5 Questions to Ask Before You Buy A Home with a Deck

Solid wood deck made of Tigerwood.
This Tigerwood deck was built to code, has a strong support, & is durable enough to last over 40 years. Its striking looks & function also add to the home’s selling appeal.

Are you in the market for a home and coming across properties that have a deck previously installed?

Don’t be shy about asking these questions. You will save yourself valuable time, money, and future headaches. You also give the current owner a chance to explain the history of the deck. After all, you wouldn’t dream of walking into a used car lot and buy a car, no questions asked. Likewise, when buying a home with a deck, you need to know its history.

Here are The 5 Most Important Things to Know Before You Buy a Home with a Deck:

  1. What is the age of the deck? Obviously, the older the deck, the closer you want it inspected. Older decks deserve more scrutiny because of structural issues. Be sure to ask if it was every subject to insect attack. You’d also want to know if any part of the deck had been replaced.
  2. What is deck’s overall condition? Is it still structurally stable? Don’t just look at the deck’s surface to gauge its health. Take a good look “under the hood.” You or your home inspector should look under the deck and check out the condition of the joists and other support components. Are things starting to rot or rust? Is decay visible? Hopefully, the posts are also in good condition.
  3. Does it meet current building codes? This one is very important and can bite you in the you know where if you ever try to sell a home with a deck that isn’t up to code. The last thing you want also is to pay a fine, or have difficulty selling your home in the future.  You might want to look at an up-to-date survey, too.
  4. What kind of deck is it? If you’re looking at an old pressure treated deck, then you will have to be aware of the many chemicals and other problems that plague pressure-treated decking. Are you looking at a composite deck? Older composite decking may not be the best, or have that much longer of a lifespan. As for wood decking, they have been proven to be more dependable, but you should still be diligent.
  5. I love the home…but is the deck worth keeping / maintaining? If you found the home of your dreams, but the deck needs some work or repairs, seek a professional contractor’s advice to see how much it would cost to tear down and/or replace the deck. You might want to keep looking if you

All these question will help determine how much longer the deck will last, how much work will go in to getting it where you want, or if your better off starting over.

The point is, don’t just give those decks a passing glance. If you have to, jump up and down on the decking. If by looking at it, you’d rather NOT do that, then you might want to keep looking at other homes.

If you have any other questions you feel should be asked, or your own deck stories to tell, please comment below. Your experience can help other people.

1 thought on “5 Questions to Ask Before You Buy A Home with a Deck”

  1. I liked that you had mentioned that it can be important to make sure that the deck you are building is up to the code as set by your city. My wife and I have been wanting to add a deck to our backyard and we haven’t been sure where to start. I think I might have to hire a contractor because I don’t think that I would be able to complete all the work by myself, and I don’t know anything about what would be required to keep it up to code.

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