Deck designing program or ideas


Old 02-02-15, 03:45 PM
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Deck designing program or ideas

I'm attempting to build a deck my self and was wondering if anyone knows of a deck designing program to help with the plans and having a building permit approved.

I found a program called home designer pro which says it will
Help me frame out a deck and move the posts but it will tell me if the deck is structurally sound or built to code.

Does anyone know of any programs that will tell me if the deck is structurally built and to code?

Or would you just design the deck to my liking and submit it for a building permit and have the county approve it for being structually sound and built to code.

I'm not a carpenter or architect so I have no real idea if my design can support people.


Here are the materials from my local building authority..

I'd like to over engineer my deck.

Last edited by Jennifer Links; 02-02-15 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 02-02-15, 04:04 PM
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You will need to verify with your local jurisdiction if this is the standard that they use, but read and understand the publication at the following link and you will have as good as or probably better understanding of the requirements than you will find on most design programs.
Old 02-02-15, 04:12 PM
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Good luck, codes vary by location, height of deck, even county by county in a state.
No one here even knows where you are on the planet because there's no location n your profile.
Best bet, go down to the local building department and see if they have a hand out for minimum building standard for a deck.
At least 90 percent of the decks I see being built are done wrong.
Single story deck, make it free standing.
Never ever make any decking tight to the siding, always allow at least 2"below any door openings, more if your in a snow area.
Never ever try to save a few penny's using under sized joist.
Always use over sized rim joist.
Always use joist hangers.
There's a whole bunch more, but size, height, location would dictate.
Old 02-02-15, 04:38 PM
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Many of the big box stores have deck plans and a material list so that might be something else to check out.
Old 02-02-15, 06:26 PM
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why would you not attach the deck to the house?
You wouldn't use a ledger board?

This deck would be raised about 8-10 feet so that the deck is off the kitchen on the second floor.

here are the docs for my local building authority

Read more:

Last edited by Jennifer Links; 02-02-15 at 06:27 PM. Reason: x
Old 02-03-15, 04:50 AM
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Look through the DCA link provided. Free standing decks are preferred where possible. It may not be practical in your situation, and attaching it to the structure may work better. Free standing decks don't infiltrate the structure with half inch holes every 3 feet. Any time you open up a structure and expose it to the weather, it will degrade if not properly done. The DCA link helps make sure that is kept to a minimum. With an attached deck, you will need to leave a space between the door of the house and the deck as a step down, if you are in a snow prone area. We don't know where you are. Siding issues exist and must be removed to ensure the ledger is attached solidly to the house and not through siding. Then flashing up and under the existing siding and replacement of siding is necessary.

I have an old 3D Decks program, but find it inadequate with the type decks built on the right coast. Left coast building is a little different.
Old 02-03-15, 06:17 AM
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Location: The link in post #1 says Frederick County, Maryland.

What size and shape are you planning for your deck?

Last edited by Wirepuller38; 02-03-15 at 07:23 AM.
Old 02-03-15, 09:19 AM
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As Larry mentioned, free-standing is generally better, the attach to the house method being somewhat old-school now.

In my mind, step one is to start with the local AHJ and see if they have any suggestions since they are the ones who have to sign off in the end.

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