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.