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Ocean Isle deck collapse raises important safety information

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In light of recent deck collapse at a beach house in Ocean Isle North Carolina, FOX8 talked to local experts about deck safety, both before and after yours is built.

Ed Regensburg with Alert Construction in Greensboro specializes in building decks.

"Now, and all the way through the fall, people are sitting out, having hot dogs, having drinks after work, relaxing on the deck," Regensburg pointed out.

He says there are a few things you can check  to make sure your deck is sturdy.

"If you walk out on your deck and you get a spongy feeling or if you go to your railing and your railing's loose, if you move left to right and there's any sort of movement on the deck, it would be worth your time to have somebody come out and check it and see what kind of condition it's in," Regensburg said.

Regensburg says it is uncommon to overload weight on a deck, but it simply depends on who builds it and if it is to code.

"A lot of homeowners will build decks on their own and they won't build a permit. A lot of contractors, or 'Chuck in the truck' as I call them sometimes, will build it and not call in for a permit and therefore not get it inspected."

The most important junctures of a deck are those securing the deck to the side of the home.

Rosenberg says adding a deck to your home is a structural addition. Permits and city inspections are required.

He warns, in this case, the cheapest option may not pay out in the end.

"You are liable. If somebody gets on that deck after [the builders are] gone and your deck collapses because they didn't do it correctly, they didn't pull a permit, they didn't get it inspected, guess who they're gonna come after?"

He advises hiring a reputable company and asking for a copy of their Workmen's Comp. and liability insurance.