Monday, April 03, 2006

Amateur Deck Building--How to spot it!

I won’t often link to a competitor’s website, but in this case I make an exception.
(I don’t see them as realistic competition anyhow). (another photo of cleat type steps and climbable rails)

Here’s a photo of their best work. (it’s on most main pages-it rotates with a few others--java tricks)

Stairs made with cleats rather than cut stringers. It’s dangerous, Illegal and shows that they are not serious enough about what they do to bother learning how to do it right.

“Our structures are properly designed, structurally sound and built to perfection. Safety should always be on top of the list of every decking company. You can rest assured safety is a top priority at ROYAL Decks Co.” ( this quote is on their portfolio page)

I haven’t dug very deep into their site past the first page of their portfolio, but if you look at the first photo… there are balusters spaced more than 4” apart—close to 6” by my eye.

If they don’t know the absolute basics like these things, how will they ever survive?

They will get sued, they will lose clients as these poor techniques become their reputation, and soon, they will cease to exist.

This is a preliminary post to Tuesday’s Topic… ‘How to tell when a project is built by an amateur.’


Anonymous said...

In response to this posting I feel that this person is digging a little too deep. Yes, ballusters must be no more than four inches apart. However this does not necessarilly mean inexperience but possibly carelessness. Just because a certain builder knows the rules he or she may cut corners regaurdless for various reasons, which is unfortunate. I had only noticed one photo of this that is spoken of, therefore it may not necessarily be accurate to state that of the work is "shabby" and that they will go out of business. It is unfair to pick apart this business based on such things. I feel that a bigger concern on the topic of amateur building would be more in other things. Joint fitting for one can often be tricky. An experienced builder will know this and take this into consideration during construction. A well done job will still look good even after the wood has climatized to the outdoors. Second, wood selection can make or break the project at hand. Cup, bow, crown, knots, shakes and other imperfections are all things that need to be kept to a minimum when building and can potentially exaggerate as the decking dries. Lastly, the framework is just as important if not more than the decking, railing etc. it must be square, level, plumb, and built to code (atleast but not recomended by myself). Therefore I would like to say to the writter that even Mike Holmes has a little more evidence backing him when he trashes other builders and you may wish to do the same the next time you wish to do so. I would like to add that this is not intended to offend but perhaps enlighten readers and rectify the ongoing bashing of competent men. Yes there are alot of shabby builders in this world but this does not mean that people can trash every carpenter before taking a closer look and doing some research, rather than looking at a few web site pictures which can possibly be more deceiving (bad or good).

sincerly, A. Carpenter

Unknown said...

I'm not going to address all of the fluff contained in this post...

It doesn't mean much when you don't have the nads to sign your name to it.

Builder? I doubt it... Deckbuilder... Maybe... Rookie...Definitely.

You don't know any more than Mike Holmes about decks--but if you are in the business you should learn the basics.

Anyone nailing cleats on stairs and cutting corners when it comes to spacing should not be in the Deck Business PERIOD.