Photo courtesy MLW Construction

From Professional Deck Builder:

My company does a lot of work in the scenic eastern hills of Orange County in California, so we often build what we call “view decks.” Not only are these decks usually located on a steep grade, they are often detached from the home to extend the footprint of the backyard living area. A project that we recently completed is a good example of this type of deck.

While this particular view deck may not look like anything that would be too complicated to build, it is located — like most of our projects—in a Class D high-risk seismic zone. Because the deck is freestanding, determining its seismic load (using the standard ASCE 7-10 Minimum Design Loads for Building and Other Structures, did not need to take into account the seismic load path through the house. Even so, our local authorities and engineers did have specific seismic requirements that needed to be met to guarantee a safe, bullet-proof deck in the event there should be an earthquake.

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