How to Install Joist Brackets

What You'll Need
Tape measure
Galvanized nails
Scrap lumber

Joist brackets make installing joists for a deck, or a floor in your home, much easier. These joist brackets are basically metal hangers that are attached to the ledger boards and have a space wide enough for the 2 inch wide lumber. Working with the joist brackets is very easy and takes a lot of the guesswork out of the equation when building decks or floors. Here are the steps to installing joist brackets so you will be better prepared for your next project. 

Step 1 - Mark Joist Locations

Before you can install the joist brackets you will need to locate the position of each joist. Keep in mind that joists are installed at a spacing of 16 inches on center. This means that from the center of one joist to the other is 16 inches. Start at the outside corner and work your way to the other edge. 

Step 2 - Hold up Joist Bracket onto Ledger Board

Going to the first mark that you made on the ledger board for each of the joists, hold up one joist bracket to the mark. 

Step 3 - Use Scrap Piece of Wood

With the joist bracket held up in place, make sure it is in the exact location where you want it. Before you secure it, you want to know that the spacing of the brackets will be right for the 2 by lumber you are using. This will help to keep the integrity of the joist hanger, and keep the joist tightly into position so it does not bounce. 

Step 4 - Secure Joist Bracket to Ledger Board

Holding the joist bracket up to the mark, hammer in one nail on the top of the bracket. This will allow you to hold the other side of the bracket onto the scrap piece of wood. Place another nail on the top of the other side of the bracket. Holding the bracket tightly to the board and finish nailing it securely. 

Step 5 - Move to Next Joist Bracket

Continue moving along the ledger board placing new joist brackets at each mark. Remember to use a scrap piece of wood to keep the right spacing between the two sides. 

Step 6 - Mark Other Side of Deck

Once the ledger board is finished, you will need to place joist brackets on the other side of the deck. To do this you simply cut a joist to size with a skill saw. Lift it up with one side in the joist bracket you just installed. Hold it up to the board on the other side of the deck and make sure it is straight. Mark the edge position. 

Step 7 - Measure and Mark 

With this marking you can then measure for the rest of the joist brackets on that side of the deck. 

Step 8 - Install Remaining Joist Brackets

With the other side of the deck marked for the joist brackets you can then install the remaining brackets. The easiest way is to hold up the joist you are using, with one end in a bracket, and nail the corresponding joist bracket into the end board. This way you are ensured that the joist is tight and the bracket it solid.