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.


Why Build in the Fall? | Deck Building

If you have come to the conclusion that it is too late to build your dream outdoor living space, we have the reasons why you should change your mind! People seem to think you can only build decks and outdoor living areas in the Spring and Summer, but Fall brings many reasons to build your deck!

Building a deck in the Fall leads to less of a negative impact on your landscape.
During the Spring or Summer season the weather can range from hot, sweltering days to stormy, rainy days with very little warning.  During the Fall and Winter season the weather is a lot more bearable and the cooler weather dries out the landscaping making it easy to build a deck on the yard without causing any significant damage to your landscaping so that when Spring rolls around your yard will bounce back greener and vibrant.
Get ahead of the crowd with your deck construction.
Beat the Spring rush by beginning your deck construction early so that by the time Spring arrives you will be enjoying your new deck with out having to worry about how to host Summer gatherings with no space outside. What a way to kick off the Spring, creating your dream atmosphere with accessories and colors.
Take advantage of the predictable weather.
Weather during the Fall season is a lot more predictable than weather during the Spring and Summer season. There are a lot less weather issues like thunderstorms that could cause a delay in construction which makes it easier for the construction crew to get the job done within a short amount of time. In the Spring and Summer months contractors are busy, and not able to be flexible with scheduling, but in the Fall, things slow down which allows contractors to be able to accommodate your scheduling needs.
These are just a few reasons why building in he Fall has benefits.  With frost coming, Fall is a great time to start your deck project if you need to dig.  Deck building doesn’t stop cause the snowflakes are falling.  With Spring, the flowers bloom and the decks blossom after a cold winter!

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

Outdoor Living Rooms Minus 4 Walls | Halifax, NS

Your home is so much more than 4 walls and a roof…it is one of your largest investments and one that
encompasses everything that home and family means to you.

But is that home that means so much to you just not functioning or fitting your current lifestyle?
Well, this is when we talk about renovating versus relocating and we have to bring an awareness around
the housing market today where the fastest growing segment of Canada’s housing market is renovation
spending. Fuelled by rising home prices, tight resale market conditions, attractive financing costs and
government tax credits and well…who are we kidding I don’t think anyone likes the task of moving,
especially away from the place that holds so many memories close to your heart. So doesn’t renovating
look more and more like an attractive option every day.

Reasons to remodel are as varied as the homeowners themselves. Some homeowners have growing
families, while others are “empty nesters” changing their home to reflect their new lifestyle. Whatever
your remodeling needs—more space for entertaining, an expanding at-home business, updating or
modernizing—there are advantages to remodeling right now to make your home which holds all of its
precious memories fit your needs, wants and desires.

Upgrading your home is one of the most profitable decisions you can make. Not only do home upgrades
provide a sense of accomplishment, it will also influence the aesthetic appeal of your home which will
pay off when it comes to your return on investment.

All-Craft’s speciality is the exterior of the home and we love the summer when the backyard is all about
celebrating the season with family and friends. So why not maximize your personal oasis with an
outdoor remodeling project and give new life to a ‘tired’ exterior all the while reducing maintenance,
improving energy efficiency, security and the general comfort of your outdoor living space.
The benefits to exterior renovations are limitless and all it takes to get started is a vision.

A few benefits:

  • Return on Investment – ROI – this is a biggie and HGTV’s Carson Arthur notes that ‘simple outdoor living spaces like a deck or patio increase a home’s value by 12%’. Read more on ROI
  • Increases usable living space
  • Addition of an outdoor living space has rapidly become a popular way to enhance both the functionality, quality and aesthetic appearance of a home and surrounding yard
  • Impacts your comfort and convenience by creating a retreat for you to enjoy each time you ste foot onto your outdoor living space
  • Increased outdoor enjoyment
  • Switching to low maintenance exterior products, such as composite material, can save hours of maintenance time.
  • It will dramatically improve the curb appeal of your home
  • Creates that outdoor oasis in your very own backyard … no need for passports or going south of
  • the border
  • Opening up a floor plan and extending the living space to the outdoors can eliminate interior traffic jams and create a noticeable difference in how your home feels—and how you feel about your home
  • Creates an space that brings an emotional draw which will win over the electronics or social medial and allow you to connect with friends and family in space of enjoyment
  • Provides that impactful space which can be the disconnect from the everyday madness right outside your door for quality time that creates the best kind of memories
  • Positive outlook and energy – exterior renovation changes the atmosphere of the home and provides a positive outlook of the living space
  • Gives you the home of your dreams
  • Show the true potential for your property

Outdoor projects are a timeless renovation and the journey to renovating your home should be a
positive and beneficial one, rather than a complicated mess. And of course you want to get the greatest
benefits from your efforts so, hiring a professional renovator who specializes in the exterior home is the
best way to accomplish that. With a professional you receive sound technical advice, design assistance
as well as make the most of your budget to successfully beautify your exterior parts.

Happy Outdoor living !

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