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Another Deck Collapse - This Time in Georgia


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And the hits, er,....collapses just keep on a'commin. Deck collapses are like texting and driving; it doesn't matter how many times stories about these things caving in makes the news, there are always going to be folks who let the story go right over their heads. Then when it happens to them they can't figure out why.

Check out the amount of rot evident in the rim board that this deck was attached to.

Click Here!

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New Georgia building codes will require guardrails and stronger ways to attach decks to the house. (Will???)

But without these codes in place right now, it takes special attention to make sure this does not happen.

Ahhhh, Georgia! I guess it took them a while to decide whether or not those new-fangled guardrail thingies and ledger bolts were just a Yankee plot(?).

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Ga. is still running under 2006 IRC with LOTS of amendments and exceptions. Planning on adopting 2012 in 2014 and skip over 2009. Then when 15 comes out a year later, they will still be behind...

But if you pay attention you will notice the American Wood Council document Prescriptive Residential Deck Construction Guide http://www.awc.org/publications/dca/dca6/dca6-09.pdf was authored in Gwinett Co., in metro Atlanta. The capital of Ga.

Of course it is a Yankee plot. All the Yankees come South and complain about how its not like up North. Yep. If the North is so great, then go back and stop bitching about the South. Ya never hear of Southeners retiring to the North. Carpet baggers, bah humbug.

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Ga. is still running under 2006 IRC with LOTS of amendments and exceptions. Planning on adopting 2012 in 2014 and skip over 2009. Then when 15 comes out a year later, they will still be behind...

But if you pay attention you will notice the American Wood Council document Prescriptive Residential Deck Construction Guide http://www.awc.org/publications/dca/dca6/dca6-09.pdf was authored in Gwinett Co., in metro Atlanta. The capital of Ga.

Of course it is a Yankee plot. All the Yankees come South and complain about how its not like up North. Yep. If the North is so great, then go back and stop bitching about the South. Ya never hear of Southeners retiring to the North. Carpet baggers, bah humbug.

Georgia code amendments reference the the Forest Products Society manual Wood Decks - Materials, Construction and Finishing. It recommends a self supporting deck that is attached to the house for lateral support with a drainage gap. Of course other options with flashing etc. are allowed.

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True, ML, but GA, with 159 counties, (don't know the # of municipalities), has a lot of little pieces of turf where the AHJ can hire anybody it wants to, including the local realtor's son-in-law, who can't even read the newspaper much less the code books, to be building inspector.

Most of those kinds of inspectors work on being the builder/developer's "buddy", so as to promote bidnis and not make waves.

So it goes.

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True, ML, but GA, with 159 counties, (don't know the # of municipalities), has a lot of little pieces of turf where the AHJ can hire anybody it wants to, including the local realtor's son-in-law, who can't even read the newspaper much less the code books, to be building inspector.

Most of those kinds of inspectors work on being the builder/developer's "buddy", so as to promote bidnis and not make waves.

So it goes.

Georgia law requires that all counties comply with the State adopted building code with amendments. The counties and municipalities are free to adopt requirements that are stricter than the State mandated code but are prohibited from ignoring any section of the State adopted code. A contractor's claim that "we don't enforce that here" may be true but the contractor is in violation of the law.

As you already know there are many counties in Georgia that do not even have a code enforcement department which means that nothing is inspected or enforced.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ocean Isle is just a sand bar on the coast. At most a mile or two long and few hunderd yards wide. Nothing but beach homes, most available for rent. Decks nailed to the structure. 20 years of salt air and surf spray. Every spring people, all the Carolina people head to the beach to celebrate A)spring B)graduation C)any and everything. Rent a house for the week or weekend. 20+ people get on aging deck with loud music, swaying, dancing and drinking. Deck falls off. Happens couple a times a year on the Carolina coast.

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Mike Holmes had an episode where a woman and her friend were on a small deck and it came down, a long way. They were badly injured. I don't remember if he took a shot at any inspector for "missing" the lack of proper flashing, but that usually is the culprit. Ledgers without flashing are a major issue that is just not consistently reported among inspectors. I can't find the photo, but years ago I took a photo of a carpenter working on a next-door house. He was installing a wood patio cover ledger over stucco. He snapped a top and bottom line to mark the ledger location and then proceeded to go hunting for wood behind the stucco with his framing hammer. As long as he didn't hurt the stucco outside the line, no one would ever see the demo. Needless to say he found his wood, but what about water that runs between the wood ledger and stucco?

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