Deck Safety

By Robert Robillard on Decks And Porches

Stair Safety:

Stairs, stair stringers and stair guards must meet the IRC design and strength requirements height and opening /spacing requirements. When checking the steps you should have a consistent step with a 7-3/4” maximum height riser.    A 3/8” deviation from one another is allowed by code but should be avoided. If the stairs have an open riser they should not allow a 4” diameter sphere to pass through.  This is designed to prevent small children from getting stuck or falling through. The tread width should be a 10” or greater.

Deck Safety

Inspect the stair stringers, posts and railings for cracks, rot and solid connections.  Additional metal connectors can be used to connect stair stringers to the deck frame as well as support legs with footings can be added under stringers.  The best advice to stairs is if they are starting to get wobbly or show excessive rot – replace them.

Balusters should also be installed so a 4″ sphere can not pass through -refer to your local code for specifics.

Deck SafetyDeck Safety:

Improperly built decks can be dangerous.  Local codes were created to keep us safe and many existing decks do not meet current safety codes.  Have a qualified contractor look at your deck and evaluate it for a deck safety retrofit  is applicable.

By retrofitting your existing deck you can ensure a continuous load path and feel assured that key connections are being made on the framing system and the deck is safer and code compliant.

Deck Safety

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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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