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