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Wood Deck and Composite Decking in the Upstate of South Carolina and the surrounding areas. Exterior Escapes LLC’s builders have offered high quality custom decking in upstate South Carolina, including Greenville County and surrounding areas for over 10 years. We specialize in building a deck that meets all of your needs, from new construction to additions and renovations of your current deck.
A deck can be the perfect place to spend time enjoying the weather with friends and family.
Railing: Railings are required for decks more than 30” off the ground and are required to be at least 36” in height with spacing between baluster no more than 4”.
Ask your sales representative about wood types available and the differences to meet your decking needs. Composite, Capstock, and PVC Decking and Railing: Today’s Composite, Capstock, and PVC Decking material is a low maintenance alternative to wood. The Transcends® is a new and highly recommended product installed by Exterior Escapes LLC from Trex® that is a new form of “Capstock” composite decking with a 25 year warranty against staining and fading (see Trex Transcends® Fade and Stain Warranty).  With 5 base colors and 3 exotic colors you are sure to find a style and color combination to suit your needs. Glass Panels: Glass panels are an increasingly popular railing option that doesn’t take away from your view of the lake or mountain side (or the kids in the backyard) while offering a refined aesthetic appeal to any deck. Exterior Escapes LLC proudly installs and recommends Evernew® railing products by Certainteed, Trex® and Trex® Transcends® Railing systems, as well as Fortress™ Railing Products. Ask your sales representative the best railing products to suite your safety needs and decking design. Under Deck Drainage Systems: We offer several options of under deck drainage systems for higher decks that can keep the water off and make the area under your deck into a useable space.
This article describes recommended construction practices for deck safety, deck railing requirements, guard railing construction and building codes, and critical safe-construction details for deck and porch rails, guardrails, and exterior stair guard railings and handrails. As detailed in Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction: The International Residential Code (IRC) requires a minimum 36-inch-high guardrail for all decks, balconies, or screened enclosures more than 30 inches off the ground.

After an above-ground swimming pool was removed, the owners continued to use the deck in our photo (left). Many types of manufactured railing systems are also available, often from the same companies that provide composite decking products. That said, I have certainly seen a number of high decks (not quite your case) that had continuous seating at the perimeter and no other railings.
Typical building codes including local code interpretations that address the question of need for safety railings near high retaining walls give some latitude to the local building inspector.
Retaining walls more than 1220 mm high are required to have safety cable railing installed as required by Cal-OSHA regulations, Title 8, Section 1621, as well as the Department's Highway Design Manual Section 210.5. Or see BALUSTERS, STAIR & RAILING for additional examples of stair and railing designs and problems. Keep in mind however that someone can be injured falling off a deck that's only a few inches high. See the article series beginning at GUARDRAIL CONSTRUCTION, DECKS & RAMPS for railing height and other specifications. Our recommended books about building & mechanical systems design, inspection, problem diagnosis, and repair, and about indoor environment and IAQ testing, diagnosis, and cleanup are at the InspectAPedia Bookstore.
We also offer patio decks to expand your back yard patio into a deck area with options of raised sections, custom railings and benches. A well-built and maintained deck offers a safe haven for outdoor living but all decks are not built equally! A variety of colors, textures, and design options are available to meet the homeowners’ needs that best compliments their lifestyle and aesthetic appeal. Deer netting was installed across the open edge of the deck - and it worked fine until someone fell thorough it.

I expect that ultimately the building code compliance inspector will decide the issue locally. But this design does not provide child safety protection nor protection for someone walking in or working in that inner space (having stepped over the seat wall). When hiring a deck builder, there is more to consider than just price… Reasons for a deck collapsing can range from age of the deck, poor maintenance and exceeding load capacity to improper building methods.
Cantilever parts of the home cannot support the weight of the deck independently and separate support must be installed. Depending on the railing style, #1 Prime MCA (or comparable) Pressure Treated or Kiln Dried lumber is also used in our standard wood decking to ensure sound support and aesthetic value.
Our licensed and insured professional deck builders ensure the safety and quality of your deck by exceeding state, county and city codes and regulations.
However for a hand railing on stairs, both flat and vertical 2x lumber are unsafe and violate good stair railing design because they cannot be grasped during a fall.
Generally retaining wall guardrails are not addressed in building codes except in some cases where there is a requirement for a guardrail (not plantings) for public spaces where people might be expected to walk along the area close to the retaining wall.
The decision to require safety railing shall be based on specific site conditions, potential pedestrian and public access to the retaining wall, and applicable building codes." - City of Bella Vista, AR subdivision code. Exterior Escapes LLC strongly urges the use of screws for wood decking boards for a stronger, more durable hold, screws are standard with Exterior Escapes LLC when attaching wood decking boards. It’s a matter of being aware of the necessity of choosing a professional deck contractor, regular maintenance and inspection, and knowing the limits of the deck structure.

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