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Old 03-09-2019, 08:00 PM   #31
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Re: Is deck safe? Violations? Pt. 2


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I would get in touch with surveyors first and if that is out talk to a geo tech engineer and then maybe you need a lawyer before you fix anything.
We have a lawyer and a lawsuit going but no court date until 2020. We've paid 10's of thousands already on experts. For items we don't have a lot of info. on I'm trying to get advice and then get a structural engineer to confirm everything which is why this forum is great. Thank you so much for your advice, you don't know how much it's appreciated.
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:18 PM   #32
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Re: Is deck safe? Violations? Pt. 1


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Not the normal strap for this but is only to stop the post from falling out when it twisted. The post is twisted and could be changed out.
Found some more angles
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:26 PM   #33
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Re: Is deck safe? Violations? Pt. 1


Well, treated lumber, post in particular are nearly impossible to keep straight after installation. They go in wet, dry out after warm dry weather and twist, turn and warp.

Long unsupported members have a mind of there own. That said, plenty of sloppy workmanship there. If you are eager and handy, I haven't seen anything that has me panicked.
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:33 AM   #34
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Clearly this was built by carpenters who come to work for a paycheck only. I don't see much in the way of "pride in a job well done". Is it safe? I'd feel better if that one post was on solid concrete. Didn't see any post bases and it'd only take one hit from a riding mower to push it off. I'd excavate around that one and pour more crete. Add post bases.Few hours.
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:39 AM   #35
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Also didn't see any lateral load devices. Go on every deck here to keep it attached to the house. Looks like "ledger loks" on the ledger board. Perfectly acceptable provided they hit rim or joist.
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Old 03-10-2019, 07:40 PM   #36
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Re: Is deck safe? Violations? Pt. 1


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Also didn't see any lateral load devices. Go on every deck here to keep it attached to the house. Looks like "ledger loks" on the ledger board. Perfectly acceptable provided they hit rim or joist.
The pictures attached are from our neighbor's house, same builder, their house is 2-3 years older than ours. I guess they said this had happened before.
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:21 PM   #37
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Re: Is deck safe? Violations? Pt. 1


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Yeah, wish it was that easy. Village only shows 3 of 15 inspections were performed - footing inspection was not done. Village somehow "lost" house plans that are required to be on file for 7 years.

It was permitted I assume. Your post is about a deck, and there are not 15 inspections for a deck. So does the village have a record of the deck passing inspection? If not, why can't you ask the village for an inspection? OK, maybe the footings they can't see anymore, but everything else is visible. I think you will have a hard time arguing "it was poorly constructed" --- either the deck was built to code, or it wasn't --- and there will be no leniency on anything that is not to code and did not pass inspection.
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Old 03-10-2019, 10:51 PM   #38
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Re: Is deck safe? Violations? Pt. 1


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It was permitted I assume. Your post is about a deck, and there are not 15 inspections for a deck. So does the village have a record of the deck passing inspection? If not, why can't you ask the village for an inspection? OK, maybe the footings they can't see anymore, but everything else is visible. I think you will have a hard time arguing "it was poorly constructed" --- either the deck was built to code, or it wasn't --- and there will be no leniency on anything that is not to code and did not pass inspection.
The entire home does not have a building permit. If you think there's more to that or that it can't be, it can and it is. We had no idea. They told us they were getting the permit and that it was on file when construction began. They said inspections were being done. The appraiser inspected it, the bank inspected it. An OC was issued and we moved in. At no time were we aware that anything was amiss until things started to go downhill and the structural engineer asked for the house plans, inspection report and permit to be sent to him. They responded they only had the report. The report indicates that the footing inspection was done on a certain date but they didn't mark that it was 4' below grade which is a requirement for them to mark. Also, I have pictures of that day and the footings weren't even in place so I caught them in a lie. Erosion, Sewer & Water, Foundation, Drain Tile, Vapor Barrier, Permanent Service, Rough Plumbing, Rough HVAC, Rough Construction, Rough Electric, Gas Piping and Insulation inspections were not marked as being completed.


To us that sounds like an easy case and the builder should buy back the house. But nope, the 3rd party inspection company, the city and the builder are not settling at this point. We can't sell the house since we know there's no permit, house plans, inspections performed and numerous issues with the house. We have problems from drywall to electrical, etc.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:02 PM   #39
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Re: Is deck safe? Violations? Pt. 1


God bless!
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:03 PM   #40
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Re: Is deck safe? Violations? Pt. 1


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The entire home does not have a building permit. If you think there's more to that or that it can't be, it can and it is. We had no idea. They told us they were getting the permit and that it was on file when construction began. They said inspections were being done. The appraiser inspected it, the bank inspected it. An OC was issued and we moved in. At no time were we aware that anything was amiss until things started to go downhill and the structural engineer asked for the house plans, inspection report and permit to be sent to him. They responded they only had the report. The report indicates that the footing inspection was done on a certain date but they didn't mark that it was 4' below grade which is a requirement for them to mark. Also, I have pictures of that day and the footings weren't even in place so I caught them in a lie. Erosion, Sewer & Water, Foundation, Drain Tile, Vapor Barrier, Permanent Service, Rough Plumbing, Rough HVAC, Rough Construction, Rough Electric, Gas Piping and Insulation inspections were not marked as being completed.


To us that sounds like an easy case and the builder should buy back the house. But nope, the 3rd party inspection company, the city and the builder are not settling at this point. We can't sell the house since we know there's no permit, house plans, inspections performed and numerous issues with the house. We have problems from drywall to electrical, etc.
In my opinion you have something else going on. If I were in your shoes I would consider hiring a private detective from outside the area to start digging into the background of every builder and inspector who has had anything to do with this house, and into the backgrounds of the city bureaucrats involved.

I am betting that someone in the city is sleeping with someone or there is some monetary kickbacking/bribing going on behind the scenes. There is absolutely zero reason that the city would be siding with the builder, they have absolutely no interest in doing so - and there's also no reason the city and the 3rd party inspector should be at odds with each other.

Get a respected structural engineering firm from the nearest major city in even if you have to pay for a plane ticket and a hotel. Building codes are usually set by the state and modified by local jurisdictions my guess is you are in a small town and there's a gang of crooks who have gotten intermarried/involved with the local village and had a good thing going until houses started crumbing apart. You have the makings of an excellent investigative news story here and I would be calling the reporters in the largest daily in the state as well. Once the city bureaucrats find out that there's some reporters and private investigators digging into their backgrounds I would guess that all of the stonewalling and delaying you are getting will vanish and they will start settlement talks pronto since they won't want the state AG involved.

Good luck!
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:17 PM   #41
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Re: Is deck safe? Violations? Pt. 1


I read a lot of the posts... what is the problem exactly?
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:10 PM   #42
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Re: Is deck safe? Violations? Pt. 1


Ugh; Me, i'd dismantle it and do it right, plus, in the last pic, rotate the joists 90 degrees and attach them to the ledger board solidly with hangers.
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Old 04-03-2019, 01:44 PM   #43
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Re: Is deck safe? Violations? Pt. 1


I would get two of the best contractors in your area and pay them to come up with a comprehensive fix for all the problems as well as provide a T&M bid. I would pay them for their time so I get good contractors to respond instead of only the hungry ones.

It comes down to how much can be salvaged and done so without putting worker's lives at risk working under the structure.

The prior owner went with the cheapest bid and passed along the problem to future owners and now that is you. There is no aspect of the construction that was done properly so the choice is one of fixing the house or selling it and as expensive as it will be to fix the problems properly, it will be less expensive than moving, or the legal fees should the structure fail and a guest be injured.
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Old 04-11-2019, 01:27 PM   #44
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Re: Is deck safe? Violations? Pt. 1


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In my opinion you have something else going on. If I were in your shoes I would consider hiring a private detective from outside the area to start digging into the background of every builder and inspector who has had anything to do with this house, and into the backgrounds of the city bureaucrats involved.

I am betting that someone in the city is sleeping with someone or there is some monetary kickbacking/bribing going on behind the scenes. There is absolutely zero reason that the city would be siding with the builder, they have absolutely no interest in doing so - and there's also no reason the city and the 3rd party inspector should be at odds with each other.

Get a respected structural engineering firm from the nearest major city in even if you have to pay for a plane ticket and a hotel. Building codes are usually set by the state and modified by local jurisdictions my guess is you are in a small town and there's a gang of crooks who have gotten intermarried/involved with the local village and had a good thing going until houses started crumbing apart. You have the makings of an excellent investigative news story here and I would be calling the reporters in the largest daily in the state as well. Once the city bureaucrats find out that there's some reporters and private investigators digging into their backgrounds I would guess that all of the stonewalling and delaying you are getting will vanish and they will start settlement talks pronto since they won't want the state AG involved.

Good luck!
I was thinking about the newspaper route. This is a Village and there are some big, old established families here and they are one of them. They are one of the biggest builders in the area. They are members of the Builder's Association in the state's capital which means nothing since the President of the company is a relative of the company. So much intermingling going on here. If we had unlimited resources we would have a team of lawyers, structural engineers on standby and other things you suggest but unfortunately we are not as well off as the builder is and we're getting hammered with legal bills as it is. On a side note, we had hired a law firm who turns out represented the Village inspectors and didn't know there was a conflict of interest until we were clients for 4 months. The lawyer representing the inspection company was in the same office location as the 2 lawyers we had. We're on our 3rd lawyer after firing our first for not knowing what they're doing, the second for the conflict of interest and are now on our 3rd.
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Old 04-11-2019, 01:39 PM   #45
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Re: Is deck safe? Violations? Pt. 1


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Originally Posted by tmittelstaedt View Post
In my opinion you have something else going on. If I were in your shoes I would consider hiring a private detective from outside the area to start digging into the background of every builder and inspector who has had anything to do with this house, and into the backgrounds of the city bureaucrats involved.

I am betting that someone in the city is sleeping with someone or there is some monetary kickbacking/bribing going on behind the scenes. There is absolutely zero reason that the city would be siding with the builder, they have absolutely no interest in doing so - and there's also no reason the city and the 3rd party inspector should be at odds with each other.

Get a respected structural engineering firm from the nearest major city in even if you have to pay for a plane ticket and a hotel. Building codes are usually set by the state and modified by local jurisdictions my guess is you are in a small town and there's a gang of crooks who have gotten intermarried/involved with the local village and had a good thing going until houses started crumbing apart. You have the makings of an excellent investigative news story here and I would be calling the reporters in the largest daily in the state as well. Once the city bureaucrats find out that there's some reporters and private investigators digging into their backgrounds I would guess that all of the stonewalling and delaying you are getting will vanish and they will start settlement talks pronto since they won't want the state AG involved.

Good luck!
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I would get two of the best contractors in your area and pay them to come up with a comprehensive fix for all the problems as well as provide a T&M bid. I would pay them for their time so I get good contractors to respond instead of only the hungry ones.

It comes down to how much can be salvaged and done so without putting worker's lives at risk working under the structure.

The prior owner went with the cheapest bid and passed along the problem to future owners and now that is you. There is no aspect of the construction that was done properly so the choice is one of fixing the house or selling it and as expensive as it will be to fix the problems properly, it will be less expensive than moving, or the legal fees should the structure fail and a guest be injured.

We have been trying to get contractors to come to our home forever. Our 3 different lawyers are all having a difficult time. Most know the builder and want to have nothing to do with this or they are so busy that they don't have time to do it.

We are the ones who built the house. The products we specifically chose were not cheap i.e. the tile, wood flooring, carpeting, fireplace, granite, however, the products they installed for the windows, trim, cabinets seem very cheap which we just didn't know at the time. They showed us a sample of the cabinet and said it's cherry, I think only a little bit of it is actual cherry. It's our fault we didn't pay more attention to knowing what kind of trim, cabinets and windows they were putting in but we were focused on choosing all the plumbing fixtures and items listed above, no excuse though.

We've found a lot of code violations and things just not done correctly or well. There's also the fact that inspections weren't done. We think that they should be required to open things up and make sure that things are up to code. Probably would be extremely expensive since it's all closed up. As it is, they are going to have to do a lot to correct the violations that we know of. We know this house is a lemon and don't want to stay in it since we know we won't find everything that's wrong and things will rear their ugly head in the future. We can't sell the house since we know inspections weren't done, house plans are missing and there is no building permit. We're pretty screwed and we kind of know we're not going to get a fair shake when we go to court because of all the politics around here.
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