Each year millions of homeowners are going to build decks and a large percentage of these home decks will prove to be dangerous. It might seem strange to think of your causal deck as an attractive nuisance, but these structures can be downright deadly.
There are many reasons for the ongoing problem with decks. Shoddy construction, weak foundations or poor building materials are some of the main factors that lead to accidents, injuries and death. A poorly built deck that is not ‘up to code’ might collapse when exposed to a small amount of weight. Incorrect placement of boards could contribute to falls. Shabbily constructed steps could create havoc when ordinary foot traffic is occurring.
Exposed nails, rotten boards, poorly maintained decks or incorrect brackets and fasteners have also been cited as reasons for personal injury lawsuits and claims against homeowner policies. A qualified deck builder can make sure that there are no problems with your home deck.
There are numerous codes and guidelines that govern the construction and performance of any deck. A typical outdoor deck that is attached to a private residence must be able to withstand its own weight. The deck must also be constructed so that it can withstand a load equal to 40 lbs/ sq ft.
Handrail height is another concern for building inspectors. Many decks are being built with inadequately constructed handrails. Railings that are too short (or too tall) offer little protection and security for those individuals who are using the steps attached to the deck.
Lag bolts and deck screws are often omitted by many novice builders. The use of nails can be less expensive, but nails are far weaker and more prone to stress failure. An experienced deck builder will choose the right materials for the job. Selecting the wrong type of fasteners can lead to total collapse of a seemingly sturdy deck. Serious injuries could result if there are people on top of the structure when the collapse occurs.
Decks can be highly desirable features that boost the value of a home. These structures provide functional outdoor space that can be shared by all family members. A deck can expand your living space by offering an outdoor retreat. Just be sure that there are no hidden dangers that may be lurking about. A reputable deck builder will be happy to inspect your existing decks; repair any structural problems; or create a new deck that you can safely enjoy for many years.
Deck Craft LLC
1063 Compass Road
Honey Brook, PA 19344
Phone: 610.273.3317 or 302.363.5153