Quality Standards in Deck Construction

Unless your deck is designed using the services of a structural engineer, there are specific quality standards which have changed over the years.

Below are some key points that are required by the International Residential Code & American Wood Council standards;

  • All support posts must be 6×6 or more. They should be placed onto a galvanized post support which is cast into or fastened to the concrete footing. No blocks or 4×4 posts are any longer acceptable. No posts may be cast directly into concrete.
  • Beams must bear completely on top of posts. You may not bolt or screw a beam directly to the side of a post.
  • All cuts must be treated with a copper based wood preservative.
  • Railings may be 4×4 but must not be notched for fascia mounting. Railing posts must also have a bearing strap for lateral load connected to a joist just rear of the post. Lag bolts are not permitted as a means of attachment and a through bolt is required, as well as extra blocking to surround the post.
  • Balusters on railings must be spaced to not allow a 4″ or smaller sphere to pass through. A softball is just under 4″ and can be used as a gauge for appropriate spacing. If the softball gets stuck, you have the correct spacing.
  • Joists meeting beams must have a vertical/lateral hurricane tie.

This list is being updated frequently, check back for more info at another time.

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