Know These Deck Structural Requirements

Know These Deck Structural Requirements

Building a deck can be an exciting yet daunting task. There are a few benefits to having a deck, such as adding functionality and added aesthetic to your outdoor space.

Whether you’re building the deck yourself, or hiring a professional contractor, it’s important to know certain deck structural requirements.

You should start with creating a detailed deck layout that will include the materials, dimensions and any extra features. You’ll need to ensure that you have proper support and framing. This is important when it comes to the stability and longevity of your deck. It’s essential to contact your local building codes and regulations to stay informed about the necessary spacing, size and post-placement. This is to make sure that the structural integrity of your deck is in check.

Safety First

Safety is always a priority when constructing a deck, this ensures your deck is secure and that your family and property are safe. There are specific rules for certain aspects of the structure. From the height of your deck to the correct way to install your staircase.

Check all your local building requirements and obtain the necessary permits before you begin your project. Install the correct railing, and make sure that if you’re constructing stairs, it’s secure and have sturdy handrails. For visibility at night, install the appropriate lighting. Following the correct guidelines will make sure your deck is safe and in compliance with your municipality’s guidelines.

Deck Building Requirements

The foundation is the most important aspect of the deck to do correctly. If not done correctly, the durability and safety of the deck will be put in jeopardy. Timber structures are to be built and designed according to SANS 10163, this is the regulation that dictates the structural use of timber and SANS 10043 (Solid Wood Decking).

If your deck is higher than 1.5 meters off the ground, it is advised that you get a professional constructor and engineer with experience to design and oversee the construction of the deck. Elevated decks that aren’t designed by an engineer and built by the South African building standards are not only dangerous but could result in your deck being forcibly deconstructed and rebuilt in compliance with the correct requirements.


Often overlooked, yet an important factor when building a deck is the substructure. The substructure is the frame beneath the decking boards, that provide the structural support for your deck. How the substructure is built and the materials used, determine the strength and longevity of the deck.

Most of the time, all the focus is directed to the upper decking material, but not to the actual section that carries the load of the deck and is exposed to the elements. Decks are load-bearing structures, where people gather and walk. To ensure a strong substructure refer to the National Building Regulations for the correct execution of the project.


When building your deck, all metal fixings should be galvanised or made of stainless steel. It is advised that screws are countersunk in hardwoods and that the holes are filled with wooden plugs, waterproof wood filler or epoxy. This is the best practice. If the incorrect wood filler is used it will dissolve during heavy rain.

It’s important to use the correct wood when building your deck. It needs to be properly treated for construction. The wood needs to be quality and suited to the climate of the area you stay in. The sun, rain and wind can take a toll on your deck, so make sure to choose the correct wood and treat it accordingly.

Deck structural requirements you should know.

For all your DIY construction requirements, provides Garapa decking solutions, tips and guidance. Contact us today. We have everything you’ll need to make your project a success.