Tippie Toes

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

DECK STAIRS SHOULD BE SOLID AND NOT RESTING ON THEIR TIPPIE TOES!

Go up a stair case.  Do you feel more or less comfortable going up while on your whole foot or tip toes?
Go down a stair case.  Do you feel more or less comfortable going down while on your whole foot or heel?

Suspiciously, this deck installer thinks these deck stairs look and feel more comfortable on their TIPPIE TOES!

This reduces the structural integrity of these stair stringers DRAMATICALLY.  

Look carefully at the photo to the left.  That upper stringer is cracking. 

And peek at how well the lower stringer is attached to this landing!

And the quality of the nail job where the nails are not even penetrating into what they are intended to and are splitting the wood.

Splitting wood is not strong wood.

The stringers all over the deck were nailed like this.

SUCH AN INSTALLATION IS NOT STRONG!  OR PROFESSIONAL.

Unfortunately the other two stringers have even less surface resting on the landing.

Don't bring anything heavy up these stairs.  That includes two heavy people helping each other up the staircase!

Additionally, due to the excellent nailing job, the whole landing has moved.

The stair stringer above is at least resting (mostly) flush on the landing below it, but the entirety of the stringer is not on top of the landing!

Any more shifting, which is more likely than not, and it could shift off.

Deck construction really lacks in this area.

As I read home inspector posts nationwide, it seems to me, deck construction lacks pretty much everywhere!

My recommendation:  DECKS MUST BE PROPERLY CONSTRUCTED TO BEGIN WITH BECAUSE OVER TIME THEY MOVE, GET WEAKER, AND THE WOOD SHRINKS AND WARPS IF IT IS NOT WELL PROTECTED FROM THE SUN!  A deck that is nailed and those nails are relied on to be structural is not a safe deck.  It is not a professional deck.  When you see one it must be evaluated professionally and corrected.  A ballerina on her tippie toes is very elegant and pretty.  But not so for a stair stringer, however pretty the paint job!

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Comments 68 New Comment

Rainmaker
923,028
Lisa Von Domek
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!
Lisa Von Domek & Associates LLC, Real Estate Broker/Associate with Real Living Real Estate Group www.LisaVon.com

Yes, BRIGHT lipstick...poor little pig (LOL)

June 30, 2012 02:05 PM
Rainmaker
1,203,303
Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results
BuyersAgentPortland.com | (503) 810-7192 Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% of the Time

Good call on both stairs.  The left with the nails . . . nails??  Who uses nails these days??  I've seen a lot of professional jobs done with deck screws.  And the one of the right . . . absolutely scary.

June 30, 2012 04:38 PM
Rainmaker
1,168,340
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Lisa - the pig needed sunglasses.

Carla - there are proper hangers and techniques, that involve nails too, but overall this was loose and improperly measured!

July 01, 2012 03:45 AM
Rainmaker
203,168
Tom Bailey
Crystal Coast Realty & Home Services, LLC

Jay, that is a scary looking deck! As I told you last week since my friend died from falling from a broken rail I do not trust any of them. 

July 02, 2012 12:17 PM
Rainmaker
1,168,340
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

I believe you Tom.  It makes one think twice about leaning against the rail.

July 02, 2012 01:29 PM
Rainmaker
1,168,340

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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