Don't Trim Those Toe Nails!

Reblogger Maureen McCabe
Real Estate Agent with HER Realtors

 

OK... I just could not resist that title.  Jay is one of the most entertaining home inspectors on the ActiveRain real estate network.

Jay's "Don't Trim Those Toe Nails!"  is not about a pedicure...  Jay has some valid advice about decks for home buyers, home sellers...  and home maintenance for homeowners. 

While "code" and minimum standards vary across the US, good construction is good construction. Bad construction is...   Many decks in Central Ohio have issues... look carefully.    Thanks to Jay Markanich in northern Virginia for allowing his "Toe Nails" post to be Re-Blogged.

 

Original content by Jay Markanich 3380-000723

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 the VERY FINE paint job, this is a huge problem.

Sure, the deck is only 4' high.  Do you want to fall 4', land on top of a broken guardrail, and land at an angle you can't control?

Didn't think so...

Where do people end up when they go out onto a deck?

The guardrail!  They lean.  They put weight.  They ASSUME it's safe.

The code would like the guardrail to easily support about 200 pounds.  That is all well and good.  But often more than one person is leaning against the rail!  Remember, the code is a MINIMUM STANDARD!  And a well-attached, or properly-attached, post can support far more than 200 pounds.  How should deck posts be attached?

There are various ways.

They can be attached on the outside of a joist, or the inside.  Two can be attached surrounding a corner.

BUT ALL MUST BE ATTACHED WITH TWO THROUGH BOLTS THAT ARE SEPARATED FROM THE WOOD WITH LARGE WASHERS.

The bolts, washers and nuts should be of the same material that resists corrosion (stainless steel, galvanized or zinc dipped).  The most common would be galvanized.

Carriage bolts are not good bolts to use!

Why?

The round head is not wide enough and when the nut is tightened the round head actually gets sucked into the wood.  And the square end under the round head does not accept a washer.  Carriage bolt use was emphasized by the engineers at my recent Strong-Tie seminar.  Carriage bolts should not be used for post or beam attachment.

There are other criteria regarding guardrails that are important, but not the point here.

Proper attachment affords strength and safety.  Safety is always the bottom line.

My recommendation:  when you see a deck, have a look!  Feel its strength as you walk on it or carefully lean on the guardrail.  Check attachments.  How does it make you feel?  And get an inspector to have a look see should you put a contract on the house!  Decks COMMONLY have problems.  You want to know what they are!

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia

www.jaymarinspect.com

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
Home Improvement
Tags:
home maintenance

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
82,475
Ken and Leslye Huebsch
3x Individual Agent of the Year, Luxury Homes, First-Time Buyers, Residential Resales, New Construction - Harrisburg, PA
Realtors - Harrisburg Homes for Sale 717.514.1793

Great title! It captured my attention and made me want a pedicure! Ha! Seriously, a great re-blog.

Jun 04, 2011 05:15 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,477,608
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

I want a pedicure...

Jun 04, 2011 05:17 AM #2
Ambassador
1,240,851
Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Sun Lakes Realty - Banning, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning

That's what I thought when I saw the title. Made me think I need to go have one.

Jun 04, 2011 05:28 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,477,608
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

I was oddly moved to buy a cute little pedicure kit at the drugstore this afternoon....

Jun 04, 2011 10:44 AM #4
Rainmaker
3,195,354
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Maureen, that Title Cought my attention too, very funny, this proves it again if you got a catchy title people will at least look at your post....hopefully read it too:))

Jun 04, 2011 11:40 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,477,608
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

... and not cut their toe nails...

Jay is gifted.

Jun 05, 2011 01:34 AM #6
Ambassador
1,721,102
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

maureen,

you are right, it is very entertaining and very interesting. To the point that I read every sentence here, even though we do not deal with decks in selling condos.

Thanks for the reblog

Jun 05, 2011 05:32 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,477,608
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

I paid attention to decks yesterday... so no "toe nails."

Jun 05, 2011 06:02 AM #8
Anonymous
ugzoixntp
ZKlZYg afjoqwhjijsg
Aug 10, 2012 01:46 AM #9
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
1,477,608

Maureen McCabe

Columbus Ohio Real Estate
Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information