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Question DetailsAsked on 8/3/2017

What do I do to get my deck repaired when the contractor does not respond to the 1year warranty?

A major support beam to my upper deck is split and I can't use my deck for liability reasons. Was able to contact a receptionist in the office, but no response from anyone.i thought your company backed up these contractors. Please respond.

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4 Answers


1) send them a letter referring to the original job completion date and that you are requesting repair under their one year warranty - put a good photo image of the cracked beam on the letter too, and requesting immedite repair because of it being a safety hazard prevetning you from using the deck.

2) if they refuse, then assuming he is a bonded contractor, you can call his bond to have the bonding company get the repair done.

3) not that it will get you any direct repair, but if he refuses a written complaint to the state contractor licensing board should get his attention, because failure to honor his warranty (assuming it covers materials as well as labor, because this sounds like a materials issue unless it was under designed and is cracking due to overloading) would be something they could at least admonish him about if not suspend his license if he failed to make good on it.

4) of course, small claim court is a possibility, but unless he failed to provide a properly designed deck (assuming he did the design), probAbly not worth the trouble

As for AL backing contractors - if you have the fancier of paid membership your job may also be covered by the Angies List guarantee - contact member services about that.

Now - as to the crack - a simple fairly tight horizontal crack partly through a main support beam is not necessarily cause for replacement, and not even necessarily repair - these commonly occur due to wood shrinkage. Here are several images of typical cracks - the first two (first photo in each article) are shrinkage checking which would normally NOT be cause for major concern in normal deck design, the third and fourth clearly would be of structural concern because they are cracking across the grain and/or are quite open, indicating significant sagging of the beam:

Depending on whether you are seeing just checking (google "wood beam checking images" for lots more images of this), or actual structural cracking repair may or may not be appropriate. Also, if structural, depending on whether due to overloading (in which redesign and wither replacement with a stronger beam or possibly sistering up to increase its strength would be in order) or just due to localized wood flaw causing cracking, would determine whether replacement or maybe just putting in some galvanized steel repair plates or straps is called for.

If you want one person's opinion, if you use the Answer This Question yellow button right below your question, then click on the leftmost icon right above the text block in Answer Question which pops up, you can post digital image(s) of your beam and I will give my 3000 mile opinion of whether it looks to melike something I would be real concerned about. Two pictures would be best - one standing back enough to show where the crack is relative to the rest of the deck framing, and one fairly close up showing the cracking itself.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD


Answered 3 years ago by Rusty1


OK - you faked me out - that is a post or column, not a beam - beams are the horizontal members - commonly the large beam (shown at top of your picture) carries the weight of the smaller deck-supporting beams, which are called joists or floor joists by most people.

Anyway - that is a nasty crack, which most likely was visible as a starting crack in the post when he put it in, but if not a wide open crack at installation (in which case it should not have been used) would not necessarily be considered his "Fault" - just something that happens with wood at times, especially outdoors where it gets wetting and drying.

Assuming this column sits in a metal bracket on top of a concrete support pier block or an in-ground concrete foundation with above-ground bracket (not fully embedded into the ground), not hard to replace assuming deck overhead does not have a heavy load like a hot tub on it - just needs some propping up to support the weight of the deck while that post is removed and a new one put in - probably about a $200-300 job by a Carpenter - Framing or a Handyman who has significant framing experience. Key of course is to use the same length column, and not let the deck sag during the work.

If the wood post was embedded in the ground (though that does not look like ground-contact rated treated wood) then cost to repair might roughly double.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD


Something nagged at the back of my mind about your photo - so I came back to it and blew it up and cleaned it up at high enlargement - I don't see any nails in it, right ? Which would have facilitated the cracking. Are the other deck connections and joist hangers missing the nails too ?

Should have hot dip galvanized Teco nails (aka 1-1/2" 8 penny Simpson Strongtie nails) like these -

in every punched hole in the connector bracket which woul not cause splitting out of the wood edge (so nearly or actually every hole in most cases if right brackets were used).

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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