Deck construction

Originally Posted By: mpatton
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The deck in this picture is relatively new, the picture lacks the clarity for you to see the construction clearly but take a look and see what you think.


The deck is approximately 16' x 16' the joist are running parallel to the house and so are the support members, one is visible in the picture another of the same is not visible at the outer edge of the deck.![](upload://7lvTHNaA4zGYRgRRCFUP4uCa6c1.jpeg)


--
Michael Patton
AA Home Inspection
Serving Northern KY & Greater Cincinnati OH

AA@AAHomeInspection.net
www.AAHomeInspection.net

Originally Posted By: ecrofutt
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Hey Mike,


Long time no hear from. Hope to see you next Thursday Night at the KREIA meeting in Louisville. Details at www.kreia.org.

You're right, you can't see to many details, but I would've preferred to see a ledger cut into the support post.

Found a two story deck a couple of weeks ago that was just nailed to the house and sagging to boot. Seller's sure don't like it when you call out stuff like that, do they?


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Erby Crofutt
B4U Close Home Inspections
Georgetown, Kentucky

www.b4uclose.com

Originally Posted By: jdigiacomo
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Joists are running the wrong way. Take joist system off turn 90 degrees. Lower support system and reattach. Suggest contractor look at and fix.


Originally Posted By: rwills
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Mike, That looks quite odd to me, I agree with Joseph about the joists! The hangers are usually mounted to the ledger which should be bolted to the structure. Hard to see but are those support posts bolted to one of the joists?



Bob Wills - MAB Chairman


BW Inspection Services


Warminster, Pa.


http://www.bwinspections.com

Originally Posted By: rmoore
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I think my main concern would be that the rim joists are attached to the “beams” using joist hangers but the stress is in the opposite direction than the hangers are designed for. Certainly odd construction…I can only guess they were trying to save headroom at the beams or, more likely, just didn’t know what they were doing.



Richard Moore


Rest Assured Inspection Services


Seattle, WA


www.rainspect.com

Originally Posted By: rwills
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Also, are those the only support posts? if so it appears the deck is cantilevered too far, don’t quote me but I believe there is a 2’ max



Bob Wills - MAB Chairman


BW Inspection Services


Warminster, Pa.


http://www.bwinspections.com

Originally Posted By: roconnor
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rmoore wrote:
I think my main concern would be that the rim joists are attached to the "beams" using joist hangers but the stress is in the opposite direction than the hangers are designed for.

I agree ... good call! That rim joist may be undersized as a beam too. And I would be concerned about the attachment of that rim "beam" to the house, since each joist isn't connected to a ledger. thats a lot of lateral load on just two member connections. Plus I don't see any lateral bracing, but perhaps its on the outer posts (e.g. knee braces).

I would recommend an engineer take a look at that ... doesn't appear to be something that would be a simple fix.


--
Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
Eagle Eye Inspections ?
NACHI Education Committee

I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong

Originally Posted By: dvalley
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Michael,


By the looks of your pic, there's not much hardware securing that deck to the ledger area. A good wind will rip that deck right off the side of the building. Not good. ![](upload://7GiJHa9oLOP2YGWNNJqyitFikFi.gif)

I've had two situations similar to this install and both decks swayed back & forth as I tossed my weight around atop the deck. I informed my clients to have the deck evaluated and corrected.

Also, those support posts need to be nothed for a doubled floor joist bearing....Not lagged to a single floor joist.

That isn?t cantilevered, is it?


--
David Valley
MAB Member

Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections
http://www.masscertified.com

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

Originally Posted By: mpatton
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I thought this would make a good topic. Looks like everyone had the same consciences that I had and no this is not cantilevered.


icon_smile.gif



Michael Patton


AA Home Inspection


Serving Northern KY & Greater Cincinnati OH


AA@AAHomeInspection.net
www.AAHomeInspection.net

Originally Posted By: jdigiacomo
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Mike P.you said the joists and support members are running parallel. No good. Never any good.


Rich M. I’m with you on the didn’t know what they were doing.


Bob O. under size of lumber is a tough call since we do not know what size or spacing lumber is. I would not panic and call an engineer, but I agree there is no simple fix…deck must come down and be reconstructed by qualified contractor. No one should be allowed on this deck. Lucky this structure has not failed yet.


Originally Posted By: hgordon
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I agree guys! Have you ever heard the expression, “folding deck of cards”?


Did the seller say that it was installed by a contractor or did they do it themselves?

I would call out:

"Safety Concern: The rear deck appears to have been improperly installed. Consult with a qualified contractor as to the stability of the deck. Follow contractors plan for repair or removal."

I always say appears as I am the inspector, not a contractor or engineer.

By the way, if done by a licensed contractor would permits be required in your area for this work?


--
Harvey Gordon
SE Florida NACHI Chapter - President
hgordon@fl.nachi.org

Originally Posted By: rmoore
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Making a LOT of asumptions that all else (spans, ledger, etc) was OK, I actually think this deck could be saved. Even though I have built a bunch of decks (not in this manner icon_biggrin.gif), this is more info than I would offer an inspection client. For them, recommending a qualified professional is the only safe answer. I just offer this solution for comment.





--
Richard Moore
Rest Assured Inspection Services
Seattle, WA
www.rainspect.com

Originally Posted By: dvalley
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There can't be no more than six or eight nails installed at the ledger area. (or in this situation) at the two outside rim joists. It's not possible with this configuration.

This is definitely an accident waiting to happen.


--
David Valley
MAB Member

Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections
http://www.masscertified.com

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

Originally Posted By: jrice
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MPatton,


I know we are not supposed to get into suggesting fixes for the problems we uncover, but IMHO this could be fixed with little effort. Add three more posts up against the house, then run 2x12 up against the bottom of the joists, running out from the house attached to the posts(2- 2x12 on each post). Now the entire structure sits on a new frame that can support the structure. Add some cross bracing to limit swaying and the deck should be stable. Of course the headroom under the deck would change, but the additional bracing would not affect the entry/exit through the door.


Jeff


Originally Posted By: rmoore
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David…


Excellent point...and conceded.

Did I mention where I moved the entire house 90 degrees and blocked off all access to the deck? ![icon_wink.gif](upload://ssT9V5t45yjlgXqiFRXL04eXtqw.gif)


--
Richard Moore
Rest Assured Inspection Services
Seattle, WA
www.rainspect.com

Originally Posted By: roconnor
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jdigiacomo wrote:
I agree there is no simple fix ... deck must come down and be reconstructed by qualified contractor.

Be very careful there ... that would be an evaluation which could put you on a VERY slippery slope ... ![icon_wink.gif](upload://ssT9V5t45yjlgXqiFRXL04eXtqw.gif)

hgordon wrote:
"Safety Concern: The rear deck appears to have been improperly installed. Consult with a qualified contractor as to the stability of the deck. Follow contractors plan for repair or removal."

Actually state laws and codes do not allow a contractor to make that call or prepare designs/plans.

We were discussing the recommendation issue in another topic too. Just trying to help you guys avoid a potentially slippery slope since I am also an engineer ... ![icon_wink.gif](upload://ssT9V5t45yjlgXqiFRXL04eXtqw.gif)


--
Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
Eagle Eye Inspections ?
NACHI Education Committee

I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong

Originally Posted By: Guest
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Bob O. - Thanks, I agree. However I feel that a reputable contractor would secure a permit and get it inspected as required by local inspector. This does not look like that was done here. I have designed and built additions and complete homes with no engineer seal or involvement, and all done legally. Like I said you are right Bob, watch what we say as HIs, and I would not have told client it has to come down…even though my gut instinct tells me that would be the most cost effective and professional thing to do (that’s what I would suggest if I were called out to do fix as GC).


Originally Posted By: jdigiacomo
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Sorry that was me (Guest), didn’t log in.


Originally Posted By: hgordon
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Quote:
Actually state laws and codes do not allow a contractor to make that call or prepare designs/plans.


OK, then:

"Safety Concern: The rear deck appears to have been improperly installed. Consult with a structural engineer as to the stability of the deck. Follow engineers plan for repair or removal."

I am simply stating that the HI should not try to "explain" or devise a plan by which it should be repaired. In many cases HI's go too far...we have to remember that although the HI who has a previous background in a particular system/field may want to "show off their knowledge" or in the case of the "unexperienced newbie" trying to "add meat to the report", we can in many cases do a disservice to the HI field.

Our job is to Report Visual Deficiencies. Items that are there that should not be there, and items that are not there that should be there.

Harvey[/quote]


--
Harvey Gordon
SE Florida NACHI Chapter - President
hgordon@fl.nachi.org

Originally Posted By: roconnor
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… Some areas didn’t have any real code requirements or enforcement, which was a serious problem sometimes. Actually things just changed for you guys in PA with the enactment of a statewide building code … take a look at what it says … icon_wink.gif


Some states have allowances for small/simple structures without a seal/design if they are done in accordance with very prescriptive provisions of the code, and the AHJ checks/inspects everything ... but most states, don't allow that.

Other than that it is actually against state laws for anyone other than a PE or RA evaluate or design buildings and other structures, even if it gets by or is allowed by the local official.

So just be careful there ... ![icon_wink.gif](upload://ssT9V5t45yjlgXqiFRXL04eXtqw.gif)

Harvey ... I agree. Even if I am wearing the HI hat, I would only "Observe & Report" ... unless I am getting paid more to do more as a PE ...


--
Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
Eagle Eye Inspections ?
NACHI Education Committee

I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong