This "GORGEOUS INSIDE AND OUT!" house is a flip and the seller has stated firmly that he had "done so much to the house [he] won't fix anything found on the home inspection." To me, that's like painting yourself into a corner. DO YOU WANT TO SELL THE HOUSE? But I digress.
There were a few things I had to mention to my clients! Well, many "few!" For example, this post shows one example of how not to support a deck.
On this house, the flipper retained the original posts, joists and ledger beam (the board attached to the house) and added the rest in new lumber. That's usually a huge mistake. Codes and requirement change!
Depending on where you live, there are various ways that local jurisdictional authorities want to see decks founded.
The two most important things that create structure for a deck are (1) how the posts are founded and (2) the deck's attachment to the house. Codes on both of those things, everywhere I know anyway, are very specific. AND CHANGE ALL THE TIME!
In my county, where this house is located, either the far left on the left diagram or the third from the left on the above diagram is approved. My decks, for which I pulled a county permit to construct, are founded like the latter.
The bottom of the hole must be 24" deep and the posts no smaller than 6x6", pressure treated for ground contact. There is no deviation allowed for either of those things.
I can assure you that when the bottom of a post is damaged or rotting and has to be replaced, that this is NOT an appropriate way to do it!
Can you see how the post is resting on a piece of 2x6" plank, which apparently began sinking.
So, what to do about the sinking?
Do you see the creative addition below? Yes, that is apparently an aid. Remember, this flipper said he has done enough and will do no more to this house!
Here is his solution to the sinking! Yep, it's nailed too!
While impressively strong, HAD THIS FLIPPER BOTHERED TO GET A PERMIT FOR ANYTHING THAT HE DID TO THIS HOUSE, this may not have slipped by the county's attention.
There were so many things on this deck that are incorrect I won't bother to mention them all.
Suffice it to say that I would not go up the staircase off photo to the left...
My recommendation: my clients, and their agent, had been all around the outside of this house twice before making their offer. This was never noticed! You might want to consider getting a home inspector even when the house is advertised as "gorgeous inside and out." Just a thought...
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560