Paraphrasing the famous World War II saying, "Loose lips sink ships," well, small dips sink ships, um, decks...
Coming around the backside of a flipped house I was asked to inspect, I saw this new deck.
When I see this I always look around it from a distance to see things like uniformity, level, composition, design, and the like.
Then it's time to swoop in for a closer look.
From the back I noticed a dip, from left to right, and when I walked on the deck it rolled gently under my weight.
One person making a deck sink is not a good sign.
I wondered how the deck was supported.
Is that a center beam? If so, it is illogically placed as the nails in the decking all line up with it, meaning that all the other joists underneath run in the same direction. The deck sagged and roiled as I walked along, and everywhere.
It wasn't long before I got my answer as to why!
The deck is merely resting on 2x6s which are resting on the ground! It is not attached to the house or to a single column underneath! At least the joists are toe nailed into the 2x6s!
IT IS A FLOATING DECK!
I have to say, I have never seen a deck merely resting on the ground. It wasn't hard to figure out as the under "support" is clearly visible. From the outside edges of the deck it is not easy to see as things are so close to the ground. But in that gap where the AC compressor is (too) tightly fitted into a slot makes it easy to see what is going on. How many of these "supports" resting on the ground is unknown - they are simply not visible.
That wasn't the only thing about this deck/roof that was going on. But pretty instructive! Permit anyone? Permit? Can I interest anyone in a permit? Didn't think so...
So, as people walk on this deck, it will sag and gently rock up and down to be easier on the feet.
My recommendation: if the MLS info indicates "remodeled," "renovated," "all new interior!", "brand new deck," "gorgeous inside!", well, be sure to have someone examine it carefully! I would suggest your local home inspector.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560