According to the following, a deck using 2x10" joists, spaced 12" apart, can have a span (distance from attachment to house to row of footings) of 16'.


I just had a contractor bid the job for my new deck, which I want to be 15' deep. He said because the footers will be ~14.5' from the edge of the house (and plans to use the aforementioned joists/construction), he plans to only put one row of footers. While this technically passes the above rule (code? rule of thumb?), is this shoddy work? He said an additional row of footers would cost extra, and definitely wasn't necessary. I wanted to get the community's opinion. Is the 16' number "built to last", or "absolute maximum before it becomes a safety hazard"?

  • Your question is entirely subjective as it's written, and therefore off topic.
    – isherwood
    Mar 30, 2022 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


The Code requires a “Live Load” of 40 lbs. per square foot (psf) plus you have a “Dead Load” of about 10 psf (joists and 2x decking) for a total load of 50 psf. (See Table R301.5)

A 2x10 will support about 90 psf depending on the species and grade for a 16 foot span.

I’d say you’re fine, even when everyone is outside singing happy birthday at you next birthday party.

However, don’t forget the new Code requires metal straps at each end of the deck strapped to the house’s foundation. You can use something like this:


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