One of the first things new homeowners do the day they move into their new home is to have pizza delivered. After all, who has any energy left to cook and who can find the cookware anyway.
The next big event at the home is the housewarming party. The one the homeowner holds for all their friends, family and of course their favorite home inspector—-to show off your new digs.
Having been invited as the “honored home inspector” at such events on more than one occasion, I have to wonder how many of these parties end on less than a happy note, or even in tragedy, as the back deck collapses under more weight than it has ever seen before.
I know what can happen when decks are not built properly—-and many are not built properly—-often by weekend warriors that “think” they know what they are doing.
Inadequately bolted (or not bolted) ledgers, rotten supports, lack of diagonal bracing, inadequate lateral bracing, improper stairs, inadequate barriers and other conditions can result in falls and spilled beer. Either way—this is not the type of party to be at, as the honored inspector, when the deck fails. I would not even want to hear about it collapsing later if I was not there.
As a result, I come down hard on a lot of deck installations—-I am not about to be embarrassed at the party—-and wish that I could take back all those business cards.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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