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Old 01-27-2009, 07:36 PM
 
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My wife and I have found our dream house. It is in really good shape overall. In the back, it is 3 stories tall -- walkout basement, main level above, and top level. It has two decks -- one off the kitchen at the main level, and one a level higher (third story off the ground) off the master bedroom.

When I drove past it, I noticed the upper deck appears to be sagging slightly. The deck is made out of trex decking, not wood. The deck on the middle level does not appear to sag.

I'm wondering two things. How major is a sagging deck to repair? Second, could that be a sign of more serious settlement problems (given that the middle deck, directly below, does not seem to be sagging?

We are going to have a home inspection, but I'd like some thoughts in the meantime.
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,307 posts, read 37,533,238 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcats View Post
My wife and I have found our dream house. It is in really good shape overall. In the back, it is 3 stories tall -- walkout basement, main level above, and top level. It has two decks -- one off the kitchen at the main level, and one a level higher (third story off the ground) off the master bedroom.

When I drove past it, I noticed the upper deck appears to be sagging slightly. The deck is made out of trex decking, not wood. The deck on the middle level does not appear to sag.

I'm wondering two things. How major is a sagging deck to repair? Second, could that be a sign of more serious settlement problems (given that the middle deck, directly below, does not seem to be sagging?

We are going to have a home inspection, but I'd like some thoughts in the meantime.
That's interesting. I'm not a great structural diagnostician so I'll defer, but would it be possible for you to post a pic?
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:07 PM
 
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You can go here to the tour. The "backyard" picture shows the decks, but you can't see much of the sag. In general, it's not too major. Just a concern.

Obeo | Leading Virtual Home Tours Provider
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:12 PM
 
Location: WA
5,594 posts, read 23,735,709 times
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The structural support of the deck will be wood not trex. It is so new I would doubt it has water damage which can reduce the lateral strength of members, but having it inspected is the right thing to do.
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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Default Use some common sense

First make sure you do not have some sort of optical illusion.

It can happen, you stand at some angle, things appear to not be straight, level, plumb, etc. Can happen a lot if you are looking at objects overhead. Just go measure it on the deck with a 4 foot level. If it is sagging figure out by how much. Usually you can shim it or just forget about it, depending on the circumstances. If the deck below looks ok, doesn't sound right.

Do the same with all deck surfaces. You should know the story quickly. Forget inspections as the answer to all your problems. Use your own eyes and good senses, no middle man to spin the results. Use the real money to actually fix any problems found.

None of it is complicated, learn to be more hands on.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
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First thing I thought before I saw the pic is a pier is sinking. But it has Trex so it is obviously new and should have a proper footing by modern building standards and inspections.

Then I saw the pic and it's hard to tell from the angle but that top deck seems to have undersized dimensional joists. I can see that band joist looks to be 14' or more for a 2X10 or less, it's hard to tell. I dont have the load span charts in front of me but that joist looks to be quite undersized. Sure it will sag. Did this escape the building inspectors eyes? Hard to believe. Maybe the builder of the deck put the crown down. Crowned load bearing joists, girders and headers should face up. So maybe the whole thing is not sagging but maybe they put the band joist with the crown down. Dumbos.

I dont like nor do I trust Home Inspectors mainly cause they are deal killers as Realtors call them and secondly there is no such thing as one who knows more then me. Hire one who might have been an ex contractor might be your best bet. Make sure he is a member of ASHI.

By the way... I love the house and love the kitchen. Few here have ever heard me say that about some one elses kitchen. That is how I design with the multiple heights and depths. The whole thing is my style. Love it !
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:43 AM
 
Location: Apple Valley Calif
7,473 posts, read 22,056,344 times
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In pictures 11 and 22, it does appear the upper deck is sagging. That sag could be designd in.
A good home inspector should be able to give you an answer, but since that home represents considerable coin, you just might want to spend the extra and hire a structural engineer. That costs a few bucks, but you'll sleep better at night, with no costly surprises down the road...
Better safe than sorry. We purchased a new home once, only to later get involved in a "Defective Construction" lawsuit with the builder. That suit drug on for 16 years. Not something I would recommend if you wish to retain your sanity...!
Beautiful home, best of luck....
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,445 posts, read 48,007,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donn2390 View Post
In pictures 11 and 22, it does appear the upper deck is sagging. That sag could be designd in.
Is this a typo or are you trying to tell us you believe a flaw or a defect is designed in on purpose?
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:21 AM
 
3,020 posts, read 25,096,175 times
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Default Gitting real sophisticated

If I git real sophisticated and run a digital chalk line across the bottom and top of that beam I really don't find anything. Whatever it is, less than the width of them pixels. Still think it may be an optical illusion. I would forget about lawyers, inspectors and even engineers, get me a long level, step ladder go put boots on the ground and check that sucker, both top and bottom.

Can't be all bad if DesertSun likes the kitchen, he don't like nothing.

Can't be all that much to fix if there is a wee bow in there. What are you talking max??? If you can't measure it, you know nothing about it.

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Old 01-28-2009, 10:31 AM
 
Location: West, Southwest, East & Northeast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic View Post
Can't be all bad if DesertSun likes the kitchen, he don't like nothing.
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