Deck Collapse Injures 14 in North Carolina

More aging decks will collapse if not inspected.

I wonder if that’s a misquote? It’s hard to believe a deck built in 85 would meet current building requirements.

Especially if it collapsed because of deteriorated nails.

Not a misquote at all, I remember how decks were built back in the 80’s and any inspections done on the structure on a yearly basis by someone that knows what he is looking at, would discover that some of the components of the deck need repair.

They call it preventive maintenance.

Chris, I think he meant to say that it met current codes for that time period.
Needless to say, nothing last for ever without repairs.

Yes, that’s what I was thinking, current codes at that time, 1985. One reason I never use that term, may have met code at time of, unless I include it is failing now and doesn’t meet current standards.

But you are definitely right nothing lasts forever, especially decks.

It is unfortunate for the people that got hurt due to an owner that believes his property will last for years without upgrade or repairs. $ is the only thing some people look at.

Thanks Mike, didn’t realize I forgot the link.

Linas, I wonder if someone was held accountable for this mishap?

I don’t recall anyone being held accountable but they addopted new deck building codes.

You should see what is up in the Smoky Mountains at rental cabins I get cussed out all the time on inspections .

Better description of the deck on this report:

"Preliminary findings reveal the floor joists and fasteners failed to hold the deck together, Emerald Island Town Manager Frank Rush said today. The fasteners may have deteriorated over time, Rush said.

The house was built in the 1980s, Rush said, adding that if the structure was built today, it would be constructed in a similar manor.

According to Emerald Isle officials, members of a family – ranging in ages from 5 to 94 – were on a deck overlooking the ocean preparing to take a family photo shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday when the structure collapsed. Rush said Saturday was to be the last night of the family’s trip.

Emerald Isle Fire Chief Bill Walker said the deck itself gave way and collapsed inward, while the pilings holding up the deck remained upright.

The deck was about 14 feet off the ground, officials said today."

Notice how all the floor joists (running parrallel to the house) dropped out in the one section of deck.

The city ought to be sued for such lousy building standards!

A friend of mine has made many dollars ($XXX,XXX) inspecting this very scenario marketing to HOA’s and Property Management Firms for the same reason as listed in this article.

There are no Municipal Requirements for Re-Inspections.

It is up to the HOA’s to be proactive in their periodic re-inspection policies to limit their Liability when a scenario such as this occurs…

As a Business

  • Identify the Community and Property Management Association
  • Research the average age of the properties.
  • Research the number of units…
    do the Math…
    It can be a quite profitable Business Proposal for firms specialized in these type of inspections…

Before you can cite the Standard as Deficient, you would have to know the applicable Municipal standard at the time of construction.

The Deck is cited as 30 Years Old.
There are many avenues of potential Liability here and not exclusive to the Municipality

The articles I read quoted someone as saying that the decks would have met existing code.

It wasn’t clear from that statement wether they meant current code or code existing at the time of construction.

Either way the one photo shows deficient construction. Not being a lawyer I can’t even begin to assess liability.

One article also repeated a munincipal official as saying that they were not permitted to inspect the decks. Again this may have meant they didn’t have the legal authority or the proper credentials/skills. (they don’t teach writing anymore, do they)

Either way that is a deficiency of government who is just too lazy or too cheap to inspect vacation (tourist dollars) homes.

I disagree…
It is the responsibility of the Homeowner to maintain their property and/or suffer the consequences.

More Government and/or suggestion that the Government is somehow responsible for Negligent Landlords only leads to more Negligence and Irresponsibility.

You are ignoring the fact that these are rental properties. The people that suffered in this situation were vacationing renters.

Do you think they should have inspected the deck before they moved in for their week?

The landlord could have maintained the property to the standards that he was aware of (not being a builder, what would they be? looks good, positive cash flow).

It is up to the local munincipality to insure there are adequate building safety codes and that they are enforced.

Or perhaps you think all businesses (rental property) will behave ethically without legal standards. Or maybe, builders should just build without engineers or designs or maybe you think everyone should be a builder.

I’m all for less government regulation at the federal level. That means local and state governments have to pick up some of the slack. Along the way I would hope that the general populace could participate in government in a more active and thoughtful way.

You can’t hold a home-owner (landlord) to standards he is neither aware of or could possibly imagine.