Improperly attaching a Deck Trellis, Sunscreen, or Lanai Structure to the Home. There are many proper ways to create a watertight connection between the home and a deck trellis or lanai structure. Unfortunately, these “add on structures” are often just nailed or bolted directly to the outside wall of the home. Inevitably, rainwater finds its way into the penetrations and the dry rot process begins. It is critical that the deck ledger (the board that is placed up against the side of the home) be flashed with metal flashing in an industry-approved manner.  If bolts are used to attach the ledger board to the home, the bolt holes should be filled with caulk. Local government agencies often require a building permit to construct a trellis or lanai attached to a home because they are considered a structure that could fall and cause injury. Decks which are attached to the homes or which are larger than 200 square feet, or which are over 30 inches above the adjacent grade within three feet, often require a building permit. Patio covers may also require a building permit. Check with the local building department before starting work.

Read more common costly homeowner mistakes from The Home Book

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