Ken, you have a point.
I think the answer will depend on the experience level of the inspector, engineers included.
A few missing nails in a joist hanger is no call for alarm and doesn’t require an engineering’s input to fix. Most wood construction can be assessed using basic span tables and manufacturer’s literature. Only unusual configurations or situation where the strength of the wood is compromised due to rot, notching, etc. would require referring to a contractor or engineer. As a side note inspectors should be more specific when specifying contractor or engineers. For example recommending a contractor with experience in constructing and/or repairing wood decks to meet current building codes. When specifying an engineer I would suggest recommending a civil or structural engineer with experience in structural wood design to meet current building code.
Randy Mayo, PE
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