Every municipal code is slightly different and you want to base your final calculations on your local code – not an online calculator. Building Code Deck Railing Post Spacing Requirements According to the International Building Code , deck railing posts should be spaced no further than 6 feet apart . When spacing the interior posts, make sure to measure from the center of each corner post as opposed to the corner of the framing to achieve proper spacing. Some jurisdictions do not allow bracing on a middle post if you have one. For those in Canada, many consider tables from Ontario and deck support post information found in tables from British Columbia are helpful. The most confusing part about understanding how far apart to space your joists is understanding the chart that explains it. Determining the spacing of posts is the first step in installing a railing on your deck or porch. To achieve an aesthetically pleasing result, you need to space the posts uniformly. Eugene has been a DIY enthusiast for most of his life and loves being creative while inspiring creativity in others. Basic components of a deck Joists. For details on creating a post layout, see How to Build a Deck: Design and Layout. One of the biggest is knowing what your local building code allows. For the side of the deck that runs perpendicular to the joists, you’ll need to space your posts so they fit in the corner where the joists and the rim joist meet. For decks with deck rail posts on the outside, you’ll need two posts on each corner. Composite decking brands also generally require 12 inches O.C.joist spacing for 45-degree or angled composite deck board applications. Lastly, don’t forget to account for the stairs. U.S. building code requires support posts for the rail structure to be no further apart than 6 feet on a deck with 4×4’ deck rail posts and no more than 8 feet apart for decks with 6×6’ deck rail posts. Does anyone know where you change/ edit the spacing for the posts and beams on a deck. In this instance the maximum span between deck post centres is 2.07m (C16) or 2.24m (C24). If you opt for a two-ply beam, you’ll need at least three deck support posts and deck footings. For integrated deck/rail posts, place the footers that will double as rail posts no more than six feet apart for 4×4’ footers or 8 feet apart for 6×6’ footers. Luckily, there are tons of handy charts to help get you started. Joist Spacing for Composite Decking Deck Post Spacing? You'll need the post layout marked before you begin. There is no minimum span, and maximum spans can reach up to 15’. FIGURE AM102.1(1) SUPPORT POST FOOTING For SI: 1 inch = 25.4 mm, 1 square foot = 0.0929 m 2. The anchor is hidden within the post unlike unsightly bulky exterior metal post brackets. The frost line and snow load tables in Florida are different than Minnesota, so code has to take that into account, for example. If the joists are 8’ long, then you can only place your deck support posts at a max of 7’4” apart. If you decide to use this option, you’ll need to plan in advance as once the footings are in the ground, there is no way to extend their length. If you aren’t quite clear on how to read a load table, then simply following those easy guidelines will ensure you have placed your deck support posts properly. The height of your deck actually can determine how many deck posts you will need. Because the maximum span a two-ply 2×12 can run is just over 9’. However, you can still orient your joists to ensure the fewest amount of deck posts are required. For example, let’s consider a deck with posts 12 feet apart on two sides and 20 feet apart on the other side. The drawback when using 4x4s is that you cannot use a three-ply beam – it won’t fit on top of the 4×4. As such, this is the strongest method for creating rail posts. ft)= beam spacing x post spacing : 48: 72: 96: 120: 144: up to 6: 4x4: 4x4: 6x6: 6x6: 6x6: up to 8: 6x6: 6x6: 6x6: 6x6: 6x6: Vertical loads figured as concentric along axis. Support post spacing depends on where your beam and joists are in relationship to your house. The size of the deck directly affects the spacing of the support posts. Support post must rest in center one-third of footing. The maximum spacing of 4x4 deck posts should be 6 feet on center, while the maximum spacing of 6x6 deck posts should be 8 feet on center. If there’s a railing, people will lean on it expecting it to hold them. At a minimum, with no ledger board, you’ll need two beams and four deck support posts. assuming stable ground. Factors that Influence the Spacing of the Deck Support Posts. Opting for the 3-ply 2×10, resulting in 3 deck support posts, would result in a seriously strong deck, and you would place the third support post right in the center of the beam. For most situations, you will want to place footings and posts less than 8' apart. deck screws. Current building code standards require deck railing posts to be attached using bolts. Bolts should be vertically spaced no less than 5-1/8 inch apart. Another option is to mount each post 12 to 16 inches in from the corners with the top rails extending beyond each post to meet at the corner. Therefore, a longer deck span means that you’ll have to space your deck support posts closer together. In general, posts should be spaced no more than 8 feet apart. This information could help you determine which way you’d like to orient your joists. Just keep in mind that each style requires the addition of blocking in the frame to meet code. Step 4 This should be your first option. Most backyard decks using wooden posts... Local Code. Smaller beams require more support posts, so any money you gain by purchasing 4x4s instead of 6x6s is more than likely lost because you’ll have to dig more footings to accommodate the weaker 4×4 support posts. Spacing the balusters Start at the center of the rail and work toward the ends, spacing each baluster with the jig. Screw the balusters through the stringer with 3-in. The general rule is about 1/3 of the post’s overall length should be below grade. My deck builder uses single 2X10X10 beams set on posts that are on average 9' apart. One of these tables will first indicate the wood type – typically SYP (Southern Yellow Pine) or SPF (Spruce Pine Fir). For example, a three-ply 2×8 support beam will span nearly 2’ longer than a two-ply 2×8 beam for joists of 12’. It varies because decks come in so many different sizes and shapes. You’ll need to install posts on either side of the stringer where the stairs meet the deck, which will affect the spacing of the other posts on that side. Most decks use 16" on center spacing for joists. However, you’d likely need more deck support posts to support the longer joists. The type of post you use can also affect the spacing between posts. Why Deck Railing Post Spacing is Important? Below we’ll take a look at some of the main considerations when asking how far apart should deck posts be. Deck railing posts are what support your deck rails, which in turn keep people from inadvertently falling off the deck. Ideally, a simple design is best, as you don’t want to dig more footings than you need. Can I use 2 6x6 posts on concrete piers with 2x12's beams sandwiched around them. Finally, it will list various joist lengths, such as 6’, 8’, 10’, and so on. However, if you opt to space your joists only 12” on center you can have a much longer deck span – up to 2’ longer. For instance, let’s say you have two decks – one with 12’ joists and the other with 18’ joists. So using the above examples, a 2-ply 2×8 of SYP can have deck support posts spaced at 8’6” for joists that are only 6’ long. Deck post sizes - 40 psf Live, 10 psf Dead: Height (ft) Load Area (sq. Having long joists is nice because, in theory, it could mean a shorter beam. Never take one municipality code to be the rule – code varies drastically depending on your geography. For a composite railing system, slide the post sleeve over the wood post, then the post sleeve skirt over the post sleeve; both should rest on the decking. On the other hand, you can always fabricate a larger deck beam and put your deck support posts further apart. (on center) for standard straight composite decking installation. The best source of information is always your local building code. Therefore, if you want to minimize the amount of deck support posts, go 6×6 instead. To make it simple, place your posts no further than 8’ apart. Some builders position them every 4 feet for a completely rigid frame. Basic DIY skills are important for every homeowner,’ says Jake Tyson. outdoor. On the other hand, as your joist length increases, so does the diameter of your footings that your deck support posts sit on. As mentioned above, code will also inform you how high you are allowed to build a deck using 4×4 support posts, which is usually never above 5’ from the footing to the deck surface. Tables found in your local building code don’t explicitly say how far apart to place your deck support posts. One way is to pour concrete in the post hole, set the post on the concrete and backfill with gravel. For example, if it's just a walking area and nothing else, 8' is the furthest you go apart. The maximum span indicates how long a beam can run supported by two deck support posts. If you look at the deck post spacing chart below, you’ll notice that the higher the post, the shorter the beam span it can support. An improperly supported deck can result in collapse – there’s a reason deck codes exist and you don’t want to invite thirty people over to a barbecue to find out that your deck can’t support that many people. Probably both. This fits the building code as long as you do not notch the posts. By using these guidelines, you can ensure that your deck railing will provide adequate support while also preserving the aesthetics of your deck. Hit + and - buttons to open or close spacing, re-calculating the deck to find how different spacing options effect cost and materials. For proper spacing, holes for the deck bolts should be placed in the center of the post at least 1.5 to 2 inches from the bottom and the top of the frame. In addition to providing safety, you also want your deck railing to enhance as opposed to detracting from the aesthetics of your deck. A three-ply 2×12 would allow you to use only two deck support posts for the 10×10 deck. The last factor is also the size of the footing. That leaves one beam to be supported by two or more posts. Remember to check your local building code before putting any shovels in the ground. When you consider that more than 6,000 people suffer serious injuries and even death every year from failed decks and balconies, this is something that should be taken very seriously. Cable Railing Post Spacing: How Far Can I Space My Post Using The Atlantis Rail Cable Railing System? One could even make the argument that a weak deck railing due to poor post spacing is worse than having no deck railing at all. Once again, thanks for taking the time to read this guide. It depends on the size of the dimensional lumber you use for your deck support beams and joists. It used to be that deck railing posts were notched on one end and connected to the deck with screws. The Titan post anchor is the most advanced hidden wood post anchoring system of its kind. Size of the Deck. Whereas people may not venture to the edge of a structure with no rail, most will generally lean on a railing, expecting it to hold their weight. Begin by measuring the distance between the corner posts of the deck, making sure to measure each side of the deck that will have railings. In this video, I show you how to plan out fence posts. Do not overlook the importance of properly spaced deck post railings in the overall safety of your deck. Improperly spaced posts can make a railing weak, creating a hazard that can cause serious injury and even death. Posts should be no further apart than 5.5 feet on stairs. DecksDirect Pro Tip: Using the Drivable Post Anchor by OZ-Post to create a solid deck footing for your project without the hassle of concrete is a brilliant way to keep the building process moving fast. Some builders reduce joist spacing to 12" on center to strengthen the deck frame or to increase maximum allowable joist spans. My Pool. Posts will be much stronger than brackets. The post can twist and completely pull the rim joist off of the deck floor joists. The farther apart your posts are spaced, the more cable deflection will occur and this can cause unsafe conditions. Remember to follow local code for deck posts. Like a deck beam, joists that are longer will require deck support posts that are spaced closer together. - Calgary, AB, Canada. For the 12-foot sides, you’ll need three posts for each side: one for each corner and one at the halfway point (6 feet) between the corner posts. You can opt to use larger lumber, such as three 2x10s, and space your posts nearly 2’ further apart. With the two posts in such close proximity to each other, it’s possible for one set of bolts to block the other. Deck Sub-Frame Design; Decking Subframe Design Guidance Decking Beam Span Guidance. thick board. Some jurisdictions do not allow them at all, so check with your local building services office. The majority of composite deck board brands including Trex, TimberTech, and more require deck joists spacing to be at 16 inches O.C. Keep in mind that the more radical your deck design becomes, the more posts you’ll need. Deck Layout and Footing Position Spacing DIY Starting with your perimeter, mark the location of each deck post to locate the fitting position. The other deck, with 12’ joists, can have support posts at 7’6”, max. 4. For a side that is 17 feet 3 inches, for example, you’ll need to use the number of posts that keep the distance between each at 6 feet or less. Ideal deck post spacing is 8 feet or less.
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