wooden decks (posted by phil page)

[ASKNACHI]This question was posted on AskNACHI.org by phil page (from lima ohio). [/ASKNACHI] the best way to inspect a wooden deck

Understand first how they are supposed to be built.

Download THIS and study it.

85% of the decks I inspect have some very serious concerns with them .
I just looked at the picture on the one above and this one to me is an accident waiting to happen .
The bench around the out side says to little people Climb me .
Next thing over the rail goes a small child .
This scares me big time . I find most decks incorrectly built .

Roy, are you saying the deck pictured doesn’t meet code?

I do not do code inspections I do safety inspections.
If it a hazard I write it up CRA all the time .
Cover Roys A$$.
Do you think it is OK or is it a safety hazard …Cookie

Most decks I see are wrong No hangers ,If hangers screws in stead of Nails Incorrect spindal gap 2*4 for hand rails and lattace work for barrier it just goes on.

Roy, I write up all safety concerns I find. I inform the client. It’s up to him to decide if it’s important to him.

In WI we are required to report any material defects.
The deck construction pictured would not fall into that category IMHO.

Anyone else?

Have you guys ever heard that it is improper to use pressure treated wood as the surface on a deck?
Someone told me this but wanted clarification, something about the chemicals can make you sick.???

The previous version of Green treated had arsenic in the preservative and was not to be used for thing like picnic table and other surfaces that food would be on.


I had heard all sorts of things most are wrong . I do understand the New copper pressure treated does eat nail screws and Hangers . There was talk of Using stainless.
I understand we will soon have a new pressure treated wood available For got the product but understand it is non toxic last great and does not eat the hardware.
The down side ( if this is a down side ) is that it does not change the color of the wood .
How as Inspectors can we know if it is pressure treated on not.

Great info Thanks guys

Here’s more info from the US EPA on CCA and it’s alternatives.


Is the Billboard necessary?

LOL sorry I should have done a thumnail…
but scroll over to the right side (joists) you’ll see…

O.K. I give up. How does the floor stay up?

My thoughts too!
FYI:This is a 3yr old home. Sellers agent was sitting on the porch when I arrived. She said “feels kind of spongy…?..”
The owner asked if I thought another buyers inspector would find that too.
I said im sure they would.

Wow I thought my desk was going to collapse for a sceond there with the whole deck sitting on it.

“The guardrail shall not be less than 36 inches in height.”

Seems the bench effectively lowers the guardrail height to less than 36".

See this

Look at figure no. 7

***Figure 7. *Railings need be no higher behind a bench than anywhere else, but a bench alone cannot serve as a guardrail.


I still think its a safety hazard.

Interesting also to note that directly above that picture they state,
"The guards are to be constructed with infill rails or balusters no more than 4 inches apart. "

Yet the picture shows no balusters.