Decks are a key part of what makes homes feel like home. Especially in South Carolina, having a quality deck allows you to spend your Summer evenings in a comfortable, outdoor setting. That being said, there are some important, must-know pieces of information that every South Carolina homeowner should know about before building their deck:
Natural Wood is Your Friend
Before anything else, you need to understand one thing: wooden materials are King when it comes to South Carolina deckbuilding. Whether it’s cedar, redwood, or exotic hardwoods, many homeowners choose to have their decks made of natural wood. These resilient materials are resistant to rust and insects and offer a classic lovely aspect and rich color. But, such desirable qualities come at a price, both materialistically and physically. If you choose modern wood siding, the cost will depend on the type you want. Some exotic hardwoods can get especially expensive. It also tends to fade or crack if not properly maintained, so protect your investment by pressure washing and resealing it every few years.
Important South Carolina Deck Building Regulations
Even if you’re set up with your deck materials and design, you could end up finding yourself in huge financial trouble if you do not consider South Carolina building regulations before starting construction. However, professional deck builders can help you avoid any issues, and will build you a beautiful deck. There are three key regulations to consider:
Firstly, we must discuss some of the general regulations South Carolina homeowners have to consider when constructing their decks. The property owner must get building permits enabling the deck’s construction before beginning any construction. Any overhead electrical cables must be at least 10 feet above the anticipated height of the deck to receive permission. Pressure-treated #2 Southern Pine lumber or superior is needed in South Carolina. Hot-dip galvanized steel or stainless steel must be used for all hardware utilized in construction. In South Carolina, decks must support 200-pound lateral loads and at least 50 pounds per square foot for the guards. The soil must have a minimum bearing capacity of 1,500 psf, and any concrete used must have a minimum compressive strength of 2,500 pounds per square inch. Certain types of supports are not permitted under SC law as well, including, but not limited to brick veneers, house cantilevers, bay windows, and chimneys.
Secondly, we must examine handrail and guard regulations South Carolina homeowners must keep in mind when building their decks. The width of a deck’s steps must be at least 36 inches in South Carolina. With the exception of the bottom riser, risers are limited to 814 inches and must be consistent to within 3/8 of an inch. South Carolina law stipulates that a handrail must be included on any deck with more than four steps. The height of these handrails above the nosing, also known as the front edge, of each step, must be between 30 and 38 inches to be reachable. A guard should be installed around the outside of any deck that is 30 inches or taller, and the guard should stand 36 inches above the deck’s surface. The guard’s pickets must be placed no farther apart than 4 inches.
Lastly, we’ll cover regulations surrounding post and attachment regulations South Carolina homeowners have to consider. Supporting posts must be stabilized by either concrete or gravel and must be buried at least 12 feet into undisturbed soil. To secure the deck to the house, lag screws or galvanized bolts are utilized. The distance between each bolt or screw depends on the size of the deck joist. Typically, you want to have a setup where the number of lag screws is at least double the number of bolts used. Where the deck meets the exterior wall, according to South Carolina standards, any siding or brick veneer must be removed and a non-aluminum flashing must be installed between the two buildings to create a snug fit.
Perfect Your Deck in 2023
With this handy guide and the right professional help, you can quickly finalize your deck building plans in 2023. South Carolina homes are known for having some of the most beautiful, stunning decks in the south, so you deserve to join other homeowners in this proud tradition. The more you’re willing to invest, the better quality deck materials you can unlock. Find the right budget for you, and a professional deck builder can get you the exact results that you’re looking for. You’ll be enjoying your brand-new deck in no time!