Why Should Codes On Deck Railings Be Complied With?

Every state has its own list of codes for construction of deck railings and other building related matters. These codes are meant to provide safety by adhering to certain set norms and mandates. Various states are now taking initiatives to make building codes easily known and accessible. Homeowners may not prefer some of these codes but they can work around them keeping the legal limitations in mind.

All legal codes and rules are established to ensure discipline and security in society. This stands true for codes set for deck railings since these railings are made mandatory to provide safety to home owners, visitors and home buyers. The most common deck railing codes specify the conditions which require the necessary installation of deck railings. These common codes give clear specification such as railing height, space to be maintained between balusters etc.

The State of Virginia, Loudoun County has clear and specific building codes which have to be adhered to by all citizens. The state has made these freely accessible to citizens by publishing them as 'Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Codes' on the internet. All questions on regulations governing deck requirements are answered online. Even building structural requirements, mechanical specifications, plumbing queries and fire safety mandates are specified on this website. Citizens can closely follow the updated building codes and accordingly submit their plans and building permits to the Department of Building and Development who check them for compliance.

Different states have different ideas on which the railing related codes are based.

Its important that before initiating construction, all information on the updated building codes as also zone specific rules and health department mandates are checked and adhered to. There also exist specific codes for deck which mention that deck building permit needs to be applied for an obtained before beginning construction of the deck. This States building code mentions rules such as decks can be constructed for residential use only, decks can not have more than one level and decks have to be compulsorily attached to the house. Moreover it also specifies a maximum measure of 2 feet for Joist overhangs and that having screened porches, roofs, hot tubs and tents is restricted.

Building codes are laid down by the states building department and constitute a legal offence if broken or disregarded. Therefore even if certain codes are not acceptable to home owners, there is no choice but to follow them although working around the code and finding an alternative which stays within the legal boundaries is a wise idea. One such code not quite preferred by home owners is the one which specifies a high level deck railing which can not even be folded or altered in any way. High railings obviously cause a visual obstruction and this code is therefore disliked by home owners. But the code has to be complied with and non-compliance only leads to legal consequences and punishment in the form of fines. As mentioned before, home owners can find alternate options which work within the barriers of these codes.

For instance, if a homeowner does not want the high railing to obstruct his view, he can opt for a railing system made of cables. This type of railing system has top rails and the cables are not a hindrance since they fade in the background when seen from a little distance. However it should be kept in mind that deck railing codes are established to ensure safety and though not preferred sometimes they should be adhered to the maximum.