Georgia's New 2014 Deck Requirements

As of January 1, 2014, the State of Georgia adopted the 2012 International Residential Code by the ICC and the Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide by the American Forest & Paper Association, Inc. We now have a much needed guide for building decks.

All support posts must be 6x6 (nominal) or larger, and the maximum height is 14’-0” measured to the underside of the beam. You are no longer allowed to bolt beams to the side of the post. The beams shall be attached to the post by notching the 6x6 or by providing an approved post cap to connect the beam and post. If the posts are notched, all beams are required to have two 1/2 inch diameter bolts with nuts and washers.


The new standards also give the concrete footing size for the post. You no longer have to guess at the right size. Wood 2x2 ledgers are no longer recommended to support the floor joist. Metal joist hangers are the recommended way to support all joist. There is also a simple joist span chart and beam span chart to use to design the deck.

Another change is the way decks are attached to the house. The old standards allowed installing the deck ledger overthe exterior siding. This created a problem with trying to maintain the siding and trim that was no longer accessible..


The new standards require removing the siding and trim before the deck is attached. This way the ledger is anchored directly to the structure. Georgia no longer allows lag bolts to anchor decks to the structure as seen above. Only thru-bolts are allowed.

You are also no longer allowed to bolt decks through exterior veneers such as brick, masonry or stone. All veneers are not considered load bearing. Also, no attachment is allowed to a house overhang. The decks must be free standing and have support post underneath the ledgers.

Most guardrails are weak and will probably fail the 200 pound load requirement anywhere along the top of the rail. There are excellent drawings on how to construct strong guardrails. All guardrails must have 4x4 guard posts that are spaced no more than 6 feet apart and be anchored to the deck with two 1/2 inch diameter thru-bolts, nuts and washers.

The guide has just about everything a person needs to build their deck. To download a copy of the new guide, go to:

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Vivian Nystrom
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
11035 Medlock Bridge Road, Suite 70
Johns Creek, Georgia 30097




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