Q: I’m planning to build a deck on the back of my house. I want to put a ledger board along the rear wall, but there is a chimney sticking out of the wall that will interfere with the ledger. How do I frame around the chimney?
A: Much like framing around a door or window in a wall, you’ll need to install a header where the ledger will break. First, install the two sections of ledger board that bookend the chimney chase. When you install the joists on the ledger, you’ll need to double the two joists that frame each side of the chimney chase. Then, install the doubled header between the two doubled joists. The header can span a maximum of 6 feet. The header is made by face-nailing together two 2-by pieces of lumber the same dimension as the deck joists. Install the header with the appropriate metal hangers flush between the doubled joists and oriented vertically, just like the joists and ledger board. Then, install the joists located at the chimney chase so they terminate against the header, just as they would have with a ledger board.