Roof Top Deck Load

After inspecting this multi-level roof top deck with many issues, I would like to know if any information is available related to the amount of load placed on the roof structure. In my opinion, a typical residential roof was never designed to carry the dead and live loads associated with these large deck structures. There is no feasible method to even determine if the support posts are set directly on a roof rafter or truss. The amount of material weight bearing on the posts is considerable. I am certain this deck was constructed without permits. But, even when permits are obtained, is anyone considering the load factors?

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I wouldn’t spend anymore time on this.

Express your concerns about the shoddy work and recommend that structural engineer evaluate this construction method.

I think we both know what will happen.

P.S. All they have to do is add a hot tub to make the fiasco complete.

It looks like it isn’t the only one!

The added “structure” creates problems all the way down to the footings, which were certainly not designed for this addition. A recommendation for a Structural Engineer is definitely warranted in this case.

Can’t you access the attic?
The rafters must be sistered under the posts.

Looks like everyone in the neighborhood is doing it!
It must be OK then! :wink:



The roof top decks are very common in the city. It is amazing that a collapse has not occured. We are requesting an evaluation by a licensed structural engineer. i added a few more images, note the angle cuts on the posts!

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Looks like typical hack job carpentry. Likely DIY or maybe a handyman.

At 60# sf live plus dead load about 10#sf call it 70# times about 36 (just guessing SF from pics) I make it about 2520# on that end post. That a nice point load for any roof.

I concur that the call is definitely an engineer to evaluate and design a fix if it’s needed.

I’d call out the post connection as well since I think it’s a safe call it’s not engineered for the stresses.

Redneck construction fer sure… I have seen better decks on the top of RV’s at Charlotte Motor Speedway…dang!!!

They all got the same contractor with a group discount!! Contractor now lives in Florida;-) BEWARE


That is a really ugly deck, supports included. Add the too-big handrails and the gaps the kids could fall through in the railings,

It’s an accident looking for a place to happen.

Well, I received a message from the real estate agent today. This deck was constructed with a city permit and final inspected!! Plus, to apply for a roof top deck permit, engineered drawings are required. I will never be convinced this deck was engineered or inspected.

What code has the city adopted? That deck is a lawsuit waiting to happen.


Baltimore City is supposed to follow the IBC 2006 codes. I suspect this may have been a drive by city inspection, but I do not understand why the permit was even issued without required engineered drawings. Problem that may occur, the clients could interpet the city approved inspection as acceptable, therefore making my inspection findings appear to be too alarming. Fortunately in this case, the clients are moving forward with a structural engineering evaluation. I will post the engineer findings when available.

The local city inspector visited this property and declared the deck “safe”, no concern regarding the roof load. Amazing!!

I wonder if these kinds of problems are sometimes created by inadequate city budgets.
If case loads are too heavy, inspectors simply don’t have time to insepct everything thoroughly and the city doesn’t have the money to hire more inspectors, some work won’t be inspected very well.

Recommend more glue!
Must have been some inspector from around here who got caught and needed a new job…