Deck codes do change, and as professionals in the design and remodeling industry, we spend a lot of time trying to keep up. These changes to the code create a challenge for homeowners. Not only do codes improve, but they vary among cities and municipalities. When hiring a contractor for a specific task, such as building or remodeling a deck for your home, make sure the contractor is up to speed on relevant codes in your area so the structure is both safe and secure.

Slegg Architectural Design Services

Codes Vary by Province

Victoria’s deck building codes are not the same as Saanich’s deck building codes. The same goes for each municipalitiy.  

The National Building Code of Canada sets basic parameters on decks, but provinces each have their own modifications based on climate. 

For example, in areas that experience harsher winters, frost level matters more in terms of depth. You would also need to make sure the bottom of footings is deeper in soil than the frost level because if the moisture from the frost gets on the underside of footings, it will expand and cause too much pressure, and eventually move. If you are an home owner, and want to find out more information about building codes, regulations, and related standards for each Canadian province.

Use Codes to Assess Deck Viability

While codes do vary by municipalities and building type, they are comprehensive in nature and typically cover the following elements: ledger connection; posts and footing; post-to-beam connections; joists and joist connections; stairs; deck boards; and handrails. 

The designer can offer insight into what to look for in determining whether a deck needs to be repaired or replaced. For example, Premium Design offers a deck-evaluation checklist: 

  • Evaluate the condition of rails, guards, and stairs.
  • Review screws and board connections to ensure they’re not rusted or broken.
  • Look for water stains, corrosion, rotting, and debris in cracks. 
  • Is the flashing — the metal barrier material that prevents moisture from entering the building — keeping water out? 
  • Does the deck sway? 
  • Is the deck sinking or heaving? 
  • Do the stairs feel sound and solid? 

Deck railing ideas and Design


Our Designers are up to date with the latest codes and building requirements for your area. Book a deck appointment today!

Mike Schell
June 16, 2020

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