A deck has to be one of the more sought after features in a home. Relaxing out on the deck on a nice morning enjoying your coffee is definitely one of life's simple pleasures. Unless the deck collapses, now it's a nightmare. Truly the likely hood of a deck falling while one or two people are on it is very slim, but put a group on a poorly supported deck and you greatly increase the odds. Either way there is no need to tempt fate.
Look at this large deck. Part of it is built on the ground and part off because of the slope of the yard. At the far end the surface is about 5 - 6 feet from grade level. I don't know about anyone else, but I wouldn't want to fall from that height. The house this deck is attached to has been totally renovated. In other words it's a flip.
As a Connecticut home inspector when ever I am told or learn that the house I'm inspecting is a flip, my inspection radar goes into super sensitive setting. A good majority of flips are done by inexperienced people and or cheap labor. Often inferior materials abound, but this house was more the exception in that department.
Except with the deck.
To be fair it was clear the deck was never originally built very well. The work that was done by the flippers was repairs, not new construction. But if your going to fix something, especially a deck where safety is a concern, would you do work like this?
The first support pictured is an example of more than a few others I found. What really gets me is the top shim is not pressure treated wood. The others were all the same!
The crown jewel, the piece de résistance, the biggest piece of crap of the lot is the last photo. Care for a game of Jenga anyone? Could anyone honestly believe that is okay?
These issues were just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The largest section I wrote up on the entire house was the deck.
My advice when looking at a deck, don't just look above also take a look below. You might find a few surprises.
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