We started the railings at 7AM on Saturday morning. I purchased 100" vinyl post sleeves because I knew that I would be able to cut them in half and therefore buy half as many. We cut them all at 43" so they would all be the same height. Then we started unpacking the railings. Since the railings had been out in the rain the past couple of weeks, the labels were pretty much stuck on there. We spent an hour with goo gone removing the labels. We didn't get them perfect because we didn't want to be stuck doing that all day. We then started the first railing closest to the house so that we could make mistakes and they wouldn't be as noticeable. Things went pretty smoothly from there and by 1PM we were finished the railings on the main part of the deck. We took a break for lunch.
Then we started the stair railings. Since I am obsessive about perfection, it took us about 5 hours to install the 2 stair railings...constantly making adjustments. Since this is finish carpentry, it takes me longer. This is the part that people will see no matter how much time and energy you spent on the subframe. If it looks funny, it will haunt me the rest of my life.
After completing the railings, I was happy with the deck. Some final things need to be completed before we put a checkmark in the finish box, but the railings really finish the look of the deck. Besides being safer since we have little ones; the finish height of the deck in some areas is 32" so code says we need to have railings (anything over 30"). Since it was a holiday weekend, I waited until Tuesday to call the inspector to tell him I am ready for the final inspection. He comes by while I am at work and leaves. Tanya finds the paper inside the door.
It says, "failed". The 2 reasons are:
- Deck not adequately attached. Needs to be attached every 3-4'.
- Stairs not uniform.
Let me talk about #2. I knew the stairs were not uniform, but they are only off by 1". I have walked them numerous times and I don't see a problem. But I looked up the code and it says that the smallest rise to the highest rise shall be maximum of 3/8" difference. Well...they are definitely not that. And I guess he needed to come up with something wrong with the deck to justify his position (just a little bitter*).
But there are only 4 stairs and to me they don't feel that much off. But I don't make the rules and when you pull a permit you are at the mercy of the inspector.But this whole thing could have been avoided (#1 and #2) by having a framing inspection. The most important part of the deck is the framing.
He would be able to:
- Measure the spacing of the joists.
- The attachment of the ledger to the house.
- Fastening of joists to ledger and to beam.
- Beam connection.
- Stair uniformity.
So...although they aren't going to change the way things are done, I think they would have much safer decks if they did a framing inspection.
Well...this past weekend we spent quite a few hours fixing the stairs. We chiseled the concrete about 3 inches by 5 feet so we could sink the stairs a little further. They are now only .5" off. Hopefully he will say it is ok.
Well, I purchased the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) book. It costs $90, but I probably could have avoided this by having the code book easily accessible. It will be useful in the future. And since my city is still using the 2000 IRC book, I think I should be safe with whatever I do.
I cleaned the grill, fixed the doors (one of them was bent) and tried it out. It is great! It is HUGE though...and will be staying on the deck as it weighs 300lbs and not easily movable.