View Full Version : Second story deck support

Trent Tarter
08-23-2009, 08:16 AM
This place was built in 1900 and was rebuilt after a fire. This deck is very stable and solid when walked and jumped on. I am assuming that a support post was placed in the wall below the end post. The center support over the window looks very questionable.

Darin Redding
08-23-2009, 09:45 AM
Can you say water leak? Wind sheer as well as normal movement caused by walking on the deck is most certainly going to transfer down to the metal rods supporting? the deck and affect any moisture barrier? at the penetration point. Not sure how one would flash this, but this dog ain't gonna hunt IMO.

I'm sure when they rebuilt the house they calculated the added point load of the future deck above on the window and upsized the header accordingly...

Is the doubled up 2x10 even anchored into the house on the left side? Naw, just rest it on a 2x4, paint it the color of the house, and they'll never know the difference. Idiots. Also, I guess they left out that nail in the Simpson tie since the 4x4 was already split from the other ;). I would recommend an inspection from a SE as well as a roofer to CYA.

Markus Keller
08-23-2009, 10:33 AM
I would write that up as D&H (dangerous and hazardous). Under 'normal' conditions it will probably be Ok, with the husband and wife sipping coffee in the morning. However, you have no control over what 'normal' might be for the occupants. A party, a bunch of kids, deterioration from water corrosion over the next 6 months, etc.
The deck itself, probably Ok, if properly bolted to the house framing at the two walls. The 4x4 and pipe are clear danger flags that a DIY did the job. What kind of pretzel logic mind came up with that?
The post, pipe, beam set-up is the real danger point. Beyond that you don't know how the pipe is connected inside the wall. Based on what I am seeing, let's assume they drilled through the 2x4 top plate of the wall stuck the pipe through the hole will a couple washers and nuts and called it even.
As Darin mentioned, I'm also sure there's water going in those roof penetrations. The top plate gets soft from the water, the nuts start to ease through the top plate downward, the weight of a few people standing at the railing give it that extra push and down it goes. The people go over the railing and ...
"2nd floor rear deck is D&H. DO NOT use as constructed. This deck will fail. Recommend support structure for outside of deck be properly rebuilt by competent licensed carpenter. This work will likely require opening the roof and wall below to install proper support posts and flashings."
Your municipality may require permits and architectural plans for this type of deck.
Additionally, consider testing wall below for elevated moisture levels and mold.
SE report? Waste of time and money. If the seller claims its Ok, let them attest to it in writing.

Darin Redding
08-23-2009, 12:01 PM
I don't believe a sellers written statement would be worth the paper it is written on. Granted, an SE report would simply reinforce what we already know but I would still recommend it in my report. A new owner should be protected in a court of law from this POS if (when) it fails by having in their possession a previous sellers written report attesting to it's safety. Sure. Myself? I'd rather see a report from a competent, licensed & insured SE.

So you think under normal loads this would be ok? Maybe, maybe not. The dead load from the weight of the deck itself may exceed the structural capacity of the 1"? metal rod. Any SE's here???

Markus Keller
08-23-2009, 01:33 PM
SE report? Waste of time and money. If the seller claims its Ok, let them attest to it in writing.
My recommendation to get it in writing is only so the buyer can shove it to them when it fails.

Trent Tarter
08-23-2009, 02:01 PM
I went back this morning to take another look. I will be recommending a structural engineer.

Daniel Leung
08-23-2009, 02:14 PM
I went back this morning to take another look.
TT: Good attitude! You set up a good example to all home inspectors. I believe you are one of the best inspectors in your area.

John Kogel
08-24-2009, 09:12 AM
When I see supports like this, I say something like "I'm going to build a deck and support it on 2 bolts," shows how ridiculous that is.
Also with one more post, they could have spaced them either side of the window.
With proper supports and proper flashings, the next question:
How to replace those shingles, when the time comes? :)

wayne soper
08-24-2009, 09:30 AM
Those stell supports are meant to be set into concrete footings where there is no lateral movement. Not as support rods if there were such a thing. Looks like someone had a brain storm:D