How Safe is Your Deck?

Highlight Homes' Deck 2A deck can be a wonderful addition to any home. They serve as a functional extension of your living spaces into the Great Outdoors. A deck can be an outdoor dining room under a sea of stars, a peaceful escape from the hustle-bustle of life beyond your backyard, or a gathering space for neighborhood parties and family celebrations. Unfortunately, if not constructed properly – a deck can become an accident waiting to happen.

Last year, deck collapses in Roswell and Marietta sent a number of people to hospitals with injuries ranging from minor abrasions to broken bones. Just last month, two people were rushed to the hospital following a deck collapse in Powder Springs.  As a matter of fact, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) – in 2009 there were more than 16,000 injuries nationwide caused by outside attached structures, including decks. Nearly 2,000 of those injuries resulted in hospitalization or death. One of the most tragic deck collapses in recent history occurred in Chicago in June 2003.  When a third story deck gave way, 12 people lost their lives and more than 34 others were rushed to the hospital with injuries.

Highlight Homes' DeckIf you are considering adding a deck to your current home, it is of utmost importance that you work with a contractor who strictly adheres to code ordinances and has your family’s wellbeing in mind. Because safety is such a concern, a deck is no place to cut corners. Select someone who is able to provide references, is fully licensed and insured, and has no blotches on their record with watchdog organizations such as the Better Business Bureau. If you already have a deck, you should do a little investigating of your own before your next big al fresco get-together. Take a flashlight and look closely at every inch – do you witness any wood rot?  Are there any nails sticking out?  Pay particular attention to the integrity of the flooring, railing, and attachment to the house. If your home is an older home and the deck has been there some time – there’s a chance it was built before code ordinances when it was considered suitable to attach a deck to a house using only nails. If you have even the slightest inkling that your deck could be deemed unsafe, you should call in a professional home inspector or deck contractor to suggest if a deck repair or replacement is in order.

The talented team of contractors at Highlight Homes has been designing and building decks for several decades. With my background in structural engineering, I can assist you with the inspection of a current deck or the creation of an entirely new one. Not only are our decks safe, they are custom-designed to fit your family’s needs and are nothing short of beautiful. To schedule an inspection of your deck or a consultation to discuss the addition of a deck to your home, call me TODAY at 678.873.9234. We can have a gorgeous deck in place for your Labor Day Weekend picnic and a slew of tailgate parties this Fall. I can also be reached via e-mail at or through Highlight Homes’ convenient online contact form.  To learn more about me and my team, and to take a peek at our portfolio online – please visit the Highlight Homes website.

Source:  NEISS Data Highlights 2009. July 14, 2011.
How Safe is Your Deck?