A Deck to Die For!

Every Spring/Summer the warmer weather brings flowers, grass cutting, cook outs, and, sadly, tragedy.  Deck failures and collapses kill friends and family (who else is going to be hanging out there) every year.  But, it doesn't have to be that way...

It all starts innocently enough...

A homeowner watches a DIY channel enough times, checks out a few YouTube videos, and then sleeps on the idea that they too can build a fully functional deck--saving thousands that would otherwise go to some overpriced, "know-it-all" contractor.  When they awake, they are suddenly endowed with the carpentry skills and engineering principles that would take mere mortals decades of hard lessons to learn.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you--"Harry," the self made handyman! 

The DIY challenge begins...

Harry draws up some plans, usually on college-ruled notebook or copier paper, stamps them with the coffee-cup stain--proving their authenticity, and then writes up his materials list.  Happy with his progress thus far, he then heads off to Home Depot to purchase the materials in his mid-sized car.  Quickly realizing that his Japanese princess and lumber aren't a good combination, he reluctantly agrees to the delivery fee and resigns himself to await the blessed arrival.  Time marches on...  Eventually, the great day arrives and Harry then discovers that several of the items he thought he bought aren't in the shipment.  Back to Home Depot, and so it goes.  Days drag into weeks, but Harry finally gets started digging the holes for the 4x4 posts he's going to build the deck upon.  As he's digging the holes, he thinks to himself, I'm already saving money, these posts are lighter and cheaper than those heavy, ugly greenish ones they had on the other aisle...

Where's an inspector when you need one?

Unfortunately, Harry doesn't know about permitting, inspections and such.  After all, they never mention these things on TV or YouTube, so they must not be all that important...right?  Nobody intervenes, and Harry continues building.  Sometimes he uses screws, sometimes nails, always a little at a time.  He eventually gets some help from his buddies, equally endowed in the construction arts of course, and the deck nears completion... 

Time to party like its nineteen, ninety, nine!

The day of reckoning has arrived and the christening of the deck occurs with a suitable celebration.  Friends and family all come out to admire Harry's handiwork, some even ask if he ever thought about being a contractor.  It's Harry's day!  Best of all, the newly built deck is awesome and nothing bad happened at all.  Those who warned him along the way were just being jealous!  Two summers so far, and the deck, although a bit squeaky in some spots, is still as awesome as ever!

Grandma arrives for Harry's July 4th extravaganza!

The party to end all parties is finally here!  Even grandma and her award winning potato salad are coming over!  In preparation for the festivities, Harry gives the deck a once over, drives in a couple of screws here and there, and proclaims the deck ready for the event.  Everything is going swimmingly!  What a great day!!!

Image result for public domain images gloating

Call 9-1-1!!!

Decks fail catastrophically when under loads.  The results are often tragic as most guests congregate near the edges/railings; thus, they usually wind up with everything else on top of them...

Leave deck building, especially if it's going to be elevated any distance at all, to the professionals.  If you think you can handle it yourself, at least get a building permit and have a trained County professional inspect your handiwork.  Your guests don't want to die in your back yard...

 

 

 

 

Quick Quote

captcha