Adding a Second Level to a Deck

by Batoche Bob
(Saskatchewan)

The outer edge of my deck is supported on 6x6 beams on P3 Helical Piers. I want to attach a ledger board halfway down the posts to begin the 2nd level. What is the best way to attach the new ledger board to the 4 posts?

Editor Comments

I wouldn't just clamp a ledger on because then all you've got is that clamping power holding it, resisting the load of the deck.

I would use a clamp but then I would also drill through that clamp and one of those engineered helical piers.

And then I'd use either a stainless or a hot zinc 1/2 inch carriage bolt and physically provide a member that the clamp can rest on.

Check out this video for more information:


Video Recap


Have you ever built a deck with engineered helical piers? Well, if you have, then this question might appeal to you.

A gentleman from Saskatchewan goes by the name of Batoche Bob writes:

"The outer edge of my deck is supported on 6 by 6 beams on P3 helical piers. I want to attach a ledger board halfway down the posts and begin a second level, another deck. What is the best way to attach the new ledger board to those posts?"

Well, yeah, actually, that can be done. Now, engineered helical piers go deep into the soil and when the contractor signs off, they actually give you a rating as to how much weight that particular pier can hold.

In fact, this is really old technology, but very proven. I mean, you can rebuild houses that have lost their foundations with these helical piers.

They're not cheap, but they are very effective and they can go really deep into the soil. They could go 6 feet, 10 feet, 20 feet, however deep you have to go, and they're going to be completely frost-resistant.

So, Bob, if you're going to attach a ledger to that, I wouldn't just clamp a ledger on because all you've got is that clamping power holding it, resisting the load of the deck.

I would use a clamp for sure, but I would want to drill through that clamp, and I would want to drill completely through one of those engineered helical piers.

And I'd want to use either a stainless or a hot zinc 1/2 inch carriage bolt and physically provide a member that the clamp can rest on. I would do that, rather than just clamping.

If you do that, I think you're going to be more than happy with the result. It's going to be strong, stable, and you're going to have a great looking deck.

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