What I'm Seeing Now

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One Butt Ugly Deck!

Around our house, we are not supposed to use the word "butt."  We favor hiney, rear end, backside, well you know, other words.

But here, another word is entirely appropriate, because this is one butt ugly deck!

This is new construction!  This is a brand-new deck.  It was finished the day before this picture, and still had trash and broken glass on the top from other "repairs."  (By the way, any builder that leaves broken glass on a deck knowing that clients will be out there for a final inspection is not thinking.  Such actions leave one, like this inspector, to think they may just be lackadaisical in other areas as well.  They were!)

This deck has three posts.  Cross bracing is helpful to prevent side-to-side swaying.

But really only one cross brace would be needed, on the far right post, extending 45 degrees upward and to the left.

The lateral brace, from that far right post angling toward the house is unnecessary.

But look at this array!  Nothing is cut flush.  There is bracing everywhere.  And look at how they are attached!

Two pieces of scrap wood are nailed to the beam, and then the bracing is bolted thereon.  One bolt is too close to the edge.

How cute would that be to look at as you sit on your patio enjoying the air?

The left side of the deck is no different. 

Those cross braces are indeed bolted to the beam, but they are not flush to the beam.

And the rest of the cross bracing is just as beautiful as the right side.

With 45 degree cross bracing on the outside columns of the deck, that piece nailed to the underside is unnecessary.

And this is what you can't see in this photo!

The unnecessary lateral brace is simply nailed to a piece of scrap, which is itself nailed to a joist!

And look, there are a whole bunch of nails!  Ain't it all perty?

It is already coming loose.

It's been there for one day! 

This is one butt ugly deck!

And unprofessional to say the least.  Looking down the row of townhouses what do you know, the decks are all the same!  Wow, surprise, surprise, surprise!

My recommendation:  your clients deserve better than this.  Most buyers would look at this and in their naivete might think that since the builder did this it is appropriate, common and okay.  IT IS NOT!  Get a home inspector in there to look around.  And look around carefully!  This is the builder, after all...

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 72 commentsJay Markanich • August 04 2011 07:59AM

Comments

Interesting series you have going here, Jay. Loved the feature and these to follow-up. I am afraid I might not know it is a "butt-ugly" deck from beneath without your help. Broken glass is a clue....I'll now know what to look for. That is the great thing about our business....always learning something new. I like that! Thanks for a good series of posts!

Posted by Jeanean Gendron, Specializing in Selling Unique Properties (The Address Realty) about 9 years ago

As always.....For your protection-GET A HOME INSPECTION!

Posted by Faith LaRosse, Serving Berks, Chester & Montgomery Counties (Springer Realty Group) about 9 years ago

Good morning, Jay. Now you might have an ugly butt, but I have seen some nice tushes. But your right, shoddy workmanship...

Posted by Michael Thornton, Nashville Area - Photography & Videography (RadnorLake Video) about 9 years ago

Jeanean - I post something like this nearly every day!  It's a third world out there!  That's what a local county inspector told me when he asked my help by calling him when I see shoddy stuff!

Faith - well put!  And get a bull dog inspector!

Michael - my butt for sure isn't as ugly as that deck!  Or should I say tush.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Looks like this contractor hired some high school students who can't read.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) about 9 years ago

I'll bet these deck guys can't read, Ken, but also that they aren't high school students.  Unless, that is, they go to 7-11 High School.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

And if it hadn't been for your inspection, some unsuspecting buyer would have been oblivious to the problem. ~Captain Wayne~

Posted by Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School, Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor (Rowlett Real Estate School) about 9 years ago

That is a real shame, all the material and labor and it turning out such poor quality. IF you are going to do the job do it right or not at all!

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) about 9 years ago

Fer sher Cap'n!  That's the biggest reason to hire and inspector.  I will have a post tomorrow about some things most buyers don't know as regards inspections!

David - this guy probably thinks this job IS done right!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

This is really sloppy work.  and the fact that it's replicated in many homes is also quite sad.  So, I guess that means the neighbors are recommending this guy. Quite sad.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 9 years ago

Hi Jay,

This is why everyone needs to get jobs done inspected. The sad part is this guy may not know how to build anything the right way.

No one to tell him any thing different.

Sad but true,

Best Clint Mckie 

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) about 9 years ago

I think this is the builder's deck guy doing the same thing deck to deck Debbie.  This the the "builder's deck."

Clint - and then we hear, "But I've been doing it this way for years!"  Well, ugly work for years is worse!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Jay, I love those pivotal braces LOL! These guys were trying to be green and recycling their scrap, too funny! I'm hoping the owners got some money back!

Posted by Peg Barcelo, The FlufftasticStager from Summerland, BC (Fluff My House! Home Staging Inc. 250.486.6369) about 9 years ago

Don't know Peg!  I know my client realized what a piece of junk this deck is.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

A good demonstration of poor carpentry skills. The same material in knowledgable hands could have been beautifully executed with flush and 'let-in' bracing.

You didn't mention it but there is a complete lack (in the photos shown) of solid blocking or cross bracing in the joist framing. End nailing in the rim joists is not sufficient to prevent the roll over of the joist framing.

The best places for that (solid blocking or cross bracing) bracing is either mid span or over the beam.

Joist (or truss) roll over is often the initial phase of deck (or roof) collapse from weight loading or earthquake shock.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) about 9 years ago

Robert - mid-span blocking is not done here.  The only blocking on this deck was a single member behind the mid-span post.  They do that for guardrail strength.  If it is done at all...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Yikes! We've had fatalities here from truss and joist rollover. I'd be mentioning the lack of it if I were not seeing any. The physics is the same no matter where your are, so sooner or later a failure will happen.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) about 9 years ago

Robert - if proper cross bracing is applied, how will joists roll over?  There are joist hangers required on the ledger beam, so I am not sure the joists can twist.  I am trying to understand what you mean.  By blocking, do you mean perpendicular members from joist to joist?  And by roll over the falling sideways of the joists?

We might have a north/south language barrier going on!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

I heard the phrase joist roll-over last year for the first time and I must say it caught me off guard.  Your right about "butt ugly".  Hard to believe the contractor left it like that.

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) about 9 years ago

I don't know what it is either Jack.  Just trying to learn!  Every deck on every townhouse in that row looked like this one, minus the glass!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Jay,

I am afraid the days of the true carpenters are getting farther behind us. There are still few out there but they are not being replaced by many who really want to learn the craft.

But again we have our favorite subject "the deck" ; )

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Don - that is for sure.  Properly done things become a craft, and when that happens people introduce their own twists, good twists to be sure.  It's like musicians - first they learn how to play, then they develop their own style.  But carpenters these days?  Sheesh...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

How often do we hear, "If it's new, it must be good."

I learned a loooong time ago, when observing new deck construction to innocently ask the listing agent, "Nice new deck but I don't see the permit.  The owners must have removed it already.  Would you kindly send me a copy of the county permit sign-off."

How many times can you say, "The owner built the deck from a kit they purchased at Home Depot".  They didn't NEED a permit."

I'm not a builder, but I can often spot home-owner construction and it is never, never, never right and often downright unsafe.  If not unsafe, it will have a shortened life.  A red flag surely goes up when I see a couple of concrete blocks substituting for footers. 

Just show me the permit.  Of course, I know before even asking that they won't have one.  So, if the buyer really wants the house and is willing to make corrections after settlement, we can go forward, but the defective deck will affect the offer. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 9 years ago

This deck is a mess Lenn, AND builder built!  It looks like the other five in a row behind this bank of townhouses.  It is unfortunate.  What can they do at this point?  Clean it up and make it look like a pro did it.  Don said it right above.  Real carpenters are getting few and far between.

Oh, and you know how I feel about kit decks!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Jay, If this is the workmanship on the deck, what does that say about the structure of the home...much of which cannot be seen!
Love reading your posts and continuing to be educated

 Thank You!

Margaret

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) about 9 years ago

And thank you Margaret!  You are right, it says a lot, and what I cannot see bothers me a lot if what I can see is, um, deficient and unprofessional.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

I thought you were going to write that they had used a lot of butt joints when other types would have been the better choice.  Leave it to Jay to find the probelms.  :) 

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) about 9 years ago

If the builder builted. . the same carpentry skills were most likely followed and they are now hidden behind those walls. .

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) about 9 years ago

Jay.  In my recollection, few builders actually BUILD decks, other than town home rows where the deck is a standard feature.

Even a deck that is optional from a builder is often subcontracted out. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Judi - most of the joints on this deck were butt joints, but not in the context you mean!

Fernando - hopefully the deck guy and the framers were different people!

Lenn - I am sure these are contracted out, but since they are all the same they must be offered by the builder as a part of the package.  This was down in Dumfries, and lesser priced, if you know what I mean.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Jay...

When I was a carpenter som many years ago, we would "notch" for cross bracing to keep the brace from ever moving ... and it looked so much better too!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) about 9 years ago

Jay,

I think we are going to allow you to use the word "butt" in this for instance.  We are not going to tell on you!!

Posted by Cindy Edwards, CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677 (RE/MAX Checkmate) about 9 years ago

This looks like something I would do...and I have no skills whatsoever!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) about 9 years ago

I think I just ran into one of these types of decks at a townhome I sold.  I am representing the seller and she told me ALL THE DECKS WERE BUILT THE SAME!  UGH. .  . that doesn't make it right, now does it??!!   Thanks for your post.

Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) about 9 years ago

The builders are more comcerned with cost than quality.  I had a friend that sold homes for Ryan and he was always telling me how well they built their homes (yeah right).  That deck is a mess.

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) about 9 years ago

Wow...that is one great butt ugly looking deck. Was the crew drunk when they were building it or were the architect was durnk when he drew the plan?

Posted by Mike Yeo (3:16 team REALTY) about 9 years ago

Jay, looks like the bracing was done after the fact to keep the deck from falling over. Next!

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 9 years ago

Jay it almost looks like it is STILL under construction with no nice fit and finish to it.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 9 years ago

Jay - Not being a carpenter, even I can see this is a mess. wow! I commend you for even standing under this thing. Looks like a temporary fix that never got finished.. Scary stuff...

Posted by Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Christie's International Real Estate ) about 9 years ago

Home inspections are key. Cannot believe the builders did such a shoddy job! That blows me away.

Posted by Ben Blonder, Buyers, Sellers, Investors! (Broker/Owner, Keller Williams) about 9 years ago

Cowboy builders are great arent they ?!?!?!?

 

... nice highlight Jay !

Posted by Sheldon Neal, That British Agent Bergen County NJ (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) about 9 years ago

sometimes short cuts and savings cuts JUST DON'T CUT IT. Thanks for the post.

Posted by Susan Gaieski, Director for Social Media & Technology (Water Pointe Realty Group) about 9 years ago

Jay: These are the type of decks you see without lag screws in the ledger. When a deck collapses, people get hurt!

Posted by Steve Stenros, CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego (Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula) about 9 years ago

Yet another story that confirms my belief that you shoudl NEVER buy ANY home without a home inspection first!  New or old, for your protection get a home inspection!  Great post!

Posted by Sherri Berry, Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate (Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro) about 9 years ago

Sad, sad, sad.  Jay, our electrical company could have a crew that just repairs other contractors work.  We get that many calls.  Quality is an uncommon virtue in some sectors.  Thank goodness for home inspections!!

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) about 9 years ago

scary.... you're right... most buyers presume that new is good... but you've made a strong "well-braced" case for bringing the inspector to view it anyway.

Posted by Alan May, There's no place like home. (Jameson Sotheby's International Realty) about 9 years ago

Stress!  That deck looks awful!  Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Kerissa Payne, ABR, SRS, e-PRO, SRES (The Kerissa Payne Team at eXp Realty) about 9 years ago

Jay I just lost about an hours worth of writing an answer to you. I'll have to re-write it from scratch but I have an appointment soon so I'll have to get back to you later or tomorrow.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) about 9 years ago

Jay, GREAT title!  No way I passing this one up!  I always learn so much from home inspectors - you did a great job explaining the problems.  Even to my non-contractor eyes, this deck is a mess!

Posted by Melissa Brown, Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale (Helen Adams Realty) about 9 years ago

Notch Richard?  That's something a carpenter would do!

Cindy - when the shoe fits ...  I could have said monkey butt ugly.  What say?

Gary - and it's good you aren't building decks!  Unlike this guy...

Joy - no, it doesn't!  If they are all wrong, they are all wrong!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

It is Justin, and the same deck was put on the rear of all the townhouses in the row!  Same crap on each one.

Mike - it is a pretty standard plan.  I doubt an architect drew it up.  But the contractor sure didn't follow the real plan.

Hard to tell Michael.  A lot was added later, for sure.  Hence all the nails!

Gary - could very well be!  I'll let you know when it's done.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

L&R - when I was on top I didn't realize how bad it was!  Once I got underneath it was obvious how badly it was done.

Ben - it's gotten to the point where I expect this kind of thing.

This was sure a cowboy Sheldon.  Minus a few things though.

Susan - and that was very true here as well!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Steve - I didn't see this house pre-drywall, but lags are not approved here.  They must be through bolts.  I was unable to see them on this inspection though, from the inside.

Thanks Sherri, and I agree!  Get a bull dog with experience too.

Mike - that would not shock me at all!  I bet those guys would be busy day and night.

Alan - as you know, I typically have more problems on new houses than on old!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Kerissa - that deck is stress!  And stop by any time!

Robert - no need to spend all that time.  Just a diagram would be enough.

Melissa - I considered adding the word monkey to the title, but decided that might be over the top.  Or the under the bottom...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Thanks again sdfgw...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Hey, the whole world knows about incorrectly finished decks thanks to this post.

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) about 9 years ago

Picky picky... if you want to see a butt ugly deck, you should have seen my deck after the first time I stained it.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) about 9 years ago

Jay, the carpenter was only doing what his boss told him to do, use as much of the scrap as possible so that nothing would go to waste. Not one of the tradesmen was going to see it from where they lived.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) about 9 years ago

I wonder what they were smoking when they built this one? 

Posted by Don Barrett (Integrity Real Estate Services) about 9 years ago

Jury rigged. 

Right? That's what we call it. Jury rigged. And it makes me wonder what other part of the home are poorly put together. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) about 9 years ago

We call it Mickey Moused commonly, that was mickey moused. Very interesting.

Posted by James Sanson - Ranked in the TOP 1% of Arizona, Homes for sale in Maricopa AZ (Keller Williams Realty Phoenix) about 9 years ago

Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!! That IS one BUTT UGLY Deck!!! I can't believe that this builder is actually making a living on this shabby work!

Posted by Heather Russo, SRES , REALTOR, Kerrville, Texas Homes for Sale (Keller Williams Realty - Kerrville) about 9 years ago

Cheryl - or the whole world had it confirmed yet again!

Reubs - you GOTTA send a picture of that one.  My address is on my profile - blow it up and put it in a big tube!  Will it be suitable for framing?

Ed - you mean instead of taking the scrap home?

Don - likely something prohibited.  Let this be a lesson to all!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Joe - it is and you will!  There is more to follow...  But not today's post.

James - when I lived in South America I wanted to find out the word for Mickey Mouse, in the context you mention.  And everyone said, "infantíl."  That pretty much works here too!

Heather - well put.  I wonder sometimes also.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Jay, this is one thing the average buyer wouldn't even think to look at.  And another reason every home buyer should have a home inspection.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) about 9 years ago

Very true Chris, and this one's a mess!  Monkey butt ugly?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Unfortunately Jay, we can't draw diagrams here in this editor (or any that I know about).  

What I was talking about is cross bracing and solid blocking (also called cross bridging and solid bridging).

This is done at midspan or 8' intervals (along the length of the joists) and runs perpendicular to the joists. It consists of small pieces (2x2) or short pieces of joist size material nailed into the space between the joists to stiffen and brace the joists from lateral or roll over movement. (Keep your eye out for metal bar systems that were used in the 60s and 70s. They’re OK if they are still firmly attached. – no nails.)

For standard lumber stock (2" nominal, 1.5" actual), joists that exceed 10 to 12 feet in length (note-this is not the same as span) should have this bridging-blocking at the mid length position. This is the only way to absolutely prevent rollover failure.

Joist roll over failure occurs when the middle area and midspan zone of long joists deflect sideways due to loading or shock under load (earthquakes). The joists tip over sideways in one direction and then the load breaks the joists and the floor collapses. This also can occur in trusses and rafter systems.

Joist hangers and rim nailing or screw attachments at the ends can help but are not sufficient to prevent the roll over from occurring except in joist lengths of 8’ or less. The joist wood simply breaks at the hardware connections when rollover occurs.

Unfortunately this has occurred here in Quebec where a snow loaded truss roof system rolled over and caved in on an occupied building. There were multiple fatalities. The engineering report cited the rollover and collapse being caused by insufficient lateral bracing between the trusses. 

In floor and deck framing, that lateral bracing is the cross bracing and solid blocking. Decks have failed here this way but so far with out serious personal injury. (Visualize ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ fans all ‘jumping to the left’ in unison, on a deck without this detail. – From a framing perspective that constitutes ‘shock loading’.

Deck framing (rather than house floors) is more susceptible to rollover failure for three reasons;

1.    They are more likely to have been constructed by non-professionals who are unaware of the importance of this detail.

2.    Unlike house floor frames they are not contained or restrained on all sides by walls that could help prevent or limit any roll over movement.

3.    The ability of the joist to flex in the middle or deflect sideways under load is a function of its height to thickness dimension ratio. The nominal thickness standard is 2”. The actual thickness has decreased over time from 1-3/4” to 1-5/8” to 1.5”. However you can buy 1-1/4 stock and many ever budget conscious DIY builders, and low bid contractors, do just that. 1-3/8” is also common and nearly as flexible.

In this case flexible is not desirable, but good solid and safe decks can be build with these materials. But ‘to code’ is unsafe.

These builds have to be done with a full understanding of the first principles behind the code provisions. In other words the builders have to understand why these details are important, what difference the thinner stock makes and have the skill and knowhow to build well and safely with these materials.

As inspectors and real-estate professionals we have to be aware of the consequences of the absence of deck and other framing details. Be alerted by ‘new’ thinner dimensions and materials.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) about 9 years ago

That's what I thought it was Robert.  Your English, my English - we just use different words.  By a diagram, I meant just post one that describes what you mean.  You went to a lot of work!

Here blocking is only on the outside two joists.  And, when properly done, the outside joist is doubled.  Like in the diagram!

By creating that square it stiffens the joists enough so that guardrail posts don't rock and roll.

Of course, joist hangers would be used too.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

That's good Jay. Where do you find such diagrams? I know you could do it in Google Sketch-Up but that would take me weeks verses hours.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) about 9 years ago

See the water mark?  Decks dot com.

It's a thing we have here called Google.  You should look into it.

;>)

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

I deserved that! Must be tired. Cheers, RB

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) about 9 years ago

And despite it all, my Google stock has done great.

But they have images and stuff too.

That was a love tap.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

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