Get your dream deck

How to get the right backyard retreat for your house.

Railing rules
Railing rules
For safety, most building codes require that railings be at least 36 inches high for decks built more than 30 inches off the ground, with no gaps between balusters or beneath the handrail through which a 4-inch sphere could pass.

Some local codes also bar railings with horizontal members that kids could climb like a ladder. Thankfully, you can build railings out of a variety of materials to suit any style or special circumstance.

Popular options other than wood include taut horizontal or vertical steel cable, metal sheeting or mesh, tubular piping, resin posts and balusters, and even tempered glass panels.

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The pros and cons of the various materials you can use to build your dream deck (more)
A deck can handle even the rowdiest parties as long as the beam that carries the floor joists is properly bolted to the side of the house. (more)
See the rest of the photo series here. (more)

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.