How To Perform Deck Inspections Video Course

Required reading:
After reading the material It is important to inspect for the current safety of the deck construction. It is necessary to pay attention to the post to footing, post to girder, joist to girder, deck to joist, and header to beam construction. Also, for child safety the measurements between the balusters, guardrail height, open riser height, and graspable handrails. Also check all mounting bolts, screws, nails and brackets.

Decks are not very common in my area so I do not have a picture and am unable to perform an inspection.

For the required reading I choose an article on deck receptacles. The information in the article was largely covered in the training videos. The next time I encounter a deck I will pay close attention to the presence of an outlet.

The first one to find the deficiencies wins a prize.

Deck stairs (behind Closeup)640x480.jpg

Deck Stairs (behind) 640x480.jpg

Deck stairs (close up underneath)640x480.jpg

I read “Deck receptacles”. As of 2005, the NEC required at least one outdoor receptacle in the front and in the rear of the house, not more than 6½ feet from the ground. This is due to 3300 fires per year and 4000 trip injuries due to extension cords.


Flagged the larger spaces in between boards and unsafe over lay of decking.


I inspected a deck (which I would not really qualify as an actual deck) that had been done completely wrong. It was unsafe to walk on and there were no railings for safety. I suggested a complete removal.

For extended reading I chose the Deck receptacle article. It reiterated what was said in the videos, which is great for keeping the most important facts in mind.
*The receptacle shall not be located more than 6½ feet (2m) above the balcony, deck or porch surface.
*Got it. Thanks

I inspected the deck at my sister’s house. The posts were notched and held firmly in place with carriage bolts. the balusters were properly cut on top with an angle away from the rail to insure water runoff. The wood was pressure treated 4x4’s for posts and 1x6 decking. No loose balusters or handrails. Hammer tested the lag bolts at the ledger board, solid.

photo showing rotten wood on deck stairs.
this is a defect and potential hazard


Just read the article on deck receptacles. Due to potential danger of extension cord use including overloading, short circuiting and a tripping hazard, it is now required to have one gfci weather proofed outlet on a deck over 20sqft.

I read article on Deck Receptacles. The 2008 revision in my opinion was unnecessary to me in a sense considering an accessible deck from inside the dwelling that is a recently constructed dwelling is already going to generally have a receptacle located outside the doorway.

In spection of Decks Course

inspecting this deck, i believe it is one of the 90 per cent that would fail.
the 4 by 4 posts are in the ground(no evidence of footer), the ledger board is nailed with 12 or 16 penny nails only into wood stud with masonite siding. no flashing . hand rails are square cut. The deck is showing wood rot from mostly water and poor construction






extra reading "decks: same line as videos plus. shows what to look for and the proper way to inspect decks concerning looks and design as well as for safety.

The use of treated 2x4’s instead of 4x4 post is a hazard in railing systems. As in the course refers, people tend to stand by the railing and leaning on this one with 2x4 supporting post would not support the pressure.

I just read the article on Ants. They differences between the winged male ants and termites are good to know. The ant has a narrower waist, elbowed antenna and smaller rear wings. Some good information on searching for hidden colonies.

Deck Receptacles

I just read the article on deck receptacles and was curious about what a “while-in–use cover” looked like. There is a picture but I wasn’t sure how it worked so here is another picture of the actual cover.




As you can see in this picture the bottom rail is not secured to the post. the post was notched but never anchored to the post. this a is very loose railing and is a safety hazard.

I have started to take the 120 hr course for Florida Home inspector . I choose to start with deck inspection since is the shortest one I have completed it but asks to perform a deck inspection I have no deck nor know of anyone house that has one ? so what can be done to continue ? thanks

thd course is very good Ben explains things clear and concise , illustrations are very good and technically sound in detail learned what to look for in a deck inspection .

Receptacles are required on front and rear of house as well as porches, decks, patios. The exception are homes built before the 2005 or 2008 codes came into effect or decks of 20 sq ft or less. The main reason for this is safety.
I don’t have a deck to photograph or report on at this time. Will post pic and report shortly.