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Deck Design Guide - One and Two Family Residential Dwellings


Deck Design GuideThe Bureau of Development Services (BDS) is providing this information to help you design your deck, obtain a building permit and pass inspections. The standards and details in this Guide will help you determine how large the footings, beams, joists, posts, and ledgers need to be; how to build lateral bracing, stairs, and railings; and how to fasten all of the pieces together. This Guide does not take into account conditions which may affect your deck design such as drainage conditions, slope conditions, or decks supporting loads in excess of the standard uniform loads. Depending on your specifi c situation, you may need to hire a licensed architect or structural engineer prior to approval.

You may include all, or part of the pre-approved design standards and details in this guide with your building permit plans for decks that are:

  • For one- and two-family dwellings
  • Single-span
  • All on one level
  • Not supporting a hot tub or spa
  • Not attached to house overhangs, bay windows, brick, stone or concrete block 
  • Not more than 10 feet above the ground
  • Not bearing on ground with a slope greater than 2 feet horizontal for every 1 foot vertical

For more information to help you design your deck, see Brochure 3a - Deck Design Guide.


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