The State of Georgia is one of the early adopters of the 2012 International Codes: Georgia will start enforcing the 2012 International Building Code (IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC) next month. That includes new requirements for deck construction — but when it comes to decks, Georgia has created its own prescriptive standard. The Chatsworth Times had the story on December 11 (for the full report, see: "New building codes for decks").

"Georgia has adopted a Prescriptive Deck Detail that amends section 507.1 titled decks, of the 2012 International Residential Code for One and Two Family Dwellings," Murray County, Georgia, code official Joey Arnold said at a public meeting. "This prescriptive detail is a 22 page document that describes in detail the minimum standards of how decks for single span, single level residential decks only must be constructed. This does not mean that someone cannot construct a deck that exceeds the standards; it means that the construction cannot be less than the minimum standards."

"The code also requires that a copy of the deck detail must be on the job site and available to the inspector during each required inspection," Arnold said. "The inspection process would normally include a footing, framing and anchoring and then a final inspection."

Interestingly, the Georgia prescriptive code does not include any requirement for a tension tie between the floor joist system inside the house and the deck joist system, as the model code specifies. Figure R507.2.1(2) from the 2012 IRC, "Placement of Lag Screws and Bolts in Band Joists," is reproduced in the Georgia deck rules; but the IRC's Figure 507.2.3, "Deck Attachment for Lateral Loads," is not.

Georgia’s prescriptive rule-book for deck construction includes a deck ledger bolting requirement shown above, drawn directly from the 2012 IRC.

Georgia’s prescriptive rule-book for deck construction includes a deck ledger bolting requirement shown above, drawn directly from the 2012 IRC.

However, the tension tie shown (an illustration from Chapter 5 of the IRC model code) is not included in the Georgia rules.

However, the tension tie shown (an illustration from Chapter 5 of the IRC model code) is not included in the Georgia rules.

Full-featured copies of the model building codes typically have to be purchased from the International Code Council, but state amendments are usually downloadable for free. Georgia's new deck rules are available at the state's website, along with other state-authored amendments, here: ("Georgia State Amendments to the State Minimum Standard Codes").

For the direct link to just the deck rule download, click: ("Prescriptive Deck Details").