Building code requirements for exterior decking railing, guards, and stairs are especially stringent because decks fall into the category of critical health and safety matters. Code requirements for bathroom fans or drywall, while important, rarely touch upon life and death matters.
The type of post you use can also affect the spacing between posts. Most backyard decks using wooden posts rely on the 5-to-8-feet average for the post spacing, but modern advancements in deck building now allow for metal posts as well as composite posts to be used in place of traditional wood.
Pro Tips on Building a Code-Compliant Deck . By Rob Robillard . There are approximately 40 million decks in the United States, and only half of those are code-compliant. Deck safety is a real problem. Every year we hear about decks that collapse under the weight of people or snow load. Improperly built decks can be dangerous.
Deck Joist Cantilever Rules and Limits The distance your joists can safely cantilever or overhang a drop beam is determined by the size of the joists, the wood type and grade of the lumber and the spacing between joists.
If you choose to install a guardrail on a deck lower than 30", you must still meet code requirements. Decks attached to single family detached homes are regulated under the rules of the International Residential Code (IRC). The IRC requires guardrails to be at least 36" in height, measured from the deck surface to the top of the rail.
9. A deck constructed in accordance with these standards is not approved for concentrated loads that exceed 40 pounds per square foot (psf), such as from privacy screens, planters, built−in seating, hot tubs, stairs for multiple− level decks, or from snow−drift loads or sliding−snow loads. Engineering analysis is needed for these loads.
Building codes are in place to ensure safety, and virtually every state and municipality enforces codes for deck construction. Most jurisdictions follow the International Building Code, which devotes one section—R507—to deck construction. Some building departments also publish their own codes which may differ somewhat from the IRC.
Although there isn't one specific deck building code, here is a helpful summary of what you need to know for deck railings, stairs, stringers, treads, footings, framing and ledger boards. It includes the most important requirements based on the IRC - and industry Rules of Thumb where no code statements exist.
Learning how to build a deck, whether a relatively simply ground-level platform or a more complex raised deck with rails and a staircase, requires a command of basic carpentry and a commitment of time and resources. Once completed, a deck adds value to your home and helps you enjoy the outdoors in greater comfort.
For a small deck, 10 × 12 feet, for example, determines how much lumber you’ll need by using your detailed plans to count all the pieces of each size: 12-foot 2 × 4s, 8-foot 2 × 6s, and so on for all framing members, including stairs and railings. Add 10 percent to framing and 15 percent to decking to allow for waste.
In the 2012 and 2015 IRC, the deck section included specific regarding plastic composite materials, but the requirements for wood were tacit. In the 2018 IRC, wood used for decks will be required to be at least #2 grade or better, preservative-treated or naturally durable lumber, and designed using the “wet” service factor from the.
Subsequent investigations revealed a number of problems, however, including a leaky walking surface and a non-ventilated deck soffit that trapped water inside the deck frame, causing the engineered (but not pressure-treated) wood framing to rot. It’s a sobering lesson for any builder who thinks a balcony is basically a cantilevered deck.
Designer Railing – Eight Foot Panel Series. Designs on this page are ready to fabricate and ship 30×96″ x 10 gauge in 2 to 3 weeks. These are some of our most popular balcony railing and deck railing inserts to add interest to your decor.
Note: Footing sizes are based on decks designed with single span joists where there is no center bearing beam. Deck Ledger Connection to Band Joist a, b (Reference IRC Table R507.2 - Deck live load = 60 psf, deck dead load = 10 psf, snow load≤ 40 psf) For SI: 1 inch = 25.4 mm, 1 foot = 304.8 mm, 1 pound per square foot = 0.0479kPa.