Building Codes for Home Additions – Adding a Deck
The North Carolina General Assembly has recently passed a bill that, if passed, could bring sweeping changes to building codes for home additions. House Bill 810 is calling the Builders and Contractors Warranty Act and was designed to protect new home owners from unexpected and expensive damages that might arise as a result of adding extra additions or modifying a current house. For the general public, few facts about the bill are needed since it already has something in common with other states trying to regulate the home building and development. House Bill 810 is currently pending in the North Carolina state legislature and is currently garnering support from both sides of the political spectrum.
Currently, North Carolina’s mandatory building codes for home additions fences do not regulate the materials used in deck construction. There are no specifications on the kind of lumber to use, no requirement that the boards be painted or treated for termite protection, or treated to withstand termites’ attacks. These are matters that the National Association of Home Builders has sought to have addressed by introducing model codes of recommended lumber for deck railings in North Carolina. Currently, however, even the model codes for deck railings in North Carolina are no guarantee that the decking will be safe. For instance, the state’s mandatory building codes for addition homes in Ghent, New Hanover and Blount counties do not specify the size or type of joists that may be required, and therefore there is a possibility that the additional weight of lumber added to a four-foot board can cause the joist to bow and cause the deck to lean or even collapse.
Adding a deck to your home can increase its marketable and livable space by adding an extension to the house’s boundaries, whether it is a single story or two-story addition. For first time home buyers in North Carolina, the added bonus of living with railings, privacy screens and more security devices can be enticing. In addition to that, it adds aesthetic value to a house, adding curb appeal to what would otherwise be an unattractive backyard. However, for existing home owners or buyers looking to invest further in their property by constructing a new addition to their home, understanding and complying with North Carolina’s building codes for deck railings is of paramount importance.