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Vision: Safe decks with well-thought-out engineering and a common sense practical approach to code requirements.

Code Mission Statement: To advance and protect industry interests in the code development arena and to promote member involvement; to promote governmental and agency reliance on NADRA as a voice for the industry; to create and maintain relationships with key government agencies and code officials; to be a forum for the discussion, study, and investigation of proposed and existing model code development, federal and state legislation and programs, and to report such findings to the Board of Directors and the Membership.

This section of NADRA's website is dedicated to building code requirements and best building practices related to outdoor living structures.

Here you will find references to help you interpret code topics, links to jurisdiction websites for licensing and code requirements, and much more.

NADRA is always looking to add to the information provided in this section of the website, so please feel free to suggest a link by clicking here.

November 2015

Below are 2 documents from the Deck Code Coalition, which contains a detailed list of each item they are recommending for revision with the 2018 IRC with comments and highlights in the “ICC Format”, as well as a “clean” copy of the rewritten code sections with the updates included.

Please note that these documents are still “under construction”, and further revisions and improvements to wording should be included. However, the DCC has offered to share this preliminary information with NADRA members in an effort to build broader agreement and unity in how we are working to improve the code we all work under.

Composite Changes

R507 Rewrite

If you have specific questions, comments or concerns let us know by filling out a form found HERE

Thank You,
Matt Breyer
NADRA’s chair for our Code & Education Committee

August 2014
A Product Program for Composite Decking

By Roy Diez
Is the composite decking industry in need of a labeling program that rates the performance of individual deck board products?
Read full article HERE.

October 2013 Update
By Glenn Mathewson

Comments on IRC 2015 Code Public Comment hearings
NADRA attended the Public Comment Hearings on October 4th, 2013 to serve and protect the decking industry in the development of the 2015 IRC. I'm happy to say that we did that job well, and have little to fear in the new provisions now decided. Here's a review of the topics we spoke on. Read full recap HERE.

September 2013 Update
By Glenn Mathewson

When There’s No Public Comment
If a proposal in the IRC code development process doesn’t receive a public comment, the vote from the first hearing is generally the final result. With the recent publishing of the public comments, we can now see what the 2015 IRC is starting to look like. It’s been a lot of work keeping up with the high-profile deck code proposals on the table this summer, like the monstrous 268 with a depth of un-agreed-upon prescriptive code provisions that would rock the industry or the one that already has…the lateral load anchor. Those most certainly received public comment, but there were other less glamorous proposals regarding our industry that did not. Read On...When There's No Public Comment...

August 2013 Update
By Glenn Mathewson

How many hold-down anchors does it take to build a deck?
The development of the 2015 IRC is halfway through, and there’s likely going to be some new regulations for the construction industry to adjust to. For the decking industry, there’s lobbying working to create new building codes around specific product lines. We’ve already seen the costly results of including “permitted” details in the code depicting specific products. The lateral load anchor detail, that was published this way in the 2009 IRC, is quickly read as “required” by many building departments. Now, as new research is revealing that ledgers fair quite well without lateral anchors, there is a proposal seeking to “permit” the use of anchors on every guard post in the 2015 IRC. Will history be repeated and this also be read as “required”?
Read On...How many hold-down anchors does it take to build a deck?

RB 268 Guard Details

July 2013 Update
By Glenn Mathewson

"NADRA has submitted public comments for the Public Comment Hearing (formally the Final Action Hearing). Links to public comments are posted below. As always, NADRA welcomes feedback from our members."

RB6 Public Comment

RB262 Public Comment

RB264 Public Comment

RB265 Public Comment

RB465 Public Comment

RB263-13 Public Comment

July 2013 Update
By Glenn Mathewson

"NADRA has begun to draft public comments for the Public Comment Hearing (formally the Final Action Hearing). With the development of the 2015 IRC half way through, NADRA remains on top of the process by participating in each phase of code development. The committee has made their vote in the previous hearings, but all can still be turned around, both for our advantage and disadvantage. Links to public comments are posted here as they are developed. As always, NADRA welcomes feedback from our members."

June 2013 Update
By Glenn Mathewson

"The hearing results are published, and the first half of the code development process is complete. The decisions of the committee on each proposal can still be overturned at the final hearing if a public comment is received, so take a good look. NADRA will begin working on the next step...preparing our public comments and working with others on theirs, where our input can be provided. Keep in mind...if a public comment is not received on a proposal, consider it done and in the code."
Code Report Post Hearing

MAY 2013 Update
By Glenn Mathewson

Recap of 2013 Group B Committee Action Hearing (Dallas, TX) Last week the IRC code hearings were held in Dallas, TX. NADRA’s Technical Advisor, Glenn Mathewson represented the association on numerous proposals. This work is just beginning & your support is NEEDED on key issues that WILL effect your businesses and will effect this industry. Your support is encouraged so these efforts can continue on behalf of the membership and industry the association serves. NADRA Headquarters a nd the entire board would like to personally thank Glenn Mathewson for his time and efforts at these hearings. Recap of 2013 Group B Committee Action Hearing (Dallas) – By NADRA Technical Advisor, Glenn Mathewson: Take Action: Now that the ICC Committee Action Hearings are over, be sure to follow the link about the public comment hearings. The first recap of an approved proposal is a good example of WHY we need your support so we can continue to be heard at these hearings! READ ON: Click Here

April 11, 2013 Update
Code Proposals Presented By Glenn Mathewson

Code Proposals Presented By Glenn Mathewson

Here is the link to read the all proposed changes from the ICC Building Committee
File download may take a moment - thank you!

Take Survey Now

MARCH 2013 Update
NADRA Codes and Standards Cabinet

You decide, NADRA. What are your opinions about this?

NADRA is looking for your input, please click here to contact us.

IRC 2015 Deck Proposals

Update NADRA Codes and Standards Committee:
The ICC Building Code Action Committee is considering a very large proposal for deck construction provisions to be included in the 2015 IRC. Anyone is invited to provide feedback, both opponent and proponent, on the proposal. The committee wishes to work on the document with the industry, prior to the hearings next year. Take a look at this proposal and see if you want these provisions to become code? Code, such that any other option is an “alternative” that has to be convinced to the building official over “just doing what the code says”.

You decide, NADRA. What are your opinions about this?

NADRA is looking for your input, please click here to contact us.

Read Proposal

Letter from NADRA Codes and Standards Committee Chair:

Dear Members and Industry:

The week of October 24th, I attended the International Code Council (ICC) Conference on NADRA's behalf.

Special thanks to board member Mick Feduniec (Deckscapes, Inc.) and his family for putting me up (and putting up with me) at their beautiful home in Charlotte for the duration of my stay.

While at the Conference, I participated in a meeting of the ICC Evaluation Service Advisory Committee (ESAC). ESAC is charged with improving service to manufacturers seeking Evaluation Service Reports (ESR). Please see for a more in-depth discussion of the purpose of ESAC.

The committee is open to participation from members of industry and manufacturers. What struck me as most important was an earnest effort on the part of all participants to move toward resolution and improvement. I was able to meet several vice presidents of ICC-ES as well as manufacturer and industry representatives.

A highlight of the meeting is the effort to create an appeal system for addressing ICC-ES committee decisions that the applicant seeking an ESR disagrees with. We contributed to this discussion by providing a description of the appeal system that is used today in the courts. While ICC-ES currently has an internal procedure for working through complaints, they are moving toward the possibility of a separate, formal, appeal process for ESR applicants. For example, in the case where an applicant is denied an ESR, and feels that the Acceptance Criteria (AC) was improperly applied to the data supplied, they could appeal the committee decision. If the Applicant’s arguments are found to have merit, then the appeal panel will refer it back to the ES committee to re-apply the data to the AC as directed by the appeal panel.

The work of the ESAC has resulted in some beneficial changes for ESR applicants. One of these is working toward the goals of more efficient hearings, and of speeding up the process for gaining an ESR, the following is now in place: the period of time prior to an ES hearing has been lengthened to provide staff with more time to prepare; ES is encouraging independent groups to work together before a hearing, ES is working with the applicant prior to the hearing to vet out questions. They’ve also designated staff with specific knowledge to work with applicants.

Next, I attended the Feedback Session on Code Development, a session put on by the ICC Code Development Review Ad Hoc Committee (CDRAC), designed to hear ideas regarding greater participation and strengthening rules related to code hearings. The CDRAC was appointed in 2010 to review all aspects of the code development process. Some of the material considered by this committee comes from comments solicited from ICC membership on improvement to the system.

NADRA previously submitted a comment relating to quorum requirements for voting at hearings. Upon review, CDRAC recommended that the ICC should focus on increasing participation at the hearing, rather than establishing a formal quorum requirement. A suggested goal, but not an exact requirement, is that there be at least 100 people present at a vote.

CDRAC is examining every aspect of the code development process including the length of cycle, length of hearing, ethics and sponsorships, single issue voting, the possibility of remote electronic voting, balanced committees, and more. They will have their work cut out for them in the years ahead.

We were approved for a table at the annual Crackerbarrel Luncheon; which is a box lunch affair where participants choose tables hosting topics of interest. There are three timed sessions during this luncheon. Mick Feduniec and I hosted a table directed to deck construction. (Beware any NADRA member I visit - you will likely get volunteered for something!). Interest in decks was high. A quick glance around the room showed our table to be possibly the most well attended table out of more than 40. During each of the three 20 minute sessions, there were not enough seats for our visitors. We were able to communicate with many building officials to talk about NADRA’s purpose, and the benefit of using professional NADRA builders, as well as, review major changes in deck code from the 2006 to 2009 IRC. Special thanks to Mark Guthrie of Fastenmaster who did a great job providing a technical perspective to these changes. We also had the ICC/NADRA co-branded book by Glenn Mathewson, “Deck Construction based on the 2009 International Residential Code” on hand for review, and used the inspection checklist at the back of the book as a handout.

NADRA is making headway into several areas that affect the building code and regulations that affect all of our members; from the professional deck builders who work with building code everyday in the field, up through the supplier chain to the manufacturers, and even consumers. Membership in NADRA helps us continue to work to better the industry as a whole and we appreciate each and every one of you for the sacrifice you make in this difficult economy.

Diana Hanson - Chairman - NADRA Codes & Standards Committee. 208.870.4702

Letter from NADRA Codes and Standards Committee:

Dear Members and Industry:

Having now had some time to regroup after the IRC and IBC code hearings held in Dallas, Texas in May, I am going to share with you some thoughts on code development that affect each of us, whether we are builders, suppliers, or manufacturers.

One of the core reasons for the formation of NADRA in 2005 was to provide a voice for our industry. Since that time we have worked diligently to learn the ropes of the code development process, to participate in the making and changing of code for the benefit of our industry, and to form industry wide relationships and make alliances where possible.

While the term ”code development” has the power to make anyone start thinking about taking a nap, it is crucial that the deck and railing industry not nod-off.   Instead, we must be thinking and planning for the future of our industry as relates to code.

Until 2003, the decks were given only cursory attention in the code. Largely due to the fact that decks are exterior structures and often separate from the house, they were not considered to be within the purview of the code. That perspective has now changed, and there have been many changes that affect decks entered into building code. Coverage of decks in building code is far from complete; however, there are already sections of code that are difficult to interpret and enforce on the job site.

The code process is as political as any existing governmental process. Every few years a new version of building code is issued. Building code is developed in cycles that provide a platform for anyone to submit changes to the code. In attendance at hearings are building officials, members of industry, engineers, university professors, government officials, members of coalitions, and occasionally consumers. That’s a lot of people with a lot of different concerns and agendas—all pushing for changes to the code.

NADRA was there a couple of years ago when the assembly voted in the sorely needed guard code. NADRA was a voting member of the Climbable Guards Study Group of the CTC (ICC Code Technology Committee) during its development. In the last code cycle, NADRA successfully spearheaded an effort to keep a problematic provision from becoming part of the IRC by bringing together several key players in the code arena to testify against it. We have also supported sister organizations within our industry with testimony at code hearings.

Most recently NADRA tried to remove a section of code that should never have made it into the IRC in the first place. (I am refering to IRC Section 502.2.2.3 and its related Figure, which insinuates that a seismic device should be used in all ledger attachments.) However, it is much easier to write code with a pen than with an eraser, and we were unsuccessful.  In the process we learned that there are many who agree with our position. If we cannot remove this section, at this point in time, then we can at least provide insight to our members and the industry on how to work with code officials on proper interpretation of the section, and to work with ICC to develop some guidance on its application in the field.

NADRA has made great strides since we first began. In 2009 we were invited by ICC to co-brand a book on the 2009 deck code. The book is entitled “Deck Construction - Based on the 2009 International Residential Code” and is written by Glenn Mathewson, a former deck builder and code official out of Colorado. Not only is the NADRA logo side by side with the ICC logo on the cover of this book, but included in the book is NADRA’s deck evaluation checklist. That NADRA, at its fairly young age, had done enough to grab the attention of the ICC speaks volumes as to what we could achieve with more support from the industry we serve.

In order to continue climbing up this hill, NADRA needs involvement from every sector of the industry. From the single-crew builder to the lumberyard, supplier, to the small widget maker, all the way to the giant manufacturer, if the industry believes in what NADRA is doing, then it must step up and support it with both monetary and time resources. We have been doing this for over four years on an expenses-only budget. This means that volunteers have been attending code meetings and doing the hours and hours of leg work required. Our industry needs and deserves more attention than can be reasonably provided for on a volunteer basis.

While sectors of our industry are busy fighting each other for market share, the industry as a whole is losing ground to other forms of backyard living that are less regulated and less expensive than deck installation. In the past, deck builders could make a nice living by just offering decks. Now, in order to be competitive and make a sale, a deck builder had better be able to offer hardscape options as well. Concrete, pavers and rock are easy alternatives – more economical, and very minimal code requirements.

NADRA has worked to create relationships with every sector of our industry so that we can come together on issues that affect our industry. The industry needs NADRA to provide not only a builder perspective but also to provide an industry voice to the code development process. Each sector of the industry will always have its own needs. However, the needs of the industry as a whole must also be addressed. That is NADRA’s job – to work for the growth and sustenance of the industry, as a whole.

If we want to ride out the current economic state and continue to bring innovative and imaginative decking choices to the consumer, we better keep abreast of code development and help shape it to benefit the deck and railing industry as a whole. If we sit back in our rocking chairs and let it happen, we will find ourselves rocking away on patios.

I urge you to contact NADRA and do your part to ensure that the industry, in which you make your living in, continues to thrive and grow.

Diana M. Hanson
NADRA Codes and Standards Committee Chairman

Note from Diana Hanson - Codes and Standards Committee Chairman:

First Stop:
International Code Committee - Code Development Hearings and Conference October 24 - November 11, 2009
NADRA has three code proposals submitted for the upcoming hearings:


The building code process is several steps involved. What happens at Baltimore is only the development portion. I will be testifying to a panel selected by the ICC. If they deny a proposal they have to give reason. This is information very valuable to us. Next comes the Public Comment period where anyone may write a comment for or against any panel decision. If no comment is made on a panel action then it stands. In May 2010 at the Final Action Hearings, all of the public comments are heard and the voting assembly makes a final decision to either uphold the panel decision or not.

There are hundreds of code change proposals in line right now. Fortunately for us only a small percentage of them are specific to decks. I invite you to visit and download the monograph for the IRC and the structural and egress portions of the IBC if you want to know more of what this looks like. Simply search the documents for "deck" and you will find the proposals most affecting us. It is customary that this period of time prior to the actual hearings involves networking with other delegates to garner support for certain proposals. Like anything else, who you know becomes as important as what you know.

During the conference portion of the ICC event at Baltimore is what is known as the Crackerbarrel Luncheon - this is a box-lunch luncheon where 40 plus tables and table topics are available for attendees to visit. We obtained one to help promote NADRA as well as the co-branded book "Deck Construction" by Glenn Mathewson. I recently learned that because I will be testifying, I am not permitted to also host this table. Fortunately, Ray Steward of RWSDecks has stepped up to take it on. He will do a great job talking up NADRA and our programs to the many building inspectors as they take their turn at his table.

Second Stop:
Alexandria, Virgina - Treated Wood Council Annual Meeting Once the hearings conclude - I drive over to Alexandria, Virginia for the TWC Annual meeting to announce the candidates for the board of Directors of TWC. TWC invited NADRA to participate in their annual meeting - As chairman of their Nominating Committee, I will announce the candidates for election to their board, and then get to spend some time in attendance with TWC members, several of which as also NADRA members. In addition I will go with a delegation to Capitol Hill to meet legislators.

One Last Word
NADRA is making headway into several areas that affect the building code and regulations that effect all of our members: builders who work with building code everyday in the field, up through the supplier chain to manufacturers, and even consumers. Membership in NADRA helps us continue to work to better the industry as a whole and we appreciate each and every one of you for the sacrifice you make in this difficult economy. Look for another report, post hearings, and I'll let you know how it went.

Listed below are ancillary references that may help in understanding code requirements. These are not, and should not be considered "code" documents.

Stay Up On Building Codes To Keep Deck Sales Rolling
This article originally appeared in the 2/2010 issue of Building Products Digest.

General References
A really good reference for stair code is the IRC Visual Code Interpretation put out by the Stairway Manufacturers Association. It may be downloaded here:

State and Local References
Knox County, Tennessee

Laramie, Wyoming


State Licensing Links
Contractor Registration and Licensing requirements vary from state to state.  Not all states have requirements at the state level. Additional requirements may exist at the local jurisdiction level.

General Contractors Board
(334) 272-5030

Division of Occupational Licensing
(907) 465-2546

Arizona Registrar of Contractors
(602) 542-1525

Contractors License Board
(602) 372-4661

Contractors State License Board

Division of Registrations


Department of Consumer Protection

Division of Revenue

District of Columbia
No information available.

Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation

Construction Industry Board

Division of Building Safety


Department of Professional Regulation

Indiana Professional Licensing Agency

Division of Labor

Dept. of Revenue - Division of Taxation

Department of Housing, Buildings, and Construction

Contractors Board

Department of Environmental Protection

Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing

McCormack State Office Building

Bureau of Commercial Services

Department of Commerce

Mississippi Contractors License Board

Business Services

Department of Labor and Industry

Nebraska Workforce Development - Department of Labor

State of Nevada Contractors Board - Reno Office

New Hampshire
Secretary of State

New Jersey
Department of Community Affairs
Bureau of Homeowner Protection
New Home Warranty Program

New Mexico
Regulation and Licensing Department

New York
NYS Department of State Division of Corporations

North Carolina
North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors

North Dakota
Secretary of State

Ohio Construction Industry Examining Board

Oklahoma Tax Commission

Construction Contractors Board


Department of General Services

Rhode Island
Department of Administration
Contractor's Registration Board

South Carolina
South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation

South Dakota
Professional and Occupational Licensing

Board for Licensing Contractors

Corporations Section
Office of the Secretary of State

Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing

Office of the Vermont Secretary of State
Corporations/UCC Division


Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
Board for Contractors

Department of Labor & Industries, Contractors Regulation Section

Department of Financial Institutions

State of Wyoming, Electrical Board
Department of Fire Prevention & Electrical Safety

Material Data Sheets
ICC-Building Products Evaluation Reports -

Click to go to:
Questions and Answers

North American Deck and Railing Association - P.O. Box 829, Quakertown, PA 18951 - Phone: 215.679.4884 - Fax: 888.623.7248

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