First thing I don't understand: if these folks want to put a deck on the back of the house, the ledger beam (the main support for the deck, a 2x12 that bolts to the house onto which the deck joists are attached) is interfered with by four appurtenances.
Home inspectors call objects that pass through walls that service other things, like the furnace vent, hose bib and two vent covers above APPURTENANCES.
There is only one place to put that ledger beam. It must be attached in a way that meets codes, meaning many through bolts into the house, in a W pattern. The deck structure is attached to it and has to accommodate all that stuff!
Another deck support beam could be built there instead of attaching the deck to the house, but that would set the deck out from the house a few inches and in my opinion that looks goofy.
Second thing I don't understand: the ONLY basement window is under the door. So, if, instead of a deck, these folks wanted to put in a patio and not deal with all those appurtenances, how can stairs be placed to not interfere with that window?
If a deck is there, this window provides very little lightification to the room (that's my word) and concrete stairs would cover it completely.
Third thing I don't understand: the exhaust for the furnace vents right onto or under the deck. Look at its height! The top of the plastic bell is higher than the top of where the decking would be. The deck will have to accommodate that, and that'll be perty fer sher, and the plastic is vulnerable to being stepped on. And the bell is too high to extend the exhaust to the far edge of the deck because it's too high.
Fourth thing I don't understand: it'll be really easy and fun to get to that hose bib! And wrapping the hose will be just as fun, and very good looking.
Fifth thing I don't understand: those two vents. One is a bathroom, which is marginally okay, but it still needs to deal with the deck. The other is for the dryer. This is no fun all around. It's covered with a grate and will be oh so fun to keep clean!
Sixth thing I don't understand: I think, well hope anyway, that the black drain tile (that black plastic tube) is intended to drain a window well. But the way the house is situated on the lot means that the grading will cover a large portion of the bottom of that window. So basement lightification will be restricted by the window well material even if no deck is ever placed there!
Seventh thing I don't understand: why anyone would design this? Did an architect design it? The supervisor decide that this is how all those appurtenances would be handled? Is this how all the homes are built by this builder? Is this the first house with such a "design?" If so, am I the first to point this out? No one else sees these problems in advance as I have? Ummmm...
I have a solution. A zip line attached to the rear door could wing the homeowners into the back yard to a platform built 30' from the door. What better way to get into the yard! Hey, that's certainly as well thought out as everything above! Personally I'd love it!
My recommendation: you have to think in advance. This sort of thing would have been caught had I seen the plans for the house before this was built. This design would be a problem no matter the elevation, if the future deck was high or low. These buyers are being left a problem! This is NOT a Golden Rule circumstance. And get a pre-drywall inspection!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560