Building A Roof Deck

By Robert Robillard on Decks And Porches

Building A Roof Deck

Railing Requirements:

The beauty of the Azek system is that the baluster spacing conforms to the International Residential Code [IRC] calling for on-center baluster spacing to be less than 4 inches. The IRC also requires that a guardrail be 42 inches in height and the entire assembly be strong enough to resist a 200-pound horizontal load (or 20 pounds per linear foot, depending on the local code).

The Azek railing system meets this requirement and can be ordered so the balusters do not need to be cut to reach the 42 inch requirement. By eliminating the need to cut the balusters we saved time and labor.

NOTE: Check local code requirements prior to installation. Most building codes require that a 4” sphere shall not pass though the rail at any point.

Building A Roof Deck

The Devil Is In the Details:

We spent time making sure the siding, and trim were installed properly by flashing all of our joints and not nailing anywhere with in 8” of the deck to ensure we did not penetrate the rubber roofing that ran up the side wall.

One detail that we changed from the original design was to run a horizontal trim board, a skirt board, along the deck. This board allowed us to install our fasteners up high as opposed to installing and fastening clapboard siding down to the deck as it was to the earlier deck. The fewer nail hoes the better!

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor / Writer / Video Talent

Robert Robillard is a general contractor, carpenter and operates a remodeling company located in Concord, MA. He is the editor of and ToolBoxBuzz, and a has a weekly column in the Sunday Boston Globe. Rob is a recognized leader in tool and how-to information for building professionals, he hosts the Concord Carpenter Cable TV Show, offering advice on home repairs and maintenance. On his website, Rob uses his knowledge and experience to help and educate on best practices in the remodeling industry. His motto: “Well done is better than well said!”. Contact Rob at:

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