Because decks appear to be simple to build, many people do not realize that decks are, in fact, structures that need to be designed to adequately resist certain stresses. Like any other house or building, a deck must be designed to support the weight of people, snow loads, and objects. A deck must be able to resist lateral and uplift loads that can act on the deck as a result of wind or seismic activity. Deck stairs must be safe and handrails graspable. Most Deck failures are improper solidifying ledger to the house. And, finally, deck rails should be safe for children by having proper infill spacing (4”).

14 Point Inspection of Decks

  1. Ledger Board (Secured to House)
  2. Joist Hangers (Proper Size)
  3. Hurricane Plates (Present & Correct Size)
  4. Other Hardware (Proper Hardware Used)
  5. Drip Edge\Flashing (Present)
  6. Blocking (Present)
  7. Corbels (For Support)
  8. On-Center Spacing (Proper Spacing)
  9. Beams (Proper Size)
  10. Girder (Attached Properly)
  11. Footings (Present)
  12. Rust\Wood Rot (Present)
  13. Railing (4” Between Spindles, Attached Properly)
  14. Stairs (With Proper Hand Rail per Code)

Deck Ledger Board

Deck Joist Hangers

Deck Hurricane Plates

Other Deck Hardware

Drip Edge

Deck Blocking

Deck or Pergola Corbel  (Some call this a Knee Brace)

Deck On-center Spacing & Blocking

Deck Beams & Basic Lay-Out

Deck Girder\Post\Footings

Deck Rust\Rot

Deck Railing & Stairs

No Deck Railing Necessary