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Argh: new deck is sagging.

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  • Mosca
    Charter Member
    • Oct 2014
    • 3710
    • PA
    • Large Big Green Egg, Weber Performer Deluxe, Weber Smokey Joe Silver, Maverick 732, DigiQ, and too much other stuff to mention.

    Argh: new deck is sagging.

    New as in 2 years old.

    The contractor had done some work for us before, and it was satisfactory. And he came with a decent recommendation, he did some remodeling for the owner of the business where I work. So since he'd mentioned to me before that he does decks, I called him to do ours. And when it was done, it looked great. But now, two years later... problems. So I called the Code Inspector for our county to come take a look.

    1) It was built without a permit.
    2) The siding was not removed.
    3) The deck is not lagged to the house... it is screwed into the siding.
    4) The span is too long for 2x8s, they are crowned now.
    5) The ring boards are not notched into the 4x4s.
    6) The deck is too big for 4x4s, they should have used 6x6s.
    7) The 4x4s are directly in the ground, and possibly don't go down the required 42" because they are pushed from the frost.
    8) There is no spacing on the deck boards, causing water to pond.
    9) Some joist brackets are for 8" joists, some are for 4" joists, some are for 2" joists. Some are nailed, and some are not.
    10) All the nails in the deck are steel; none are galvanized.
    11) The center beam of 3 boards is not lag bolted together, and the outer two boards are warping.
    12) "Not quality craftsmanship", a catchall for minor code violations that separately wouldn't rise to a failure to be approved, but taken as a whole would cause the Inspector to say "Hey, this is just too much."

    I'm not pissed really, because that's not my nature. My nature is to address problems rationally. Here in PA, contractors are required to be licensed, bonded, and insured; I looked up his license number and I have his insurance information. I've already spoken with him, and he's come out to the house and apologized and promised to make it right. I asked him if he had a building permit when he built it, and he answered, "I don't know, I'll have to check my records," which is, "No." Because you either always get one, or you didn't get one.

    His options come down to this: 1) give me my money back and file a liability claim with his insurance company, or 2) go to court and get ordered to give me my money back, probably lose his insurance and his license, and also have a complaint filed with the Attorney General's office and face charges of contractor fraud. Because there are only two reasons this deck got built the way it did. He is either incompetent, or he knew exactly what he was doing.

    The Code Inspector said the deck is safe to use for the rest of this year, but probably will fail in about two years due to the steel nails rusting.
    Last edited by Mosca; August 22, 2015, 08:07 PM.
  • Powersmoke_80
    Founding Member
    • Aug 2014
    • 886
    • Bay City, Michigan
    • Vintage Brinkmann Longhorn Offset Stick burner (newest addition)
      Weber 22 w/SnS
      Brinkmann Pellet Grill W/ Ortech TR-100
      Vermont Castings, gas
      Masterbuilt smoker, gas
      Future build, 80 gallon tank hybrid, pellet/stick burner
      iGrill black, dual probe thermometer
      Thermapen instant read
      Polder,Speed Read instant thermometer
      Favorite Beer, Yeungling Black&Tan

    #2
    That sucks, I hope you get this resolved by having it replaced.Just getting your money back and still having to pay to have it removed would just add to your grief.

    Comment

    • Mosca
      Charter Member
      • Oct 2014
      • 3710
      • PA
      • Large Big Green Egg, Weber Performer Deluxe, Weber Smokey Joe Silver, Maverick 732, DigiQ, and too much other stuff to mention.

      #3
      My thoughts are on what it would take to make us whole again. The original quote included removing an old deck. So a refund would include the cost to remove this one. On the other had, the old deck that was removed was solid, and this one is not. So the concept of being made whole could be interpreted to mean, back with a useable deck.

      Also worth considering is that we could get our money back from the bonding/insurance company, but to win more than that we would definitely have to go to court.

      Comment

      • Huskee
        Administrator
        • May 2014
        • 15420
        • central MI, USA
        • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

          Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

          Smokers / Grills
          • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
          • PBC
          • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
          • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
          • Dyna-Glo XL Premium dual chamber charcoal grill
          • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
          • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
          • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
          • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
          • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

          Thermometers
          • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
          • (7) Maverick ET-732s
          • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
          • (1) Smoke by ThermoWorks
          • (1) Signals by ThermoWorks
          • Thermapen MkII, orange
          • ThermoPop, yellow
          • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
          • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
          • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
          • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

          Accessories
          • Instant Pot 6qt
          • Anova Bluetooth SV
          • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
          • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
          • BBQ Dragon
          • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
          • Weber grill topper
          • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
          • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
          • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

          Beverages
          • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
          • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
          • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
          • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
          • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
          • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
          • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

          About me
          Real name: Aaron
          Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

          Occupation:
          • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

        #4
        Wow, sorry to hear of your troubles. Did he by chance have a new hiree or his 'nephew' or some such do the work...or was this sadly done as his incompetency or intent? I could possibly sympathize with one mistake being made....but soooo many on one relatively simple project (deck vs whole house) is interesting. It really sounds like the story of someone completely unskilled in construction and building codes being given power tools and lumber and told to "make something happen with all of this", more so than a contractor simply skipping things.

        I sure hope you get a fair resolution.

        Comment

        • Jon Solberg
          Former Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 4819

          #5
          Great way to handle it Mos. Keep us posted.

          Comment

          • Marauderer
            Founding Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 1471
            • Powder Springs, Georgia
            • [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_6496_1424176307798_786[/ATTACH] Barry
              Powder Springs, GA

              Weber S470 with smoker box and insulated custom cover
              RecTec w/grilling mat, front shelf, cover, Nomex Sealing Gasket, Hurd Downdraft Hood, Fuller's Earth,oversize wheels
              GMG Davy Crockett Wifi
              Blackstone 1575
              Seville Classics Rolling Workbench
              Grill Grates searing kit
              (2) Maverick ET-732
              Thermopen Classic w/glo case, Thermopop, Time Stick, Extra Big and Loud Timer, Chef Alarm
              Wine maker from kits, Merlot, Liebfraumilch, N.Z. Pinot Noir, and some other fuity tuity wines that are great with "Q"
              PickleMeister
              Pampered Chef Knives
              All Clad BD5
              Tyent Water Ionizer

              I want a "Stick Burner"!! Looking at Lang 36" Hybrid Deluxe. Either patio or trailer haven't made up my mind.

            #6
            Sorry to hear about your beck woes Mosca. Getting a good contractor in this day and age isn't easy at best. I hope all ends well for you.

            Comment

            • Mosca
              Charter Member
              • Oct 2014
              • 3710
              • PA
              • Large Big Green Egg, Weber Performer Deluxe, Weber Smokey Joe Silver, Maverick 732, DigiQ, and too much other stuff to mention.

              #7
              Some photos
              Last edited by Mosca; August 23, 2015, 11:16 AM.

              Comment

              • BruceB
                Founding Member
                • Aug 2014
                • 216
                • Des Moines WA
                • Grilla Silverbac Original -2020
                  aobosi Sous Vide device - 2019
                  Weber Original Kettle Premium 22" Copper - 2015
                  Pit Barrel Cooker - 2014 - retired Sept 2020
                  Brinkmann 4 burner gas grille (very old, stout, and still working well!)
                  Slow 'n' Sear for 22" kettle
                  Grill Grates for the gasser
                  CDN DSP-1 dual sensor probe therm
                  Maverick ET-732 therm
                  Thermapop digital therm (x2 red and white)
                  Thermapen - orange
                  Little Chief electric cold smoker (lots of salmon thru this!)

                #8
                Wow! That is some quality workmanship (NOT) ! I'm sorry to hear you have to deal with this.

                Two big questions -

                Did he use treated wood? Doesn't look like it in the pics.

                And who puts load-bearing posts directly into the ground?


                Living in the the very wet Pacific Northwest, we're all about keeping things from warping and rotting.

                Comment

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                Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

                SOLD OUT! Secure your spot on our waitlist now. First-come, first-served!
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