Deck Construction book ala Code
If you build a decent number of decks each year, you’ll want to pick up a copy of Deck Construction – Based on the 2009 International Residential Code. It’s clearly written by Glenn Mathewson, former deck builder turned code official from Colorado and will keep you out of hot water with your local building dept. This isn’t a “how to” book; you won’t learn how to lay out joists or speed up deck board fastening. Glenn sifts through all the code sections of the IRC and pulls out all the ones that even remotely apply to deck construction. Then, and this is the best part, he explains what the code language means. You can get most of this information by culling through 850 pages of the IRC and another 1000+ pages of commentary but you’ll likely miss a thing or two.
Have you ever taken combustion air ducts (G2407.11), glazing and hazardous locations (R308.4) or clearances from electrical equipment (E3604.1 and others)? Probably not unless your building inspector pointed out a violation and it cost you a couple dearly to remedy the problem. I found a few things I’ve been guilty of but not called to task by my local official. Still, I want to do it right because if there’s ever a problem with a deck I build, I want the code there to back me up.
Unfortunately neither the ICC nor online booksellers list out the table of contents so you can see the variety of code issues addressed in the book. Here are just a few of the ones I found useful: Landings, Safety Glazing, Basement Emergency Escape and Rescue Openings, Framing Fasteners and Hardware, Ledgers, Decking, Stairways and Ramps. Expect to pay about $40 for the book and consider it invaluable even if you already own a copy of the 2009 IRC.
BUY IT ON AMAZON: Deck Construction Based on the 2009 International Residential Code