A deck is an investment many make to improve their home. One Omaha family paid a company thousands of dollars to build them a new one that stands 10-feet high, but they worry it might collapse. This is what can happen if there's no permit or inspection.
“A good view, I love it.” Matt Urbanovsky has a great view for parties at his home near 105th and Potter, but can't invite anyone out on his new deck because his trust in it has been shaken. “I'm worried about the kids falling off the deck. It wouldn't take much.”
Matt and his wife paid Outdoor Innovations $12,000, assuming the company would pull city permits, but that didn't happen. “I couldn't believe it, real upset, you just assume that everything like that is handled by a professional.” Matt worries his deck is a house of cards, from unstable railings to screws pulling out of joist brackets.
Omaha's chief code enforcer says the deck lacks city inspection. “I'm going to tell you to stop walking on your steps today.” Jay Davis of Omaha Permits & Inspections found too many violations to pass. Does it have to be torn down and the work started up again? “Probably not.” A lot of work to fix it up? “You betcha.”
Joe Vasko of Outdoor Innovations tells Fact Finders all code permits are supposed to be pulled by the manager of that project. “Unfortunately, on this one the manager was slacking off and that's why he's no longer employed with us."
Ultimately, the homeowner is held responsible for permits. “Lesson learned, do your homework and call in for permits,” says Matt.
Though the old contractor told Fact Finders he wants to make things right, the family plans to hire someone else to rebuild the deck. A city inspector will approve it this time.
Anyone who pays for a major project should make sure permits have been pulled. You can call Permits and Inspections at (402) 444-5350 or go online at www.cityofomaha.org/planning/permits/.