Mikeysp has just visited a friend’s lakeside cabin and come away with serious reservations about an attached deck built over a steep embankment. Scenic, possibly, but in Mikeysp’s view, a disaster waiting to happen.
The design includes a 4-foot cantilever of the 2×8 framing, structural posts that seem inadequately anchored at the ground, and a lack of lateral support.
“I warned him that it is unsafe,” Mikeysp says in a recent Q&A post. “If that were to fail, it could go down, into the water, and really harm someone, whether elderly, young, or rendered incapacitated from the impact with debris or entangled in the mess.”
The problem might be put on hold, except that the owner is planning to have 20 family members over for Thanksgiving. He wants to know whether anything can be done now to make the deck safe. Says Mikeysp,”If that thing went into the water with half his guests on there, it would surprise me if it did not end in at least one fatality.”
Among Mikeysp’s ideas are to add cross-bracing for the 4×6 support posts, find a way to anchor the posts to the ground, lift the deck up and put in new posts, or find a way to eliminate the cantilever with new bracing.
Or should the whole thing just be ripped down?
That’s the topic for today’s Q&A Spotlight.
It’s time to call in a pro
This is no time to rely on advice from an online forum, says Akos.
“There are a lot of structural issues here,” Akos writes. “You are right to be worried. Finding a fix through an internet forum is not the best way to go. I would get a structural engineer to spec the details.”
At a minimum, Akos…