What Are The Requirements For Building A Deck?

This guide will show you that there isn’t a deck-building code and requirements in the traditional sense. Instead, the Residential Code Provisions apply to structural standards like railings, staircases, stringers, treads, footings, framing, and ledger boards. We’ve attempted to summarise and compile all the details for you. Hiring a professional deck builder in Calgary or elsewhere for custom decks is an excellent investment as they know the requirements and regulations.

Requirements For Deck Building

Safety comes first, and it should always take precedence over fashion.

After you’ve figured out how high you need to build your railings, read these additional, more in-depth guidelines regarding custom deck building in Calgary and other areas.

Deck railings requirements

·Railings are required when the surface is 30″+ above grade, 36″ is the minimum height

· A concentrated load of 200 lbs

· Over 1 sqft, 50 lb focused load or balusters

· Vertical and horizontal loads of 50 lbs are applied to the top rail

· 4″ maximum distance between the deck and bottom rail

· 4″ distance between balusters at its widest point

· From the nosing to the top of the rail, 34″ is the minimum stair rail height

Ledger board requirements

· At least 1/2″ through bolts, lag screws, or expansion anchors should be used in circumference.

· Lag screws must go at least 1/2″ through the band board.

· Hot zinc-coated or stainless steel lags are required.

· At least 2″ higher bolts should be found behind the ledger’s top edge.

· Upper and lower bolts must be located between 5.5″/ 6.5″/ 7.5″ of each other.

· The width of the ledger board must be equal to or greater than the deck joist width but less than or equal to the rim joist width.

· The minimum size is 2×8.

· Connecting to wood-framed structures necessitates the use of corrosion-resistant flashing.


· At all places above the authorized railing height, a minimum of 36″ is required.

· The minimum width below handrail height is 31.5″ when the railing is on one side.

· When railings are on both sides, the minimum width below the handrail is 27″.

· The maximum rise is 7-3/4 “, while the biggest gap between risers is 3/8”

· Tread width must be at least 10 “, with a maximum variation of 3/8” between treads.

· Every flight of stairs must link to the deck in some way.

· It is not always carried out in the same manner.

· There are various ways to attach them. It depends upon the orientation of the joists or the form of the steps.


· Solid stringers have a maximum span of 16′-6″. (southern pine)

· For notched stringers, the maximum spread is 7′-0″. (southern pine)

· A minimum of 5″ throat is advised.

Treads and handrails

· Solid stringer spacing for 2″ thick treads is limited to 36″.

· The maximum stringer spacing for 2″ or 5/4″ thick treads is 18″ notched.

· Maximum nosing ranges from 0.75″ to 1.25″, with a maximum radius of 9/16″.

· Open risers have a maximum opening of 4 inches.

· Closed risers: riser material must be at least 1″ thick.

· On either side of the stairwell, handrails must not extend more than 4.5″ inwards.


They’re also the most time-consuming and challenging aspect for custom deck builders in Calgary or elsewhere. They have to investigate how deep to dig, how wide a foundation should be based on weight and soil capacity, how to attach hardware to the pier, and even about floating or free-standing decks.

Covenants and easements

Local building departments are usually responsible for covenants and easements. Check with your local county or city hall to discover whether your land’s title contains any easements or covenants that provide the city access. Also, do not build a deck in that location.

Setbacks and variances

· A setback area is not for construction.

· The authorities will inform you what the setbacks from property lines or sidewalks are right upfront. Make sure that your project does not touch such locations.

· The distance between your deck and another structure is generally limited. You don’t want any surprises when it’s built, so make sure you know about this.

· A variation is a rare occurrence. Any regulation can be contested, and depending on your circumstances, it could be overturned or “varied.”


Unfortunately, deck collapses are a typical occurrence, and that is why custom deck builders in Calgary and other areas have to comply with the authoritative guidelines. International Association of Certified Homeowners reported that only 40% of the 45 million existing decks are secure. The majority of deck failures happen in the summer. As a result, now is the time to double-check yourself or let professional deck builders take the responsibility so you can be sure that structures comply with current construction requirements.

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