What I'm Seeing Now

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Small Dips Sink Ships, Um, Decks...

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.

Call now...

 

 

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 22 commentsJay Markanich • October 07 2011 06:17AM

Comments

Jay, Just when you think you've seen it all, along comes something completely different :)

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) almost 9 years ago

Hey, Bliz, how many times have I said that!?  And watch how many home inspectors comment who say the same thing!

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

If it swayed with just one person on it I wonder how it would do with let's say 5 average people with average weight?

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) almost 9 years ago

Obvoiusly, James, they would not have to rent a Moon Bounce for the kids at the next family reunion.   ;>)

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

Good morning, Jay. I see these quite often around here. They are what they are, write them up, tell the buyer and get on with life. But then, it does beat muddy feet. The red clay in this area and yours can be a real you know what...

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

And that clay is quite the terrific support for a deck, as you know Michael!

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

Oh no.  Not good.  floating floors are okay, but floating decks?  And, it only took one person walking on it to have that impact.

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

I felt like I was on a boat Debbie!  How fun though!

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

Jay, our posts are similar in a way today :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

That's because of Croakster's new background!

Thanks to you that is...  connection...

Now I check yours.

 

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

Jay,

Decks are a HI's best friend we will always have something to say abut them ; )

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

Well, Don, this was sure was interesting, to say the very least!  I could squeeze another few posts out of it, but totally bore everyone!

But when was the last time you saw a brand new one resting on the ground! 

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

Jay -- were those beams that were resting on the ground even pressure treated?  Doesn't look like in the pictures.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) almost 9 years ago

Yes, they are, Steven, but it doesn't matter.  They will still move!  Imagine the next polka on that deck!

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

How exactly do frogs feel about ducks---Quackers wants to know?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Well, when frogs are small the ducks are quite dangerous, as Quackers knows.  In fact, small frogs are quite the delicacy for ducks, as large frogs (the legs really) are a delicacy to humans.

Croakster's eyes got real wide when I asked him.  He wants to know what's up?

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

Tell him I am just looking for some nice legs :)

 

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Careful, they might make you quack up when you take flight.

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

There's only two answers to the question" Why?'

The 'builder' either does not know how, or he was too cheap/lazy to do it right.

Most of the materials were already there.

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

Flippers all Robert.  There were many, many things on this house just a unprofessional.

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

At least that deck wasn't 25' in the air like some I have found....  ;)

Posted by Stephen Stanczyk, Home Inspector - Puyallup WA (Safe Haven Home Inspections) almost 9 years ago

I know Steve!  Some are so loose and high that if they broke off they would fly somewhere like a squirrel.

Did you see my new group?  http://activerain.com/groups/bestpractices

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

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