Deck Inspections

Inspection Requirements

Inspections are required by law. Inspections help to establish that the deck has been built in accordance with the structural and safety provisions of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (VUSBC) standard construction practices and the approved drawings or the Loudoun County Typical Deck Detail (PDF).

A copy of the approved plans or deck detail (PDF) must be on the job site and available to the inspector or no inspection will be performed.

When Inspections are Required

Three inspections, conducted by Loudoun County inspectors, are required for a deck:

  • Footing Inspection: footing holes are inspected prior to concrete placement.
  • Framing Inspection: joists, beams, connections and mechanical attachments are inspected prior to placement of decking.
  • Final Inspection: all remaining items are inspected.

The framing and final inspections may be combined if all portions of the deck framing and mechanical attachments are at least 42 inches above grade.

Common Reasons for Rejection

The most common reasons for rejection of inspections on the construction of a deck are:

  • Corrosion-resistant nail and fasteners are not used in pressure-treated material
  • Non-compliance with the approved plans or the Loudoun County Typical Deck Detail
  • Soil material is inadequate to provide minimum bearing capacity of the footing
  • The ledger board is not attached to approved material at the existing house wall
  • The ledger board attachment does not comply relative to bolt diameter, spacing and tightening and / or flashing
  • The variation in stair risers is greater than the code allowance

When & Where to Call for Inspections

Pursuant to the VUSBC, it is the responsibility of the permit holder or the permit holder's representative to notify the county when the stages of construction that require an inspection are reached. Based on visual observation, inspectors may request access to the existing house to verify solid ledger attachment.

Inspections must be scheduled one work day in advance by accessing the Web-Automated Inspection Request System (WAIRS).