What would you do with this deck joist hanger

Sunday I inspected this house with this deck. In my report I put “joist hangers are improperly installed, reducing their weight load capacity. Recommend further evaluation and correction by qualified contractor.” Sellers had a deck guy come look at it and said it was up to code and strong as could be. Now the buyers agent is pissed at me for bringing it up claiming that I caused a 20K alarm with her buyer. I always tell people that I will be over-zealous when it comes to decks.

As far as code goes, if we must go there, code requires that all fasteners be installed per manufacturers instructions, and since these are not, technically the deck is not up to code, right?

What would you have done?

It appears that the deck guy is not a qualified contractor. I would have done same as you.

I agree with you, it’s wrong. If majority of hangers are installed like this, and joist pulling out, or undercut, there’s a potentially serious situation.

From now on I would eliminate this “further evaluation” and just recommend repair/correction.

All are installed like this.

I would tell buyer to have deck guy put this in writing, with signature, “it was up to code and strong as could be”.

And license.

So the sellers had the same guy that they paid to build their deck come out to certify his own work and he found no problem with it - Imagine that!

I agree with Chris. Tell them it’s improper and should be corrected. Don’t invite them to get someone to come and refute your findings.

My goodness! There is a large gap too! In time it will settle and open up more. The nails, have little meat to grab. Partial joist hanger, no way.

You are correct but I would not have put in see red .
I would not get in a argument with the client ,
Just say sorry but I disagree with the Deck guy** I wonder what his qualifications are** .

Here is the response I received from the manufacturer of the joist hanger, taking into account both the excess gap at the top and the improper installation of the hanger:

“Assuming the Hanger is a JL210 and they used 10dx1-1/2 nails I would give them a 29% reduction in download = 1171.5lbs capacity @ 100%. In uplift I would have to give them a 25% reduction due to the gap = 825lbs capacity @ 160%”

Thanks for the upgrade , Please let us know if you get any replies .

Sounds like an agent you don’t want to work with anyway. You got it right.

Unreal for a Contractor to claim this is right.
The manufacturer is just more or less stating that it will not collapse the way it is installed.
Never the less it is still wrong and completely right on your part to point it out.
Dam, they used a 2"x8" in lieu of matching the joist for a ledger, the ledger is most likely attached to the wall wrong also, the ledger is installed over the siding, no flashing installed.
The guy who framed this should get fired.

Just saw this. My first response is, if all of the joists had that kind of gap, then there is a bigger problem going on? If so, there is excessive outward movement of the deck…not good and should be corrected. If only one joist was cut short…no big deal. Uplift loading on a deck is not a concern IMO. Down loading is weakened by this condition, and you should go with the manufacturer’s statement.

You know, I don’t care what contractors say. Decks are for entertaining. Very few people stand or sit completely still sipping tea. It isn’t until you see the group of high school seniors in their prom outfits falling and getting crushed or hurt that it puts everything into perspective. Screw the contractor, screw the agent. Protect your clients and give them the information they need to make an EDUCATED decision.

Considering all the fly by night contractors that don’t know how to build, I could not agree with you more Stephen.

With that picture explaining to “the Client” is easy.

Yup, way wrong as others have pointed out.
One thing I like about Md. real estate law is corrections/repairs called for in a home inspection report have to be evaluated/repaired by a “licensed contractor”.

You can’t have Uncle Bob or some half assed handyman come out and say it’s “ok”.

I built many decks and may have matched a 2x8 to a 2x10 ledger board but never once the other way around and always cut the joist tight to the ledger.

Looks stupid too.