According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, two million decks are built and replaced each year in the U.S. Of these, only 40% are deemed safe and would pass a safety inspection. While a deck can add tremendous visual value and functionality, you should be certain that it adheres to the most strict safety regulations. The following deck building mistakes can compromise the structure’s stability and increase the odds of a collapse.
1. Stairs With Open Risers
Risers are the vertical boards below the steps. Some homeowners like the look of the open space below the steps. However, stairs without covered risers are more prone to collapse. They also increase the risk of foot injuries as one ascends the stairs.
2. Not Sealing the Wood Deck
Wood is an organic material, meaning it will rot and warp with the passage of time. Wooden deck floors will deteriorate more rapidly than sealed wood. Wood deck staining and sealing also helps with aesthetic appearances and prevents that “worn out” look associated with dilapidated and abandoned homes.
3. Not Utilizing Joist Hangers
Nails alone are not enough to keep the beams and support in place. Joist hangers are a vital element for maintaining a deck’s reinforced connections and support.
4. Using Undersized Footing
Footings are similar to a table’s legs. The footing provides a solid base/foundation for the deck. Undersized or uneven posts can lead to warping, sagging, or a total collapse.
5. Failing to Install Flashing
A deck not built to resist water and moisture is bound to fail sooner than later. Water that falls onto the deck can make its way to the point where the deck and house come together. Properly installed flashing helps prevent wood erosion caused by excess moisture exposure.
Contact a Professional Builder to Prevent Deck Building Mistakes
Most fencing and roofing services also provide deck construction and rebuilding. Even if you pride yourself on being a construction DIYer, it’s still best to outsource the work to a professional deck builder in Snohomish. At Allied Construction, we ensure that your deck complies with local building codes; give us a call at (425) 276-7415 to avoid preventable deck building mistakes.
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