In construction terms a ribbon refers to a board or lengths of board which are nailed to wall studs for the purpose of supporting ceiling joists nailed to the ribbon. This is also referred to as a ledger board or ledger strip. You will also find that the same principle works when building decks.
Basic Deck Construction Tips
1. If you are working alone, you may find it easiest to attach joist hangers to the ribbon board before inserting the joists.
2. Notch the deck board around the post by measuring the depth of the notch, and cut the notch with a jigsaw.
3. Use a jig to space the balusters.
4. Keep the boards straight as you attach them to avoid further bowing.
5. When finished, make a line and trim the deck boards straight across with a circular saw all at once, rather than try to measure each board separately.
6. For a finishing touch make a beveled post cap.
Since installing the ribbon board is one of your first steps, it is important that you are paying close attention to all of your measurements and to double and triple check that the ribbon is secured squarely to the joist.