Our team answers homeowner questions every weekend on WCCO 830 AM from 9:00 am-10:00 am. Have your most pressing home improvement questions answered by calling 651-989-9226 or texting 81807. Here’s must-know information from Barry Stranz (professional & educator) who has 30+ years in the home improvement industry shared on 5.12.18.
When it comes to DIY projects, one of the biggest misunderstandings homeowners have is that building codes and permit requirements only apply to contractors. In reality, the codes remain the same whether it’s a homeowner or contractor conducting the work. DIY decking projects can quickly become more than a homeowner can handle because of manufacturer installation specifications, permits required, and understanding building codes. To provide a glimpse at how stringent decking building codes can be, even the terms “guard rail” and “hand rail” take on two completely different meanings. Building codes dictate also what load the deck can support and the spacing between deck boards. When it comes to landings, building code gets complicated and takes into consideration the door the deck is built off of. Even more confusing for a homeowner is that building codes in the state of Minnesota tend to update every six years, making it extremely difficult for a weekend warrior to keep tabs on current laws. For these reasons, most homeowners choose to partner with a reputable contractor in order to build a deck rather than attempt to tackle the project themselves.
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In terms of materials, homeowners can choose between wood and composite. Maintenance-free designs are overwhelmingly the most popular. For those that prefer the aesthetics of wood, we still recommend maintenance-free railing systems because the task of staining wooden railings is tedious. Options for maintenance-free railings include, glass, aluminum, and cable.
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