Deck Safety

Home Inspector

As the weather turns nicer, we're all going to spend a little more time out on the deck. But is it safe? Take a couple of minutes to look over the deck. Not only can it save you some money, but it could save your life. Instead of copying already great information, you can follow the the below link on how to inspect your deck.


or you can view a good video from The Today Show.


Why am I posting this now. Well not only is it great information to share, but I feel good knowing I may have just saved a life, or at least serious injury. Yesterday I inspected a house and everything was looking very good actually. The plumbing and electrical systems were outstanding. The roof, AC, HW heater and most appliacnes were new. The seller put a lot of money into this house. But the deck in the back was a total disaster! Insufficient and undersized support columns. Undersized joist hangers. Nails instead of lag screws or carriage bolts. No metal connertors anywhere. Railing swayed a good 6 inches (3 back and forth). Several of the support columns showed severe distress and were already fracturing/collapasing.

So I report this, and what do I get? Insulted, thats what I got. The listing agent called me an alarmist deal killer and told my client she shouldn't pay me and get a new inspector. Well without getting into the, um, discussion, my clients agent had with the listing agent, lets just say he was a few feet shorter.

Still in a huff, a contractor and Structural Engineer were called to show just how poor of a job I supposedly did. It took them maybe 30 seconds to say "I wouldn't even let my mother-in-law on that deck." They told the current owner he should not go on the deck until it's repaired or replaced either.

It's never fun when insults start flying for doing a good job. But it's a GREAT feeling when you do your job right and the people that count appreciate it.


BE SAFE! Inspect your deck!

Comments (3)

Patti A. Puckett
Broker Associate/Realtor/ISA with Nouveau Riche - Belvidere, IL

Not only the traditional deck that ones pictures ,on the other side of a walk-out ranch; BUT remember the roof top decks on the multi level tenement apartments and structures in the city. Ahh; well suburbs as well; but the point is that there are weight limits and some of these are old and in disrepair. There were several trajedies in the past few years on these type of decks.  Good stuff to remember  THANKS JOHN!

Jun 03, 2008 04:53 PM
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

Hard to believe you had an agent with that type of attitude. I hope you had a discussion with this persons broker... I know I would have.

Jun 03, 2008 11:11 PM
Baker Home Inspection and Commercial Properties Inspections
Baker Residential and Commercial Properties Inspections - Springfield, VT
Home and Commercial Properties Inspections Vermont

John, I was just hopping to find out you mighty had came back to your blog here.

Jul 11, 2013 08:49 PM