Why Building Decks to Code Is Important

June 14, 2018 Published by Leave your thoughts

You might be thinking of trying to build a deck. It’s summer and you’ve got time, so why not do-it-yourself? You could save a lot of money! Well, if you have a background in general contracting or construction, then building your own deck might not be a terrible idea. But did you know that decks need to be built to specific building codes? If they’re not, they’ll definitely be illegal and they’ll probably be dangerous.

This is why it’s usually a better idea to trust the pros when it comes to construction of decks in North Carolina. Today we’ll review all the important reasons to ensure your deck meets relevant building codes:

  • Providing sufficient support: According to International Residential Code (IRC), it’s essential for all decks, whether they’re freestanding or attached to a structure, to be anchored to protect against uplift and braced laterally. This is to prevent the deck from changing into a projectile in the event of natural disasters such as high winds or an earthquake. The deck’s footing and piers aren’t just to support day-to-day activity and normal loads—they also offer uplift resistance. Concrete footings are one way to accomplish this.
  • Protecting against decay: While you’re saving money doing a deck yourself, you might think it’s a good idea to use inexpensive lumber. As usual, though, you get what you pay for. Lumber that’s not preservative treated is likely to rot in the elements, leading to decay. This will result in costly repairs and make the likelihood of collapse higher.
  • Adequate handrails and guardrails: Sometimes homeowners prefer to remove handrails, instead replacing them with benches or planters. While this might be more aesthetically pleasing, it isn’t safe. The IRC recommends guardrails of at least 36 inches in height to prevent falls.
  • Adequate fasteners: Using non-weather resistant fasteners or the wrong-sized nails can lead to deck collapse. Construction plans should specify exactly what type of fasteners and nails should be used. Fasteners, for example, need to be hot dipped in substances such as copper, silicone bronze, zinc-coated galvanized steel or stainless steel to resist corrosion.

For the finest decks in North Carolina, there’s only one name to trust: Carolina Improvements. For more than a decade, we’ve been among the state’s premier home-improvement specialists. We offer a range of products for every budget, from those looking to save a bit of money to those in search of premium, high-end products. Our financing options can also provide an easy path to affording those home improvements you’ve been longing for.

You can rest easy knowing our team is licensed and insured for every job, from roof replacements and siding installation to new windows and decks. Every homeowner who works with us receives a free in-home estimate, during which we’ll discuss our products in services with you in detail. With a network of distribution centers and warehouses throughout the Summerfield area and beyond, we can help our customers, no matter how big or small the job is. Call us today for your free in-home estimate!

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