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Do-it-yourselfers: Don’t try this at home

Post by Kim Bradford on May 6, 2010 at 8:48 am |
May 5, 2010 9:31 pm

Today’s editorial about Pierce County’s building amnesty program described some of the safety hazards the county is finding in its search for unpermitted structures. Unfortunately, space didn’t allow us to publish photos that show those hazards. But we have them.

I emailed Chuck Kleeberg, director of Pierce County Planning and Land Services, to say essentially: Sure, we’ve all heard of the shoddy deck that killed the PLU student back in 2001, but what else have you got?

Here’s what he came up on the spot.

This photo came to me with a note that said: “See the safety concerns?” Uh, yeah. Kleeberg dubbed them traps for the tipsy.

Then there was this doozy. The inspector explained: “This deck is supported by the house roof sheathing, making it bow under the added loads. Due to the lack of proper connections, the deck roof system started to shift so the owner added cables from top of support posts to deck framing.” (You’ll have to look closely for the cables; three of them are in the lower right hand corner.)

Lastly, there was this improperly built structure that housed wood-fueled cooking vessels. You can see where they’ve singed nearby wood (they also charred the ceiling above), and what passed for ventilation.

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