portions of the band sill and floor joists replaced, along with the ledger.

Thanks for everyone’s feedback.

So, in my humble opinion, that horizontal 2x2 can do nothing structural. So, the nailing doesn’t matter. Maybe my California up-bringing.

The 2x2 holds up the floor joists so the nailing is very important. In the posted pictures it has substandard nailing but has some extra backup support by bearing on the brick. Its not perfect but not going anywhere. No need to write it up but ok to do so if you choose.

A 2x2 holds up a floor joist???I guess building outside of California really is…different. I have never seen a 2x2 used for anything other than trim.

IRC R502.6.2 Joist framing. Joists framing into the side of a
wood girder shall be supported by approved framing
anchors **or on ledger strips not less than nominal 2 inches by
2 inches **(51 mm by 51 mm).

Done that way here 90% of the time.

I don’t doubt that is a acceptible way of building in your area, just never have seen it. Being new to this site, I need to keep in mind the differences from state to state. Building has changed so much here. Now homes are built to commercial standards. Thats why they made a pnumatic “tico” hardware nail gun.

Joe, in a couple of those pictures it looks like there is old framing still present? If that’s the case where the joists sistered on? Hard to tell.

You were there and as I said the pictures really don’t tell me much, looks more like a 1x2 in the photo,and it doesn’t seem like there is enough space for another full brick behind the ledger. I will defer to your judgement as it is often the case that the picture doesn’t tell the whole story. I can tell you that in many cases in the past termite damage reconstruction work done by several large companies that I have observed was half azzed.

Structurally unacceptable unless the joists are bearing a minimum of 1 1/2 inches on the plate. In other words… the 2x2 is a waste of time. The nails support 3/4 inch of wood (half the thickness of the 2x2. Structurally inadequate… call it.

Kenton is correct. The IRC, specifically IRC R502.6.2, is wrong. 2" by 2"s (which are only 1.5" by 1.5"s) being held in place by nails that have little shear or withdraw strength are worthless, structurally.

There are many noticeable errors in the IRC, especially with regard to the IRC’s sheathing span charts.

The code says nominal 2x2 which is actually 1.5 x 1.5. This gives you the 1.5 end bearing and when properly nailed is adequate and meets code.

Nominal vs actual sizes:

2"x2" nominal ledger strips were used and approved over 45 years ago that I can remember and still are today.
Here are a few details, compliments of Southern Forest Products.

floor joist on ledger.gif

Some of the higher end builders rip LVL into 1.75 square strips and use those for ledgers to support the ends of long joists and I-joists. These are really nice since they have no knots to fail later and the nails do not split the ledger as bad.

That is the best material to use for that Bruce. A little more money but better.
One has to choose when using regular lumber.
In a lift of lumber there is usuall about 20-25% #1 grade lumber and the rest is #2.
With basement around this area, sometimes they increase the depth of the main support beam and use a two x three or a full two x four. Depends on the head room. :slight_smile:

I’d call a 2x2 for approval by a structural engineer every time. 1 3/4" engineered lumber like a microlam rip I’d consider better but I’d still call it a poor quality framing.

Maybe I’m misunderstanding. If those joists are end-nailed through the rim with at least 3- 16d, then I don’t have a problem with it. I don’t even care if they leave out the 2x2.

End nailing is even worse and not allowed. Must have support hangers or ledgers.

When you say “allowed” are you talking about new construction, Bruce?

There’ve been many deck built across North America with say… a floor structure built using 2x8s. The structure is built using front and back rim through which 16d nails secure 2x8 joists.

The deck rim joist that fastens to the home rim joist would be considered a ledger and is typically fastened with 1/2" lags staggered up and down every 2 feet with 2 lags at each break. No metal connectors at all were required for many years. So unless you know the year the code went into effect and are willing to call out a code violation, what’s important is accepted practices.

A common situation would be a deck in which the ledger was first lagged to the home rim joist… either through the exterior wall finish or before it was installed if it was original construction.

Deck floor joists have been toenailed to the lagged ledger (using 3 -16d galvanized on one side and two on the other if nailed according to widely accepted practice). The other rim joist was through-nailed into the joist ends and then the deck floor assembly is planked over and braced as necessary.

Built in 1978 in California that would be perfectly acceptable and any inspector calling it a defect would be wrong. So part of what we’re talking abpout here as to do with locally acceptable practices and the other has to do with safety.

I couldn’t tell from the photo whether the joists had any bearing other than the 2x2 ledger. If not, my call would be inadequate bearing in addition to inadequate connection to the home.