Residential Deck Construction

Residential Deck Construction Must Comply With The 2021 International Residential Code, NJ Edition
The code may be viewed on the NJ web site –
The American Wood Council offers a guide; Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction, this contains provisions that are not included in the IRC. It offers recommendations considered good construction practice.
A detailed plan including the following is to be submitted with the application for a deck permit.
The plan must be signed and sealed by a licensed  design professional (Architect/Engineer).
If designed by the homeowner, plan must indicate that and be signed.
– Please specify  if any structures/hot tub are intended  to be on deck surface
Note: additional permits  are needed for gas lines, lighting, hot tubs…
– All lumber must be approved  preservative treated wood. All nails, hangers and fasteners must be coated for exterior use and contact with treated lumber  and installed in accordance with the
manufacturer’s specifications.
– Detailed footing plan -including layout, diameter and depth
Note: minimum depth 36″
– Post sizes and connection details
– Attachment to house (if deck is not freestanding).
Deck ledger attachment to cantilevered  house framing  is not permitted.
Verify and note on plan size and type of house rim joist and floor framing. Indicate ledger bolts
to be used and bolt pattern.
Please include manufacturer’s specifications if not using 1/2″ lag bolts.
– Beam details – Indicate type and size of lumber to be used and connection details
Note: All beam splices  should  be supported at posts, not midspan
– Joists- Indicate  type and size of lumber to be used, joist spacing, hanger and uplift connections
– Decking-  Specify decking  to be used
If using manufactured lumber please follow  their recommendations.
– Stair location and construction (R311)
Note: Maximum stair riser height is 8 1/4 “,minimum depth 9”. All risers should be the same,
maximum  permitted variation 3/8″
Openings between risers are restricted, (R311.7.5.1)
– Railing- detail (R311.7)
Graspable handrails are required for four or more risers
NOTE: Minimum railing  height 36″, space between balusters must be less than 4″