The building code rules that apply in designing and constructing wooden decks differ from state to state, but they are all based on the International Residential Code requirements. Some of these codes rules include the requirement that decks that are 30 inches or higher to have a guardrail and the need to use rot-resistant wood in the construction.
The New York State building code requires decks that are 30 inches and above to have guardrails. The railings must bear a 200-pound person leaning on it. To prevent people from falling through the rails, the space in between the railings must be under 5 inches.
The Ontario building code requires builders to obtain a permit depending on the size of the deck and the distance from the house. The construction work is also inspected by building inspectors at various stages to ensure compliance with the code.
Some common rules in all states include the need to have the wood used in constructing a deck to be rot resistant, and any part that comes in contact with the ground to be made of material that is appropriate for ground contact. The nails and bolts used in fastening should be resistant to corrosion, and the same applies to all connecting posts and anchor straps.