Deck Building Specifications on Pacific Coast

by Dave
(Washington)

I am a member of an RV association that allows year long parking of our 5th wheel. The association is located on the Washington State Pacific coast. The wind zone is 105 mph (3 second gust).

I want to build a detached deck with a roof. The county is requiring 6x6 posts, 4' below grade in 18" dia. concrete, 8' by 12' on center. Snow load is 25 psf. This seems like a bit much. How is this properly sized?

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Feb 05, 2010
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Local Building Code For Decks
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

At first glance one might think that the requirements asked of by the county building officials is a bit steep but the reality is that local standards sometimes exceed what the national standards are.

In your case, the west coast of Washington can get some very serious weather. The south westerly flows from Hawaii bring a lot of rain and very severe and sustained wind. I have experienced a few "Pineapple Expresses" first hand.

I am not surprised to hear that they are asking for such heavy duty building standards, including snow loads. But if the deck is attached to a mobile home or 5th wheel trailer, the winds that can come could be enough to move that trailer.

That is probably why they would like to see that the structure sitting next to it is strong enough to remain secure during extreme weather.

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