Building a deck is arguably one of the simplest construction projects that one can undertake, both in terms of financial investment, as well as logistical planning. Without factoring things like painting, plumbing and electricity installation, the enterprise can take only a few days to complete. Due to this reason, most people usually enlist local contractors to construct a deck for them or do it themselves to save on cost.

However, adopting such a strategy can be very risky, since the project will likely contravene the building and construction regulations of your city. In light of this, it is very important to understand the legal implications of building a deck without the sanction of your local authorities.

Importance of City Building Codes to your Deck Construction

If you intend on building a deck on your property, it is absolutely important that you understand the government regulations that you are subject to, and meet the standard building code requirements of your city. In order to avoid getting into legal trouble with your city’s authorities, you need to petition the Department of Buildings for a permit before you proceed with your construction enterprise. In addition to this, you must hire a licensed engineer to design your deck according to the building code of your city. While you are free to build the deck yourself, you must strictly adhere to the approved recommendations of your licensed contractor or engineer, and employ a qualified electrician to install electricity in your deck.

Rules and Regulations for Building a Deck in Your Home

Standard building rules and regulations stipulate that a deck should extend not more than 8 feet from the building into the rear yard. Moreover, homeowners must ensure that their deck is at least 3 feet between the sides of the deck, and the property line. Furthermore, all decks must be encased in safety railings, at least 42 inches high, with a maximum space of 5 inches between the railings. In case the deck is constructed on an elevated surface, it must be constructed with bracings at the column as well as beam connections.

It is important to realize that decks with roofs are considered as rooms by the Department of Buildings. Therefore, if you intend to put a roof on your deck, you must ensure that you stick to the construction codes for building rooms.

Bottom line: 

While building a deck is a relatively simple construction enterprise, you need to ensure that you understand and adhere to the building and safety regulations as stipulated by the Department of Buildings. This will allow you to meet the standard requirements for deck construction thus avoiding legal trouble.

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