Building Codes and Permits
The purpose of the building department is to ensure that anything being built- new construction, additions, decks etc- are built according to the international code requirements, and in some cases, the more strict local requirements. The code is designed to ensure the safety of the methods used to build whatever it is that is being built, and to protect the public from unsafe construction. Improperly installed framing or ledger connections can be the cause of deck collapses like the one pictured here. On an upper level deck, collapses can be more catastrophic, particularly if the space is occupied at the time of the failure.
Licensed contractors are required to know the code and pass a rigorous test to obtain a license. Information about contractors can be found on the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department's website under "Contractors", "Contractor search". If you are planning on building a deck, patio cover or pergola yourself, the following are the handouts from PP Regional which outline the code requirements.