The 5 Things We Inspect Decks For Before Doing A Renovation

We Want To Make Sure Your Deck Is Up To Maryland’s Building Codes Before We Start Your Renovation Project

Before and after deck renovation

Your deck renovation is right around the corner! Soon, you’ll have a beautiful new deck ideal for spending time with friends and family. In this post, you’ll discover the 5 things we look for before starting and why.

An Inspection? Why?!

“Something is wrong with our deck, I just know it!” says Heather.

John sighs and rubs his forehead. “How come you’re so worried about it?” Heather shifts nervously. “Well, it seems like it’s slanting and that means something might be wrong with the beams holding it up. It’s also an old deck we haven’t done much maintenance on.”

John nods. “Seems like you’ve been putting a lot of thought into this. Alright, sounds like we need a deck inspection. I guess the next step would be looking into the cost for decks?”

Heather smiles and nods as she hands him her phone. “Sure is! I know you like DIYing things, so I looked up stuff contractors inspect before deck renovations.” John smiles as he reads what’s in front of him:

Why We Inspect For These Things

First story deck with white lattice work beneath it

We want to use as much of your original framework as possible. This can help save time and money for both sides. We’d like to replace the decking and railing with maintenance-free materials while leaving the original frame. We call this maintenance-free material composite. 

What We Inspect Decks For Before Renovating Them

Deck with stairs and lights
  1. Rot. If we see rot we have to replace the wood before it breaks. It mostly happens on support posts and support beams.
  2. Joist spacing. If we’re going to replace the decking with composite, the spacing needs to be right. Composite materials need 12 or 14 inches of space. Sometimes we’ll need to add a joist.
  3. Flashing/Ledger board. The fasteners holding the ledger board to the house need to be up to code. Nobody wants a deck with a slant in it! As for the flashing, we need to make sure it’s still correctly installed. We also need to see if your project will need more flashing.
  4. Support posts/beams. This is where we want to really look for rot. These are supporting your deck, so they’re important. We want to make sure the beam isn’t overspanned. This would mean there’s too much space between the support posts.
  5. Footings. If the footings aren’t up to code, you’ll see sagging in the deck frame. We may have to dig them up and give them a closer look.

You May Also Like To Know

“I could do it myself, but I don’t know if I want to spend the time and energy. Let’s just get someone else to do it,” says John. Heather gives him a thumbs up. “Let’s see what else this blog has on decks, might find something else that’s good to know.”