New Construction Inspection and Deck Piers

I did an inspection on a new build yesterday. Basement poured step foundation on the side of a “mountain hill.” All nice with 12 inch poured walls. Double deck, one above the other, frame constructed as it should be.

Problem I felt is the poured support piers were insufficient in diameter as opposed to the beam size supporting two decks and the centering of the beams. The support beams are 8x8 resting on a 10" diameter poured pier and off centered at that. I recommended further evaluation to determine the integrity of the piers and offset placement of the beams.

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That sounds appropriate, Tom.

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Good call Thomas, I would have called that out to for an SE to evaluate. Those piers not knowing how deep they are and on a hillside like that would concern me. Hell, the dam things are not even the same height and sticking out of the ground like toothpicks.
The lateral stability of the piers is questionable considering any possibility of erosion from rain water in the future.

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I agree with the statements made here, you made the right call, that steep hill looks unstable, at least from here.

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If they were all the same height It surely would help the situation. I bet the foundation crew thought they would be backfilled more when they were poured or they just didn’t give a crap since they were sippin shine when the mud arrived. LOL
Since there is no way for you to determine how deep they are, what kind of rebar is or isn’t in them, you made a good call Thomas. :+1:

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I agree with that, as well as a SE review of the original design plans.

I don’t know if it’s the way the picture was taken, but this sure looks like random heights from the angle of the picture. Maybe they should have started over.

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Blind picture

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It’s a good call. I doubt it but maybe they have drill logs for depth and pre-pour pictures.

It would drive me nuts to see that at my house.

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That is a sad visualization of today’s builder quality. :flushed:

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Bigfoot is the way to go. Frost will not pull the tube out of the ground.

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Nice how they’re all centered too.

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Unless they are not below frost levels. LOL
When I was a kid, we used to put old oil around sonotubes so the frost did not bond to the paper and lift them up. Not recommended in this day and age. LOL

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Did that work? I cannot imagine how effective that would be.

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Actually, it did. Did not do that for very long though. I think people started realizing that it was bad for water wells and the environment.

Interesting indeed, the frostline here is about 3feet, how deep did you guys go if not below the frostline?

Frostline where I was brought up in Madawaska, Maine can be 6-8" deep.
So anything you put in the ground should be 8’ plus a footing.

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I hope they did a better job on the rest of the house, what a mess. Good call .

Actually the foundation and the framing were done really well. The deck piers were really the only thing I pointed out to the client along with possibly the addition diagonal bracing being added to at least the main support beams of the lower level deck. Double deck spanning the back side of the house with a small covered overhang on the top deck. Lot of wood and weight. Plus the upper deck being 45 to 50 feet above the ground prior to the steep slope afterwards…

Some more pics.

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