Deck Safety

By Robert Robillard on Decks And Porches

Deck Safety

Proper Footings:

Deck posts should rest on and be anchored to concrete piers. Footing size are dependent on factors such as live and dead loads and ground conditions. Concrete footings should be at least 12″ below the undisturbed ground surface and in my neck of the woods, below the frost line to prevent heaving.  Follow your areas recommended footing depth to meet local code.

Deck Safety

Guard Rails and Railings:

Railings are a critical safety connections and should get a thorough inspection for safety.

Railing posts must be attached to the decks rim joist and tied into the deck joist framing.   Use two through bolts on your post and use a  Simpson’s tension tie # DTT2z or a HD2A hold down for the  top bolt connection.

Guard railing posts should be a minimum 4×4 size and be attached to the outside joist and rim joist of the deck.    They can be retrofitted with a tension tie, through bolts and or blocking as needed.  Follow IRC code requirements when installing fasteners into guard posts.

Deck Safety

If guard posts anchoring does not have a minimum allowable tension load of 1,800 lbs for a 36” maximum railing height they should be replaced.  The same tension ties used too tie the deck joist to the house can be used  on railing posts and attached to the top bolt installed in a post.

If your deck is more than 30″ off the ground it requires railings and guardrails.  Depending on the application guard rails can be either 36″ or 42″ – refer to your local code.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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