Don’t put your family at risk of a deck collapse

In the past year, there have been several news stories of folks being injured when a deck or balcony has collapsed. (News video link; warning, disturbing footage.)

Could that happen to your family? It’s possible. One of the most common causes of rotting decks is a lack of properly installed flashing.

The International Building Code (IBC), which is a model building code adopted throughout most of the United States, basically notes three rules for flashing:

  • It must not corrode
  • It must be installed likes shingles (relies on physics to do its job properly)
  • It must do its job and keep water out of the building

So, what is flashing? It is the material installed that directs water away from the building and its structural elements.

When a deck is improperly attached to a building, with no flashing, it creates a space where water can collect, causing rot. After a few years, the rotten elements give way, and the deck detaches from the building. Water can also pocket and freeze, and cause damage to a home’s siding.

To check to see if your deck was installed properly, go underneath your deck and look for a metal or vinyl lip on top of the ledger board (the board right next to the house). Today’s pre-treated lumber is incompatible with aluminum flashing; if your ledger board is pre-treated, then the flashing must be plastic, composite or copper flashing. If you don’t see flashing, give L&M Construction a call to have a deck check-up. It’s better to be safe than sorry with this serious issue.

hows OSB sheathing and 2"x10" rim joist that are rotten due to improper deck flashing
Shows OSB sheathing and 2″x10″ rim joist that are rotten due to improper deck flashing
Shows exterior framing, siding, windows and doors all need to be replaced due to improper deck flashing
Shows exterior framing, siding, windows and doors all need to be replaced due to improper deck flashing

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Design-Build: An efficient method to create new spaces

Many homeowners may not have encountered the term design-build before, but when researching the process of remodeling or new construction, they may come upon that term. It’s not a new concept, but has grown in popularity in the past decade in the construction industry.

So, what is design-build? Design/build is a process where an entire remodeling or new construction project – from the initial design concepts and budgets to permits, regulations and zoning laws to actual construction and final walk through – are organized and performed by a single entity, a single point of responsibility.

In past decades, he traditional approach for construction projects consists of the appointment of a designer on one side, and the appointment of a contractor on the other side. The design–build system changes the traditional sequence of work.

So, why is this important to a homeowner? The efficiency of this process allows for tight control of costs; management of the construction schedule; and a quick turn-around between design, construction and completion. Design/build prevents remodeling horror stories. Senior staff oversees the entire process, ensuring that the project will be delivered on time and on budget.

L&M Construction uses state-of-the-art software to design its projects, complete with detailed renderings for homeowners to review before construction begins. Using Chief Architect, a professional 3D architectural home design software, L&M Construction uses automated building tools to make home design, remodeling, interior design, and kitchen & bath design easy.

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