deck safety in Halifax

Did you Know? May is Deck Safety Month

Did You Know? May Is Deck Safety Month

HRM has had its share of deck collapses in recent years. These events highlight the importance of building to current code standards, as well as annual inspections and maintenance. Once you know what to look for, it’s easy to spot the issues and take steps to correct them.

Code Compliance when Building Decks in the HRM

Building code standards are frequently updated and revised to reflect updated information and technology. What was acceptable in the past likely would not be compliant or safe by today’s standards. The most common areas that fail inspections are stairs, railings, and guardrails, as well as flashing, the connection to the house/structure, and footings.

  • Depending on the height of your deck from the ground, the railing should be 36-42” high
  • Stairs have a range of acceptable dimensions for the rise and tread which vary depending on the application
  • Spacing in guardrails should be less than 4”
  • Footings extending past the frost line are required for all decks attached to a house
  • The ledger board should be bolted to the house
  • Flashing should be installed above and behind the ledger board to prevent water penetration

Check out this permit application guideline for decks from HRM.


Annual Inspections & Deck Maintenance

Annual inspections and maintenance can help prolong your deck’s life, maintain structural integrity, and prevent injuries. If you think there’s a problem or you’re unsure you should always bring in a professional to have a look.

  • Visually inspect the wood for splitting or decaying
  • Make sure the flashing is intact and no water or debris are accumulating
  • Verify that the ledger board is fastened and secured to the house and that the fasteners are in good condition (no rust or corrosion)
  • Deck, stairs, and railings should not move, they should be secure with no wobbling or swaying
  • Regularly clean up leaves and debris as they can be slipping hazards and also promote mildew and deterioration
  • Keep snow to a minimum and shovel as needed to prevent overloading the structure

Check out this 10-Point Deck Safety Checklist for homeowners from The North American Deck and Railing Association.

Examples of a Failing Deck that are not Code Compliant in HRM

Raised Deck Surface with No Safety Railing

Raised Deck Surface with No Railings

Incorrect Railing Installation Unable to Handle Strong Winds

Railing Unable to Handle Strong Winds

Deck with no Safety Railing

Deck with No Safety Railing

No Railing on Both Sides of Stairs

No Railing on Both Sides of Stairs

Improper Deck Footings

Improper Deck Footings

No Joists or Hangers, No Lag Bolts

Improper Connection to House or Wall

Concrete Footings Cracking/Breaking

Improper Deck Footings

Improper Deck Footings


We take pride in the design and installation of the decks we build. That’s why we take care of everything, including the permit application, for you. Each project is built to be safe and structurally sound, adhering to both the current National Building Code and HRM standards. If you have concerns or need your deck replaced, give us a call for a complimentary assessment and/or quote.

Nova Scotia Deck renovations

Extra, Extra, Outdoor spaces! | Decks | Halifax

Custom Outdoor Spaces

Adding those custom outdoor ‘extras’ allow your deck to be attractive and functional, bringing it to life.  Incorporating spaces that allow for family time and social gatherings gives you the total definition of an outdoor oasis. When designing your dream deck, always allow the space for your ‘extras’…

With a deck design, you want to allow for correct sizing of spaces, making allowances for remote structures (gazebos, pergolascustom fireplaces) you want to build, and like the interior space of your home, you want to allow for outdoor room space, your relaxing spots, your activity zone and cooking/dinning spots. Take into consideration that you need room for the paths between these areas. When incorporating your extras into your deck design, make sure you think outside the box, you do not have to be defined by a symmetrical design. Deck ‘extras’ are exciting and creative nowadays, they can blow your imagination. Outdoor kitchens have come a long way since your everyday barbecue. Outdoor cooking zones can now include a full kitchen, with cabinets, granite countertops, sinks with running water, you can even find built-in fridges and freezers, and outdoor surround sound to keep you dancing while grilling. Outdoor kitchens are usually protected by some style of overhead roof, you will often find a solid overhead roof, or a trellis-type overhead. This protects your kitchen from hot sunlight, as well as rain and wind. If you are building a beautiful outdoor kitchen, you should allow a dinning area to continue the flow of your design. The dinning area may vary in size depending on the size of functions you usually host.  On average, a dinning area should be at least 12 feet square. When designing your deck, you can always use a two level design to include your extras, if your layout of your home allows for it. Do not try to squeeze all your dreams into one deck if it makes it look cluttered. If you do not have the room to accommodate, or can not have the size deck you want to host your ideas, it is time to do your “want” and “want more” list. A few smaller ‘extras’ you can incorporate into your deck design to match your budget or the size of your deck are planter-benches, fireplaces or implementing custom storage designs. Another option when designing your deck, is using unique lighting and custom doors/skirting to “pop” the brilliance of your outdoor living space. Free standing structures are the new fashion when it comes to outdoor living spaces. You can say that a gazebo or pergola is the “earrings and necklaces” of a deck. If your budget or space doesn’t allow for a full outdoor kitchen, you can improvise and build a free standing structure to give your barbecue depth and style. An old fashion gazebo can be ‘supped’ up to be your party zone, adding lighting, music, and screening to provide you all night fun. On the other hand, your gazebo can be used for a romantic dinner, allowing the stars to provide the light to complete the ambiance. The new look of your outdoor spaces are endless. You have to take your time and visualize your dimensions and paths of your spaces. Hiring a designer to bring your vision to life is beneficial because of the overwhelming choices that are at your fingertips.  The words ‘boring and flat’ no longer have to be associated with your outdoor design!

All-Craft has a passion, our passion is your vision!



3-D Drawing

3-D Renderings, An Important Design Tool

3-D renderings, An Important Tool

A vision can be very hard to put to paper. But even harder, is seeing a construction design and trying to visualize the colors and creation that will be implemented into the design of your outdoor living space.  All-Craft understands how frustrating this can be, and we believe that by using a 3-D renderings we can help ease that frustration and anxiety with visualizing your deck, providing high quality pictures. 3-D renderings can be of the most valuable architectural tool we use to make sure your vision is what we design. In a blink of an eye you can see your dream come alive.

Using a 3-D program, we can set a beautiful scene using color pallettes, landscaping, flooring, and much more.  Almost like a cartoon, you can add people, animals, clouds, the creativity is endless. This powerful construction tool can digitize objects and add texture to create atmosphere on paper. You can see your outdoor vision in all seasons, helping you to breath during your design stage.

A 3D rendering of your home’s outdoor living space will give you the information you need to decide what will best suit you and your family. As a team, we can use the 3D model to add different types of decks, shapes, colors, and levels, all with a click of a button.


3-D Renderings

3-D Rendering

3-D Rendering

Project Completed

Together we can take your vision and make it a reality with a custom deck!


Composite Color Hits Gold! | Decks

New Composite Color Shines Like GOLD!

There are many reasons to use a high performance composite deck material to build your outdoor living space.  Composite  is made from 95% recycled materials, this saves 400 million pounds of plastic and wood scrap from landfills every year and has a 25 -year limited residential warranty, but now, you can add beautiful colors to why you should build with composite. It is easy being green when you are lounging on your composite deck. Another great reason to invest in a composite deck is that it provide you with low maintenance all year long. Now isn’t that a breath of fresh air!

Trex has now launched its new beautiful Havana gold color to there popular Trex Transcend Tropical collection.  Havana Gold gives a rich, golden look to the sleek composite material making your deck feel warm and elegant, and with a little help of your imagination, you can feel like your sitting in the tropics embracing the outdoors.  Havana Gold, like the other 9 tropical colors, features a subtle shading and natural hardwood looking grain to give off a look of hardwood from the tropical rainforests without destroying the environment. Check out all the great Transcend colors that Trex has to offer.

Lets take the work out of the weekend and spend more time admiring the beauty of your investment!

Composite Deck

Havana Gold




Deck Safety, Check Your Deck | Halifax, NS

May always provides an exciting month – spring flowers, the Scotiabank Bluenose Marathon, Beloved
Mother’s day and Victoria day … it’s a busy month and for us in construction this month raises a time to
stress an important message, deck safety. With the warmer weather and sunshine beaming we are
setting our sights on spending more time outdoors and a deck or outdoor living space can be the perfect
place to spend time enjoying the weather with family and friends and we want to help you avoid
potential mishaps this season as a well-built and well- maintained deck offers a safe haven for outdoor
quality of life.

The North American Deck & Railing Association declares May as Deck Safety month and promotes this
program in an effort to improve safety, prevent injuries and save lives. All-Craft is committed to this
program as we take deck safety very seriously and make it a priority to ensure that you deck is built to
code and is safe.

The NADRA emphasizes the importance of maintenance of existing decks and proper installation of new
decks as an unsafe deck could collapse, causing serious injuries to you and your guests

Did you know the NADRA estimates there are over 40 million decks in the USA that are over 20 years old
and the NADRA states that the number of deck failures and resulting injuries are increasing at an
alarming rate. Yes. American statistics but our Canadian decks are not far behind them … decks don’t
last forever and craftsmanship on this area of your home needs to be of highest quality.

Reasons for a deck collapsing can range from age of the deck, poor maintenance and exceeding load
capacity to improper building methods. Deck collapses happen far too frequently and when they do
happen, they happen fast – click here to out a devastating deck collapses on You Tube

The good news any deck mishap can be avoided. The NADRA emphasizes that it is a matter of
awareness around the necessity of choosing a professional deck builder, maintenance and inspection,
and knowing the limits of the deck structure. 

So let’s discover the potential disaster before it happens – we are here to help! Click here for a 10 point
Deck inspection checklist which provides some guidelines for what areas need to be repaired or what
needs attention. With key areas outlined from split or decaying wood, to railings and banisters,
cleaning and maintenance, lighting and electrical, outdoor furniture and everything in between. Wow,
a lot right but there’s a lot to consider when thinking about the safety of your deck for your loved

Our experts at All-Craft have an eye for safety and can go one step further for you by inspecting
everything from substructure to ledger connections, posts and footings, post-to-beam connections,
joists and joist connections, stairs, deck boards, handrail assemblies and guards and miscellaneous.
An inspection can determine structural supports and connections, such as post sizes, fastener types
and specific design aspects as well as any visible indications of corrosion or weakness. All you have to
do is call us for a no charge consultation.

Read more: Jim Miller active NADRA member, whose company participates in education and advocacy
efforts centered on deck safety each year discussing importance of deck safety.

All of this might sound complicated but certainly an important necessity that is why the All-Craft team is
here to help. Contact us today for your no charge consultation where our expert consultants who has an
eye of what to look for and what is or isn’t allowed. We can walk through the safety of your current deck
and help you solve potential issues.

Like us on Facebook to access Deck Safety check lists that will be posted throughout this month.
Creating your dream outdoor living space safely is a complicated task to undertake – Read the following
article where we highlight some of the complexities and why hiring a professional is in your best

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