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Deck Inspections: Standards and Codes


Outdoor decks are a common household hangout. They host cookouts and parties and provide a place to relax when the weather is nice. You want to make sure that your family and friends are safe when they’re enjoying the deck. Deck building standards and codes are designed to do just that.  

Codes and standards for decks outline the specifics for materials, railings, flashings, connections, and more. Common code violations include wood decay, corroded or wrongly sized nails and fasteners, inadequate beam sizing and spacing, insufficient supports, and missing or inadequate guardrails.

These standards also denote what is considered the safe standard that decks must meet. Best practices for building decks include using pressure-treated lumber and weather-resistant fasteners. Decks must be constructed with multiple 2×4 to 2×12 boards, with guardrails at least 36 inches high, and side rails spaced no more than 4 inches apart.

Deck standards and codes are the same throughout the United States, but Emerald Isle, North Carolina has a deck inspection program to ensure the safety of decks in the area, and help promote visitor safety. The program focuses on annual assessments by licensed professional engineers or general contractors to identify any safety or structural concerns, along with recordkeeping for deck inspections, maintenance, repairs, or replacements. If you own a single family or duplex vacation property in Emerald Isle, these inspections are mandatory.  

Ensuring your deck meets the proper standards is the best way to ensure that your outside time continues to be both fun and safe for you and your family.