Is your Deck up to Spec?

75Have you wondered if your deck is up to spec?  Does it meet the current building codes?  If it is 7 to 10 years old then probably not.  We have had several clients who had scary decks before we took them down and built new ones.  Some of the decks couldn’t hold more than two or so people at one time.  Some shook when you would walk on them.  Some had to have temporary bracing so it didn’t collapse.  If you have a deck and that sounds similar, then you could potentially have problems.

Churubusco-Prom-Deck-Collapse_feat

Most people don’t even give it a second thought of their deck collapsing.  People need to look at the warning signs such as those mentioned above.  Even if your deck seems to be fine, but is older, you must check certain things on them to make sure you’re not setting yourself up for a lawsuit later in life with friends.  Let me give you a checklist of sorts to go by to check out your deck to avoid problems.

The Checklist:

  1.  Check the first row of deck boards closest to the home.  If they have rot, that is not a good sign.  Right below that board is the ledger and it should have flashing.
  2. Check the ledger board, Check for rot, check for minimum 1/2in lag bolts every 12 to 16 inches.  If you do have rot or just nails holding the ledger on, the ledger is vulnerable to failing.
  3. Check the posts, do they have rot on the bottom, are they fastened to the ground or concrete.
  4. Check the stairs make sure no rot is found.
  5. The deck boards should be free of rot or curling.  You don’t want a trip hazard or fall through the deck.
  6. Check to see if the deck is warping, such as sagging in the middle.
  7. Check hand rails and pickets to ensure rigidity so no one falls off the deck leaning on it.mcm-deck-connections
As a rule of measure I will give you some of the major points on the decks we build today:
1. 6×6 posts for support with no more than 8 ft. spacing.
2. Minimum 2×10 joists for smaller spans, also they have to have joist hangers.
3. The spacing on the joists are 16 inches max.
4. The stairs usually have 4 stringers  and are made out of a 2×12, (they hold the stair treads)Maximum 7 inches tall.
5. The ledger has flashing behind it and the ledger lag bolts are 1/2in  spaced in between each joists  in a certain pattern.
6. Then posts are on a post base fastened to a concrete pier and notched to the deck band boards.
7. The hand rail varies, but cabling or picket spacing can not be more than 4 inches in between.
 resident2
After learning of a local homeowner that had a deck collapse from KY3 news in Springfield, MO. This needs to be known to all homeowners with decks.  The Home Builders Association has names of local professionals that can evaluate your deck if you are concerned.  If your deck sounds similar to what is currently built, then you should have nothing to worry about.  If you do have a deck that is a problem or need to change the way it looks, then give us a call  @ 417-887-7134 to set up an appointment.  We are Friga Construction Co., Inc. “where you’re visions become reality.” 

Maintenance Free Home? Ideas for free.

Have you ever heard of a maintenance free home?  Most people would laugh at the thought.  Thinking you are selling ever sharp kitchen knifes or always clean dishes.  A maintenance free home is becoming closer to reality.  The products I’ve listed are longer lasting and more durable than products of back in the day.  You must tackle this challenge by getting a game plan together.  Step 1.  Think about what is your maintenance issues in the interior and on the exterior of  your home. Step 2. Make a list for interior and for exterior.

                                                                                                 corian-countertops

Interior maintenance issues usually include countertops, flooring, painting, and fixtures.  Countertops: Corian or solid surface countertops are a very popular choice.  They are fairly easy to fix scratches, many colors, and easy to clean.  Another popular choice is granite countertops.  They are easy to clean, nice colors, and it’s hard to scratch.  Of course, as with anything that is usually easier and less maintenance, it tends to be more expensive.    However, they typically last longer and bring better home sale values.

DSCN0151

Flooring:  Laminate flooring is very popular and requires less maintenance than carpets.  There are many color choices and they resist scratching very well.  Painting:  Sherwin Williams has some new latex paints that make cleaning splatters of food or whatever on walls easier and it hides previous dark colors with one coat.  Fixtures:  There are a multitude of fixtures out there that claim to be under warranty and cheap.  However, there’s a catch, you might be fixing that faucet once a year.  Sure it’s cheaper, but the hassle of fixing it is a pain.  Opt for brands like Kohler, Moen, and Delta and shop at plumbing supply stores for the better quality.  There are different models for Lowes and Home Depot stores.

Exterior maintenances issues, there are many, however I will address the three biggest issues:  Windows, Siding, and Roofing.  Windows:  Not all windows are created equal and each brand holds its own claims.  I am a big believer in Andersen windows and doors as a great product.  One, because we are a Certified Andersen window installer and I have seen the testing and the longevity of the windows.  Pella does make great windows as well as I’m sure Marvin does.  You want to pick a higher grade of window and one with Low E or better of glass for efficiency.  Siding:  Vinyl siding, Hardie siding, and prefinished metal siding.  Vinyl is easy to clean, however is more brittle with age and weed eaters usually like to bust the bottom row.  Hardie siding is becoming more common like brick.  It can be unfinished or prefinished for long durability.  Metal Siding durable, has several colors, and it lasts a very long time.

Roofing:  Architectural shingles are becoming the more popular choice in roofing.  They last longer than 3 tab shingles and look better.  Metal roofing can last a very long time when properly installed.  However, it is not typical on homes.  They are always coming out with new products for roofing.  They have some roofing materials that are composite and last longer than shingles.  There is a newer shingle that is supposed to be more energy efficient by reducing the heat from the roof.

If you are having issues with maintenance in your home or business, give us a call.  We can fix your maintenance issues and give ideas about which product is best suited for you.  If this article still leaves you lost about maintenance free products, do an online search for maintenance free home products.  If you do know what you want then give us a call at Friga Construction, “where visions become reality.”