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RE: site accident, unsafe deck

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This is probably a good opportunity to put in a plug for AF&PA’s “Prescriptive Residential Deck Design Guide” available for download (free!!) at


It won’t tell you much about how to notify the owner/AHJ, mind you, but it certainly should provide good guidance for repairs.



Gary J. Ehrlich, PE
Program Manager, Structural Codes & Standards
National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
1201 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005
ph: 202-266-8545  or 800-368-5242 x8545
fax: 202-266-8369


From: Christopher Banbury [mailto:cbanbury(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 11:24 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: site accident, unsafe deck


My engineer and I had a narrow scrape today when we broke through a tread and intermediate rail while on an elevated wood deck (single family) during a site visit. We escaped serious injury but I’d like some advice as to how the owner and/or AHJ should be notified. I suspect the entire deck and stair is unsafe including the attachment to the main structure.

At the site I immediately instructed the owner to cordon the area off and I am preparing a letter as well.

I would appreciate any advice regarding language, delivery methods and procedures.

Thanks in advance.


Christopher Banbury, PE



Ark Engineering, Inc.

PO Box 10129, Brooksville, FL 34603

22 North Broad ST, Brooksville, FL 34601

Phone: (352) 754-2424

Fax: (352) 754-2412