Conducting inspections in the Northeast, we always recommend
that decks or porches are not at the same level as the door threshold. I always
recommend it is 4-7 inches below. Anything more that 7 ¾” would require another
step. There however is no specific “code” requiring this. Actually, if you are
inspecting an ADA
built structure, the porch / deck would be level with the interior floor. In
addition to the possibility of snow (not much of a possibility where I come
from), there is another reason why I like the porch / deck below the threshold.
We know that attached structures should have flashing. It would be difficult to
properly install flashing on a structure that is level with the interior floor.
I am not a proponent of directly attaching a porch / deck to the main building.
Many times I have seen the results. Rotted sill plates, rim joists, and
sub-floor structure. I would prefer to have the adjacent structure separate
from the main. Flashing would still be necessary to ensure proper drainage. Caulk
or sealant alone would not be sufficient to prevent water intrusion and damage.
What should a home inspector be looking for:
along the ledger / house connection (if attached)
at doors (caulk alone is not acceptable)
flashing pans with back dam
noted to ledger
should be between the decking and the door threshold to ensure proper
the door’s sill plate is over the top of the ledger flashing
to the underside of the doors threshold
/ water staining noted on wood members from the basement or crawl space
staining noted on the masonry foundation
on the insulation in the joist pockets
flashing from the door threshold to the decking
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