Friday, February 14, 2014

Things to look out for when building a Deck, Porch or Patio | Greater Charlotte, NC. A Charlotte area builder explains what one homeowner went through and shows you how you can avoid some of these pitfalls!

A Charlotte, NC homeowner hired an inspector to look at their deck / porch because they were concerned that it may not be safe.  They were also considering selling their home and felt that the deck may be an issue that they would have to deal with prior to selling.  The inspector informed them of multiple problems.

The following list states some of the issues these homeowner's were facing with their existing deck:

  1. The Posts supporting the deck were only 4x6 and code requires 6x6's in this case.
  2. The Ledger Board securing the deck to the house was notched out so that the deck was barely secured to the house and ready for collapse at any moment.
  3. Flashing was not properly installed where the deck connected to the house and water was penetrating the wall and getting into the home causing damage inside.  The homeowner had to have the Sheetrock, Trim, and Insulation removed and redone.
  4. There were no footings under the Deck Supporting Posts.
  5. The deck stairs were not properly built and were structurally dangerous.
  6. The deck was not properly secured to the posts making it susceptible to collapse.
Charlotte, NC Deck Project by Southern Home Improvement / Porch-Life



This picture is the porch & patio area during demolition, redesign and rebuild.  You can see the poor design issue of having 2 sets of stairs.  The homeowners were constantly going down one set of stairs and right back up the other.

Charlotte, NC Deck Project by Southern Home Improvement / Porch-Life




4x6 deck posts where used and code requires 6x6 in this case.  You can not see from here...but we found that there were no footings under any of the supporting posts!

Charlotte, NC Deck Project by Southern Home Improvement / Porch-Life 








These are the ledger boards that were removed.  They were used to attach the deck to the house.  The bolts that the builder used were too short so instead of getting the right bolts they notched out the wood leaving only a thread of wood holding the deck to the house!  Yikes!!!

Charlotte, NC Deck Project by Southern Home Improvement / Porch-Life



Poorly Built stairs.  The builder used 2x10's for the stair stringers making these stairs unsafe and susceptible to collapse.  We replaced them with 2x12's.  Also the 4x4 lateral bracing was improperly secured to the posts

Charlotte, NC Deck Project by Southern Home Improvement / Porch-Life


Here we are cutting out the concrete to remove the old posts.  We discovered that there were no footings under the deck posts!  Yikes!









You may be surprised to hear that this poorly built deck was constructed on a home valued at over $500,000. The homeowners contacted Southern Home Improvement / Porch-Life  of Greater Charlotte, NC for help. 

There were two things we wanted to do for this family in redesigning and rebuilding the deck:

  1.  Make the deck more functional for the homeowners. 

    The second floor deck had two sets of stairs and we advised doing away with one set of stairs and building a cat-walk between the driveway / sun room level and the deck. The homeowners were very happy with this recommendation because they said they were tired of going down the stairs and right back up the other set of stairs to get to their deck.
  2. We offered solutions to remedy all the building code and safety issues of their existing deck / porch. 

    The homeowners were anxious to get this fixed and hired Southern Home Improvement / Porch-Life to do this project. In less than a week we had aesthetically changed the appearance of their back yard, functionally transformed their outdoor living space and they now have a deck porch that is safe for their family and friends to enjoy.

    Deck Project by Southern Home Improvement / Porch-Life Charlotte, NC





    Completed Deck prior to staining and painting.

    Charlotte, NC Deck Project by Southern Home Improvement / Porch-Life

View of Deck at first floor level.  The homeowners also requested the 4' privacy wall you see.











The following is the Porch-Life builder's review from the homeowner which was posted on Angie's List upon completion of the job: 

"Brian and team executed the job flawlessly.  I'm in the commercial real estate industry with responsibility for facilities and project management.  I'm very hands on and particular about the way projects are executed.  Brian was very patient, took time to answer my questions (there were many), and let me be part of the process.  The quality of the craftsmanship was top notch.  The test is in the details, and those were done well. I plan on using SHI for my next large home improvement project."
                                                                                                        ~ Michael F., Charlotte, NC

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