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Residential decks have become increasingly elaborate to include covered wood-framed structures one or more stories in height. Unfortunately, the model building codes have been slow to adopt comprehensive prescriptive deck construction guidelines, with the 2021 International Residential Code (IRC) continuing to limit such guidelines to decks with a single, uncovered level. However, once you understand and can properly apply the tributary-area approach contained within IRC tables, you can use it to size deck footings and select deck columns or posts for covered and multilevel decks.

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