Porch and Deck safety
Now that I have posted a few examples of badly constructed porches ,and decks have been mentioned here, do you know what the difference is between porches ,balconies and decks is?
A balcony has no support at all from the ground (no posts for support)and hangs off the structure.
I often refer to Chicago code since it at least on paper is tough and has good detail I can reference so according to local ordinance (and other national sites seem to back this up) the following is what makes Decks and porches different .
A porch is a roofed but unheated portion of a building that has stairs for entering and exiting a building and also a floor area separated from the principle building.
A deck is open with no roof and is used in conjunction with the building (meaning not just for exit and entry)
Also a deck can be attached to the building or it can be detached as in self supporting.
Admittedly there is a grey area between the two as many use their over sized porches for entertainment and think of them as decks.
If you are an Agent representing a client,a person looking for property, or already have a deck or porch and simply wish to feel safe ,it is a good idea to know what you are looking at.
A inspection either by yourself or a professional should be performed at least once a year.
I honestly think I can explain the basics here as it is not rocket science and there are many good checklists on the internet.
This past summer alone there were at least 100 injuries and a death.
These figures may go up as the United States has an estimated 40 million decks that are over 20 years old.
Many have the issue I mentioned in part one of using nails that in many cases are ready to give at the ledger board attachments and pull right off the structure.
Free standing or detached decks have their own set of issues such as poor footings and lack of cross members that keep the post in solid position.
Have no idea what I mean?
Do not worry cause as Chris Currins mentioned in his comment on my first post it all starts at the bottom.
My next part three will get into easy ways to understand these structures.
I love pictures and illustrations so do not get used to this all text post.
Please return and feel free to ask away .
I am not all knowing (just think I am) but with 190,000 plus Active Rain members at this point I think we can get an answer.:)