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Deck Safety Tips

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According to a report published by statistics website Statista, the number of residences with decks grew in number between 2010 and 2021. At the end of 2020, a survey conducted on behalf of the Royal Building Products Remodeling Market Index reported that deck construction was the fourth most popular project reported by professional remodelers, reflecting the popularity of these extensions in recent years. Adding a deck to your home is a great way to not only enhance curb appeal but increase its potential resale value as well. 

Your deck needs to exhibit effective levels of safety if you’re to enjoy the full benefits of this fixture. Some elements Cambridge MA Deck Builders implement when looking to improve the safety of your extension include: 

Ensuring Steady Footers 

Footers and ledgers are responsible for supporting the massive weight of your deck and thus shouldn’t be overlooked. Whereas the ledger is attached directly to the house, the footers are set in the ground. As such, the footers will need to be immovable in terms of placement and rest on a rock-solid foundation to ensure stability. Most regions state that footers should be at least 12 inches below undisturbed soil. Doubling this number to 24 inches is a good way to ensure that you access undisturbed soil. Another means of ensuring stability for these fixtures is by pouring concrete around the footers to ensure solidity. 

Stabilizing the Deck Railings 

Deck building codes state that any deck that’s 30 or more inches above the ground will require a railing with its design. As a prime safety feature, the system you implement must be sturdy enough to support any potential weight placed on it. Installing balusters is an essential part of your railing design, with most deck building codes stating that each baluster should be a minimum of 4 inches apart, to ensure toddlers can’t stick their head through the spaces. You can use a ratchet or power drill to ensure that the posts are firm and steady. Enhancing the stiffness of your deck’s rim can be accomplished by integrating additional blocking between perimeter joists in a zig-zag pattern. This will enhance rail attachment and prevent joists from bouncing over time. 

Efficiently Anchoring the Ledger 

As mentioned earlier, the ledger plays a major role in supporting the deck and ensuring its stability. Some Cambridge MA Deck Builders have referred to the ledger as the spine of the deck. This direct connection between the extension and house is what determines this fixture being categorized as a traditional deck that’s subject to building codes and regulations, rather than a floating deck – which doesn’t have to adhere to the same guidelines. Attaching the ledger directly to the rim joist instead of on top of the siding is a great way to ensure its stability. This involves cutting out the siding and house wrap to access the rim joist. This ensures that the lag screws can reach deep enough into the rim joist to enhance stability. 

If you’re looking to ensure high-quality results with your deck-building project, call us today! Dexksos, your top rated contractor!

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