Every home originally came with a deck and decks may not be removed. Other than size, decks may not be modified, such as the addition of walls, lattice panels, light posts, or stairs. The original railing style of wooden decks must be retained as well. Decks may be replaced with wood or composite materials such as Trex, with advance permission of the ARC.
As of January 2018, it is permissible to replace the original 12 X 12 foot deck with one 14 X 14 feet in size. No other modifications are allowed and the enlarged deck must be centered on the back of the house.
Important: All enlarged decks require a permit from the county prior to construction. It is a violation of county building code to replace a 12 X 12 foot deck with one 14 X 14 feet without strengthening the support structure. This will require either the movement of existing posts or the addition of posts. Failure to obtain a permit or to abide by county code subjects the deck for removal by the HOA.
Safety: Homeowners are encouraged to add stabilizers to the decks as an added safety measure. The following additions are permissible:
Diagonal cross braces attached to the floor joists beneath the deck (either one or two diagonal braces is acceptable).
Diagonal "knee braces" bolted at a 45 degree angle between the deck support post and the wide horizontal support beam that connects the support posts.
Addition of heavy duty “lag bolts” to fasten the deck more securely to the side of the home.
Materials: Deck support posts and floor joists must be made of pressure treated wood. Deck floors and railings must either be made of pressure treated wood (redwood is not allowed) or "composite" (a type of plastic) material. Trex is a familiar brand of composite decking but there are many others. There are no restrictions on the brand of composite material that can be used but some have better reputations than others. It is often impossible to duplicate exactly the original style railings with composite materials. The railing spindles (uprights) pose the greatest challenge. Composite spindles should be square, like the originals, the same color as the rest of the deck, and mount either between the upper and lower rails, or to the outside of the rails (like the originals).
Refinishing Wooden Decks: Decks, whether wood or composite, should be either a light to medium brown or light to medium gray.. If you are replacing or staining your deck, contact the ARC and make sure the color you have chosen is acceptable.
Wooden decks need regular maintenance. Plan to powerwash and restain your deck every 3-4 years. By design, composite decks do not need refinishing. However, It remains to be seen whether these new decks are truly maintenance free in the long run.
The deck's supporting system, decking and railings must all be the same color, in order to present a harmonious and pleasing appearance. If you are replacing a deck with wood, this may require you to powerwash the support structure and then stain both the upper and lower parts of the deck in the same color. Even after powerwashing, the lower structure (because it's older) may well be quite a bit darker than the newly replaced upper deck. In such cases, stain both parts to match the darker support structure.
If you are placing a wooden deck with a composite system, and retaining the existing wooden support structure, you will want to powerwash the support structure and stain it to match the composite material as closely as possible. Alternatively, the contractor can “wrap” the support beams in sheets of the composite material so that everything matches.
Professional powerwashing should always be followed by resealing or restaining the deck
Stains may be translucent (you can see the wood grain underneath) or opaque (solid). Opaque stains are best used to ensure that a wooden support structure matches a new composite deck.
Special deck paints are not yet allowed, as some brands have a poor reputation for durability.
Decorative Ceilings: It is permissible to install a decorative waterproof ceiling below the deck's floor boards allow the homeowner to sit beneath it on the patio on rainy days. Ceilings should be designed to shunt water to a drain connected to a gutter attached to one of the deck's support posts. The ceiling should not be visible from neighboring houses.
Storage Racks and Storage in General: It is not permissible to construct a storage rack beneath the deck, nor to hang yard implements, ladders, canoes, bicycles or anything else from the deck. Similarly, the storage of any other materials other than those commonly found on decks (deck furniture, flower pots, etc.)