To build a low-energy house in a cold climate, you need a lot of insulation. Many builders end up wrapping their homes with thick blankets of rigid foam, which complicates matters when it comes time to build a deck, since you can't just fasten a deck ledger over the foam. In his recent PDB article Installing Deck Ledgers Over Exterior Insulation, Rhode Island builder Mike Guertin discusses a few different ways to tackle this problem, including the use of specialized standoff hardware.

This is the method that Maine builder Mark Pollard chose when attaching a deck to a Passive House that he's been working on. The house is located on an island off the coast of Maine, and JLC editor Ted Cushman has been following the project from its beginnings. In his latest installment, Cushman explains how Maine Deck Brackets allowed Pollard to accommodate the home's thick I-joist wall buildout while maintaining its insulated airtight envelope and drainage plane. And while the JLC article doesn't explore this detail, Maine Deck Brackets also satisfy lateral load requirements if installed according to an engineer's calculated and approved spacing (48-in. o.c. on this project).

Read more >