Deck Building Codes and Regulations

deck repair in the lawn of a house by Hingham MA deck builders Dexksos Inc.

One of the more popular exterior residential renovation projects in the past decade or so has been the addition of a deck. This extension greatly enhances the functionality of your house, providing additional hosting space and improving residential curb appeal. However, it’s crucial to ensure that your deck meets up with the regulatory codes of the region, failure to do so can lead to hefty fines and a demolition notice, and the extension might not effectively improve the potential valuation of your home. 

Some of the primary deck-building codes Cambridge MA Deck Builders include: 

Ledger Regulations 

The ledger is the main fixture that connects a deck to the house. As such, its installation is a crucial part of the extension’s construction. Massachusetts building codes require your deck’s ledger to be a minimum of 2X8 to ensure it can adequately support the structure. The board fasteners of the ledger must be made of stainless steel or hot-dipped galvanized steel to ensure they don’t rust, weakening the structure. The bolts or lag screws implemented must be placed in a staggered sequence and should be positioned 2” from the top or bottom of the ledger and between 2” and 5” on each end. Any girders shouldn’t be supported by the ledger and the tip of any lag screws used should extend beyond the inner face of the band joist. Alternate connections such as ledger locks are permissible as long as they are utilized according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Railing System 

Any deck that is 30” or more above the ground must have a railing system integrated into the design. The railing should be at least 36” in height from the bottom of the deck to the top of the rail. It should also feature 50lb over 1 square foot and a 50 lbf horizontal and vertical load across the top rail. There should be a maximum of 4” between the surface of the deck and the underside of the railing, and a maximum of 4” between the balusters. The 4” is integrated into the codes to prevent toddlers from getting their heads stuck between the balusters The stair railing should be a minimum of 34” from the nosing to the top of the rail. The overall system should feature a 200lb concentrated load. 

Deck Stairs 

When it comes to stairs, the treads should be at least 36” wide to avoid a cramped space for your feet when maneuvering this section. Cambridge MA Deck Builders suggest integrating treads wider than 36” to give your feet enough room to fit comfortably. The stair risers should be a maximum of 7.75” and a minimum of 4”. This range minimizes the risk of tripping as individuals go up the steps. The riser should also more or less represent a level of uniformity, with a maximum difference of ⅜” between the shortest and tallest riser. Careful management of the stringers should be integrated to accomplish this objective. 

A level of experience and expertise is required to ensure that all deck-building codes are met so hiring a professional is advisable for such a venture, call us today! Dexksos, your top rated contractor!

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