Could anyone confirm this decks lack of structural support please?

I’m looking for confirmation of my suspicions regarding the lack of support for this deck, as well as the way it ties into the house.


Hi Wendy. If you are talking about a railing, if the deck surface is no greater than a certain distance from the ground, you do not need a railing. In my area, that is 24"".

Hi to all,

Wendy, without knowing a lot more about the structure it is hard to say whether that was properly engineered or not, firstly was the house built like that or is it an addition? If that is original is the deck cantilevered from the floor joists? What is the support for the 2nd storey deck posts? are they supported by the first floor deck and if so was that deck engineered for the anticipated live and dead loads.

Generaly I would expect to see some diagonal bracing of the deck supports, my gut feel is that it is an addition, and probably done without permiting/inspection.



It is 30" around here.

What do you see as unstable or insecure?


That T111 siding is way to close to the deck, I bet the bottom of that siding will rot if it isn’t doing so allready.

Plus after taking a second look at the picture I cannot see enough support for the deck edge on the ground floor, for that span I would expect to see a post every 8ft or so dependent on the size of the timbers



It is hard to say without more info but the ledger could be spaced away from the siding as is commonly recommended for drainage. But you’re right, I really don’t like T-111 around water/snow.

Again hard to say without seeing more but the beam could be back some and posts not visible and the joists cantilevered.

Just some thoughts…what was there?

Okay, I meant to have everyone look at not only the patio, but the deck up above. Doesn’t it need cross bracing and all? And yes, it’s an addition. The deck is as well, and looking under the patio slightly you can see a huge gaping crack in the concrete. It almost looks like they tried to hide. That was built right before selling the property.

doesn’t it snow out there. is it acceptable practice to not have a step down to the deck so the snow doesn’t (1) ice up the door and (2) melt back into the house?

the upper deck might have enough diaphram bracing to not require diagonal. also, if the posts are going through the lower deck and are fastened to the joists in addition to piers, then that would also stiffen up the upper deck.

regardless of the code, the lack of railing is a safety concern, especially since jumping (or apparently sliding on the rain) is the only way off the deck into the yard. lack of steps is a safety concern.

and i agree that the other issues to look for include how the decks are attached and flashed to the house and the spacing & span of the joists (the end/rim joist should be doubled up)

You’ll love the issues with the deck and how it is (or isn’t) attached to the house…oh, and the posts aren’t running through the patio below.




Crack I was referring to and the siding…



Irregular risers is a trip/safety hazard also.

There is so much wrong with this house it’s sad. It’s even more sad that they had an inspection done and the inspector didn’t call out anything, and wrote down acceptable for anything he mentioned in the report. Which was mostly the name of the stove, washer/dryer, etc…

The railings nailed to the outside of the deck is another issue, as well as the fact that not all of them are nailed even and push out under pressure.

How much did your SPI Sub cost you Wendy?

Btw, I’m just frothing at the mouth to link you to this whole “George” thing. You may not be George, but if I find out you’ve done similar things, like talk to realtors about me…

It wasn’t a guy named George was it ?


Then how did you cover the WDO Issues such as earth to wood contact in your HI Report without violating the NACHI SOP/COE or the WSDA Laws?

If your report mentioned that, it needs a WSDA ICN, if it didn’t it doesn’t follow the SOP, if doesn’t matter what the client says they may do in regards to hiring another inspector, if they don’t it could leave you hanging in the wind and liable for any WDO damage that the buyer finds later.

Just make something up then, you’re good at that.

Lewis. Why don’t you explain to the WSDA why you don’t have proof that I’ve done anything wrong. Not only do you not have a report, but you neglected to tell them that I disclosed to my client everything I would not be able to report.