I disagree with caulking the top of a ledger board because it can't be
maintained & never sticks, in my experience. I think it holds more
moisture than if left uncaulked. Depending on how it's done, the type
of siding, etc... it's certainly an arguable point.
I've seen rot behind a lot of trim, too. It happens. I've rarely done
self-supporting decks because the cost is usually more than the home
owner is willing to pay and usually aren't worth it - you certainly
won't find many in this area. Code & custom vary widely, though.
The slope may seem steep to you. I know some that do it 1" in 6', but
it's about standard. I've never had a complaint about it & it does
keep water from laying against the house pretty well. Our weather is
full of snows that melt & freeze. Those are the most dangerous for
getting moisture into the house, I've found. The snow holds the melt
against the house so it can work its way up & in some pretty odd
places. Best to keep it off, but most homeowners don't seem to do that
sort of maintenance. Lazy.
Against the house, any openings in the deck are often clogged with
debris after a year or two. Dirt, leaves, dog hair & everything else.
It's one of the reasons a lot of contractors I know put more of a slope
on the ledger board. I think a few degrees is plenty, so long as the
board is plumb, which it isn't always. I'll never shim out the top
At any rate, all of the above is just my opinion for my area. I've
done a fair few decks in the mid atlantic states & know a lot of the
people in other ways, so I'd hear about issues. I will admit that
there aren't too many decks against wooden siding, though. Maybe a
half dozen total in 30 years. Usually it's vinyl or block which
simplifies life a lot. I wouldn't put wooden siding on my house. I
don't want the hassle of maintaining it or the other problems it