Unsafe Decks: Things to Look For

I looked at a home for sale yesterday. The door to the deck off the kitchen was marked with a “Do Not Enter” sign, and “DANGER” was written large on that sign.

The deck and under it looked like this. Can you see why this deck is unsafe?

Keep in mind dozens of people are killed in the US each and hundreds injured year by unsafe decks!

In general because it is a structural renovation, decks are not a homeowner DIY project and they do require permits and inspections. When we build our decks, we never use pressure treated yellow pine for decking because it splits and twists almost immediately. We typically use Ipe’ or other hardwoods or cedar for decking. On a low budget project we might use a composite material for decking. For structure we do use pressure treated lumber or steel. It costs more to build this way, but we build decks with 30+ years of use in mind. Now that’s a good investment.