Before obtaining a permit for a deck, your local building authority inspects your designs to ensure that they meet or exceed local building requirements. Railings should be installed on any deck that is 30 inches or more above the surrounding surface, as well as on at least one side of any stairs leading to the deck. Other common sense safety measures include: using guard rails and netting to protect people from falling over the sides of the deck; and keeping children away from the edge of the deck.
The city or town where you live may have additional regulations regarding decks. Before you start work on your own project, make sure you know what's required by law in Virginia. Visit Discovery Bay's legal page for information on building permits and other laws that may apply to your project.
Building codes often vary between states, but there are several national organizations that publish deck standards. The National Deck Association (NDA) develops guidelines for deck construction that address issues such as load-bearing capacity, drainage, accessibility, safety, and more. NDA also provides training programs for builders who want to learn how to design and install quality decks. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes an annual report on disasters at home and abroad. The report focuses on hazards related to buildings, infrastructure, and transportation systems.
Building rules vary, but most require a railing on decks that are higher than 24 inches from the ground. It is usual to have a railing height requirement of 36 inches. Railing posts can be fastened to the perimeter joists' outer faces or through posts supported by the footings. The former method is called outside post-and-beam construction and the latter inside post-and-beam construction.
Decks without rails can be dangerous because people may believe they can walk off the edge. Even with rails, decks are still subject to damage and deterioration due to environmental factors such as heat, cold, rain, snow, and sunlight. Weather conditions can also affect how a deck performs its safety function. For example, if a deck is exposed to freezing temperatures, it might become difficult or impossible to climb onto it.
Deck boards are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, so you should choose ones that will fit your home and your needs. Larger decks tend to be better for family use because everyone has something to contribute. Smaller decks are useful for more privacy. Be sure to check your local building codes before you start work on your project.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Building and Development Branch) oversees the Ontario deck railing regulations, which we rigorously adhere to at Art Metal Workshop. The code specifies height, spacing, load, and other parameters. It also requires that certain protections be in place to prevent falls. These include guardrails on both sides of any exterior stairway or ladder, as well as a handrail on interior stairs.
The code allows for two different types of railings on decks: horizontal wood slats and vertical post-and-wire fencing. You must use the same type of railing throughout your home. However, if your deck is less than 6 feet wide, you can install a narrower railing section to save space. The distance between each slat or post should be no more than 3/4 inch for safety reasons. If you want to add weight to your railing, you can use heavy objects such as rocks or cans of paint.
Deck guards are required where there is an exterior stairway, with eight steps or more, that leads from the main level to the roof or another part of the structure outside the dwelling. Guards must be made of solid material and cannot have open sides or edges. They must be securely attached to the house or building foundation and not able to slide off through the surface soil.
Interior stairways require only a handrail.
Deck railing posts should be no more than 6 feet apart, according to the International Building Code. Decks 30 inches or more above grade must have a safety railing at least 36 inches high. The railing needs to be continuous and not cut off in any way except where steps lead up to it. The end of each post shall be flat, smooth and free of material that could cause injury if a person leaned on it.
The code requires that all handrails on stairs be made of non-corrosive material. They should be straight, without ends or corners that would cause a person to lose their balance. The rails should be wide enough so that a person can grasp them with their hands. The distance between each rail and the wall should be equal. There should be no space between the handrail and the wall itself.
People who live in areas where wood is commonly used for decking might want to get natural wood railing posts instead of plastic ones. The natural color of the wood will match any kind of house decor, and they won't stain your hands if you touch them.
Overall length should be based on how many steps there are in your deck. Post height should be based on how tall you want the railing to be. Make sure you leave enough room for people to walk by your post without touching it.
The IRC codes for deck railings and deck stair handrails are as follows. 7.8: Handrails must be installed on at least one side of a stairwell (four or more steps). 7.8.1: The height of a handrail should be measured vertically from the tread of the step at the foot of a staircase to the landing above the topmost step.
The California Building Code specifies a minimum of 36-inch guardrails in residential constructions. Some places necessitate a higher guardrail. Check with your local code official for the guardrail height standards in your region. A handrail is a graspable component of a railing system that aids you in ascending or descending a stairway.
Wooden decks may be erected inside the community only when a building permission has been obtained from the Building Department. Decks are buildings that must comply with municipal zoning and the New York State Building Code. The Building Official can issue a permit for minor repairs to an existing structure or you can have a contractor do it. The cost of a permit is $150-$300.
Concrete decks cannot be built without a permit. The cost of a permit is $500- $1,000 or more depending on the size of the project. The requirements for a permit are similar to those for a house. The major difference is that a concrete slab requires special reinforcing to make it structurally sound. The thickness required depends on how much weight will be placed on the deck. The minimum thickness for a new deck is 3 inches, while for an existing one it can be 5/8 inch. The maximum thickness allows for proper drainage and is usually 6 inches.
A wooden deck is similar to a porch. It requires a building permit if it exceeds 30 percent of the total living space in your home. The maximum height allowed for a deck is 45 feet if it is outside and not attached to a dwelling or 50 feet if it is attached. The minimum width is 60 inches if it is located outside or 75 inches if it is enclosed by walls.
Deck Railing Post Spacing Requirements: The International Building Code specifies that deck railing posts be no more than 6 feet apart. Local building codes may have more rigorous standards for post spacing, so check with your local building authority for post spacing requirements.
The 6-foot rule applies only to straight runnings of wood. For curved railings, post spacings can be less frequent. Generally, for each curve in the railing there should be at least one post shorter than the other posts along its path. This will ensure that a person cannot slip through the gap between posts.
Post spacing should also take into account any items that may attach to the railing. For example: if you were to hang a sign from a railing, then there should be at least one post underneath the sign to support it.
Finally, post spacing should be sufficient to allow for maintenance and repair work on the railing. If not, people could be hurt if they try to climb onto or over a narrowed railing.
There are several factors to consider when determining post spacing requirements for your own project. First, pay attention to any local building regulations that may affect how close you can place posts to one another. Second, think about what will be placed on the fence and determine whether it would fit comfortably between posts.