deck guardrails: What Do You See Wrong Here? - 03/21/13 07:39 PM
So often we see things that are wrong, but maybe we don't know why.  Or we see one wrong thing but not another.  Yesterday Charlie Buell had a post about that very idea.
During the think about purchasing this house (a log cabin with lots and lots of problems) the family was divided.  The buyer's mother was vehemently opposed to her daughter buying it. 
After seeing this house, and talking with the neighbor's, I saw many things that were wrong and heard about more. 
So when my client arrived I asked her into my office. 
We sat on a rock together, … (19 comments)

deck guardrails: Carriage Bolts And Deck Attachments - Follow Up - 06/14/11 11:02 PM
A couple of weeks ago I had two posts about carriage bolts and deck attachments.  I had written Simpson Strong Tie with some questions as some information I received in a seminar was not completely understood.
In the seminar they had suggested that carriage bolts should not be used in deck attachments, particularly guardrail posts.  The reason, as I understood, was that the connection can weaken overtime as the wood shrinks, and when tightened they can be drawn into the wood, further weakening the attachment.
Yesterday I received a very kind, and long, phone call from a Simpson engineer.  He went … (27 comments)

deck guardrails: Don't Trim Those Toe Nails! - 06/03/11 12:35 AM
Toe nailing is a valid carpentry technique.  But for the most part it is a temporary tacking of one thing to another by nailing two things together at an angle.  Then proper attachment can be made.  Toe nailing is seldom, if ever, intended for long-term attachment or support with heavy material.
Walking around this deck, only about 4' high, I noticed that every single guardrail post had been toe nailed to the decking!
Don't trim those toe nails!
You can see how substantially attached that post is to the deck (he sarcastically notes).  Many wobbled a lot!  Rock on dude...
Despite … (54 comments)

deck guardrails: Deck Safety - Don't Trust What You DON'T See - 07/06/10 11:21 PM

This is a solidly-built deck.
It is properly and securely attached to the house.
The stair cases are well done, strong, straight and square.
There are lights at the top of the stairs and staircase.
The deck has been well sealed, not only against water but the sun's UV rays.
And the guardrail is securely through-bolted to a double joist and blocking is there to further add strength.  It is 36" high, as required.
But this deck is unsafe!  Not for what you see, but for what you DON'T see.
Why?
Two reasons:
1.  There are spaces in the guardrails … (55 comments)

deck guardrails: Deck Safety - Don't Trust What You See - 07/04/10 12:34 AM
We home inspectors have lots of message boards and ways to communicate with each other.  And we do!  We send around photos and report verbiage and ask advice of each other all the time.
Another thing we do is pass around photos of schlock work and we all laugh at some of the unbelievability of what we see!  But even we jaded home inspectors understand safety, and you should know that it is a big part of what we do.  Some of the things we report may seem innocuous and insignificant, like, "There is no anti-tip device installed behind the range," … (43 comments)

 
Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) Rainmaker large

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Bristow, VA

More about me…

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Address: Bristow VA 20136

Office: (703) 330-6388

Mobile: (703) 585-7560

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An experienced home inspector's look at current home inspection events and conditions along with his useful recommendations.


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