Deck Repair Gone Awry!- Del Mar Home Inspection

By
Home Inspector with Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula

Deck Repair Gone Awry!- Del Mar Home Inspection


Often, by the time I'm called in to perform a home inspection, the subject house has already been inspected by a termite company. Such was the case at this Del Mar, CA home. The previous owner had not kept up on the home's maintenance and there was extensive exterior wood repair and replacement to be done.

 

When I finished my home inspection, my clients had a rather lengthy list of necessary repairs to be done. They were mainly concerned with two items in my report. One was the rat-infested attic area. Numerous trees were growing next to the home allowing the rodents to enter. After further evaluation, it was determined that the attic insulation was so full of rat droppings, urine, and dead carcasses, it would have to be completely removed. The seller agreed to the request. The insulation was removed, the attic area was sanitized, and blown-in cellulose insulation was installed.

 

The other item of concern was the master bedroom deck. It was a cantilever deck, meaning there were no posts supporting the deck. (The floor joists protrude beyond the exterior wall of the home and provide support for the deck.) As you can imagine, the structural soundness of these joists is extremely important with a cantilever deck. When I did my inspection, it was noted that the deck had dry rot in many of it's components.

 

 

 

Now, let's fast forward three weeks later when I received a call from my clients. The termite company was completing repairs to the dry-rotted wood in the deck and my client's final walk-through had been scheduled. They asked if I would return to the property and inspect the deck and some of the other repairs that had been done. I was able to make it back to the property a few days later and was surprised to find the contractors still working on the deck. As it turned out, I'm glad they were still there.

 

There are certain rules to be followed when it comes to notching joists, especially cantilever deck joists. When repairing the dry-rot in several of the joists, the contractor had begun to cut the top edges of the joists off almost the entire length of the cantilevered section. A filler piece was then nailed into place and they were preparing to reinstall the deck boards.

 

 

 

 

See the problem here? What were once 2x8 joists were now 2x6 joists! Cantilever deck joists are engineered components and cannot not be modified without engineering approval. This deck will no longer be able to hold the weight load it was originally designed for! Serious injury and death occur every year from collapsing decks. Extreme caution should be taken whenever repairs or modifications are made to structural components of your home!

 

 

 

 

 

Deck Repair Gone Awry!- Del Mar Home Inspection:  Steve Stenros is the owner of First Choice Inspections and is a CREIA MCI inspector. Clients receive a FREE lifetime appliance RecallChek with every standard home inspection. Appointments can be obtained by calling 888-335-3040.


close

Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lisa Wetzel 06/05/2011 03:49 PM
  2. Dan Edward Phillips 06/06/2011 03:17 AM
  3. Dan Edward Phillips 10/16/2011 09:07 PM
Topic:
Home Buying
Location:
California San Diego County Del Mar
Groups:
Active Rain Newbies
Realtors®
Blogging & SEO
Posts to Localism
San Diego, CA Real Estate Agents
Tags:
deck
del mar home inspection

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
512,581
Lisa Wetzel
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Carson City, NV
CDPE, SFR carsonvalleyland.com
Yikes! It is so important to understand what we are dealing with in a home purchase! What a great post! Thanks so much for sharing it and for bringing these items to light! It's very interesting to find out exactly what can and does happen to residential structures! Great Job!
Jun 05, 2011 03:48 PM #1
Rainmaker
708,988
Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips - Eureka, CA
Realtor and Broker/Owner

Good evening Steve, excellent photos.  Keeping the trees and shrubs away from the home is critical.  A licensed contractor in California should have known better on the deck!

Jun 05, 2011 05:13 PM #2
Rainmaker
131,675
Steve Hall
RE/MAX United - San Marcos, CA
Make the Call to Hankins and Hall

Steve - Were they able to make correct repairs to the deck.  I suspect that new floor joists would be a very expensive fix.

Jun 06, 2011 08:07 AM #3
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Lisa & Dan: From what I have seen, many inspection concerns are not properly repaired. I always recommend having "qualified licensed contractors" do all repairs.

Steve: I don't know what the final outcome was. The exposed joists may all have to be doubled, although an engineer would have to determine that. If new joists are necessary, they could be looking at a costly mistake!

Jun 06, 2011 08:31 AM #4
Rainmaker
705,604
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
Very good information. I would have been scared to step on that deck even if it had been repaired, especially since from a layman's point of view, there's no visible means of support. Have to check out your other blogs. You provide very, very good insight. Thanks!
Jun 16, 2011 07:57 PM #5
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Pacita: Thanks. Now they have a diving board! I see some members have their latest blogs listed in their signature- that's a great idea!

Jun 17, 2011 02:25 AM #6
Rainmaker
787,449
Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

Steve, amazing how such a simple repair, done incorrectly (and cheaply) can cause a buyer to be unhappy. Here in NE FL, we see wood rot quite a bit, and it tends to show up on garage door jambs, which can be treated in the way the deck in your post was; they are not supporting any weight.

Oct 16, 2011 11:44 PM #7
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Hi Carol. I'll bet you do see a great deal of deteriorated wood with all that moisture! Of course, rotten wood in a deck can be much more dangerous than rotten wood in a garage door jamb. Thanks for your comment!

Oct 17, 2011 06:45 AM #8
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
137,399

Steve Stenros

CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego
I welcome your home-related questions!
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information