Metal Decking
Back to Main

  View All Posts

What Are Metal Decking Specifications?
Robert Rubio

By: Robert Rubio on September 25th, 2020

Print/Save as PDF

What Are Metal Decking Specifications?

Metal Deck

Has your metal decking supplier asked you a question that you don’t have an answer for? If so, you were most likely advised to check the metal decking specifications.

So what are metal decking specifications and why do they matter?

Metal decking specifications are part of the overall job specifications for a construction project. These specifications provide valuable information from the finish of the metal decking to acceptable metal decking manufacturers, as well as other relevant information.

Prior to even bidding the construction project, you should familiarize yourself with the metal decking specifications. This will give you an opportunity to exclude certain items as well as get more accurate pricing for your bid.

At Western Metal Deck we have been supplying metal decking for over 30 years. Any time our customers are unsure on a piece of information we always advise them to check their metal decking specifications.

On occasion we have reviewed these specifications for them and were able to find valuable information that the customer had glanced over or missed. This has saved them from avoiding costly mistakes by either having the specification changed or by ordering something they had missed. Our goal with this article is to inform you on the basics so you can avoid these mistakes.

This article will cover:

  • What Are Metal Decking Specifications?
  • What Items Can Be Found In The Metal Decking Specifications?
  • Where Are The Metal Decking Specifications Located?
  • What Should You Do When You Locate The Metal Decking Specifications?
  • Excluding Items On Metal Decking Specifications
  • Changing a Metal Decking Specification


What Are Metal Decking Specifications?

When you have a construction project, there is normally a job specification book. This is where you will find the job specifications for most every construction trade. It is where the metal decking specifications are located.

Metal decking specifications are a set list of requirements that the architect has specified for the project.

Below is an example of a typical Metal Decking Specification:


What Items Can Be Found In The Metal Decking Specifications?

Job specifications vary from job to job, but the types of information provided are pretty similar across the board. Most metal decking specifications will provide the following types of information:

  1. Specification for the steel
    1. Normally the classification of the steel is ASTM A653 SS
  2. Submittals
    1. Submittal requirements
    2. Shop drawing requirements.
    3. Quality Control submittal requirements
  3. Delivery, storage, and handling of material
  4. Approved manufacturers of metal decking material.
  5. The profile type of metal decking along with the required gauge (thickness of the metal decking).
  6. The finish of the metal decking will usually be listed.
    1. Most common finishes are either Galvanized G60, G90, or on rare occasions it can call for G165.
    2. On some jobs the metal decking may be prime painted either on bare metal decking or over galvanized metal decking.
  7. Welding requirements
    1. Description of required electrodes for puddle welds and effective fusion area.
    2. Description of seam welds and minimum length
    3. Type of welding inspection
    4. Qualifications for welders.
    5. Welding procedures
  8. Installation Requirements
    1. Number of minimum spans of the metal decking over the steel beams per sheet.
    2. Closure plates and accessories
    3. Temporary shoring if required.

The above list is what is typically found on metal decking specifications, but they do vary.


Where Are The Metal Decking Specifications Located?

Metal decking specifications are found within the job specification book. They are typically found in Section #53100. However on occasion they are in a different numbered section. The best thing to do is first look for section 53100 or 5310, if that doesn’t work then you can look at the table of contents within the job specification book.


What Should You Do When You Locate The Metal Decking Specifications?

The most important thing to do when you find the metal decking specification section is to carefully read through it from beginning to the end. It is imperative to read through and understand them, these specifications are requirements, not suggestions. If you don’t read through them and end up ordering the wrong metal decking or installing the metal decking incorrectly, it can end up costing you money. You may be forced to rip off what you installed and redo it per the specification. Even if you think something doesn’t make sense you shouldn’t disregard it, as you will probably be required to do what the specification calls for.


Excluding Items On Metal Decking Specifications

If you do not want to perform certain items in the metal decking specification you should exclude the item in your written bid.

If you end up getting awarded a subcontract, you should make sure that the items which were excluded in your bid are listed as excluded in your subcontract.

REMEMBER that as a subcontractor your written bid only applies to any exclusions or changes if they are incorporated into the subcontract.


Changing a Metal Decking Specification

Occasionally during the bidding process, you as a subcontractor may want to try and get the metal decking specifications changed. If the architect makes a change to the specifications the bid date of the project may also need to be extended. This is done to accommodate the additional time it would take to prepare a bid, however minor changes would not normally affect the bid date.

If trying to get a metal decking specification changed after you have already been awarded the job, the process to have something changed is slightly different. You could try to go directly to the architect or structural engineer to have them make the change. However, if they are unavailable then you would need to start with the general contractor, who would reach out to either the architect or structural engineer to have the change approved.

The main reasons that a specification might be changed are as follows:

  1. Specified type of metal decking is not available in a section of the country.
  2. The type of metal decking specified is an obvious error and should be changed.
  3. Lead time for some items may be too long and not line up with the construction schedule.
  4. A sidelap connection may be specified that is not compatible with the type of metal decking designed.

If you are able to have a specification changed, you always want to make sure that you get it in writing. This is your proof in case an inspector notices that what you have done is different then what was originally called out for in the metal decking specification. You will be able to show whomever that the specification change was approved. If you don’t have proof that the change was approved and whoever approved the change has forgotten or is no longer with the company, then you may be forced to stop work on the project. In some cases you may end up having to redo the metal decking installation per the original specification. This can end up costing money in wasted material and labor.


Need Help With A Metal Decking Specification?

At Western Metal Deck we have helped our customers during the bidding process and after they have been awarded the job. When they have had to supply an item that had a long lead time or no longer existed, our sales team was able to offer them alternatives and supply them with paperwork to submit to try and get a specification changed.

If you are new to bidding metal decking jobs check out: How to Bid a Metal Decking Job to Make a Profit and if you need to submit shop drawings and aren’t familiar with what they are check out: What are Metal Decking Shop Drawings? Definition and Details

We are also able to offer you a quote for shop drawings and material

Request A Quote


Visit the metal deck learning center today!

Visit the metal deck learning channel today!

About Robert Rubio

Robert Rubio is the President of Western Deck & Steel Erection. He has been in the steel construction industry since 1970 and is a Journeyman Local 433 Iron Worker.