National Deck Safety Month®

As seen in the ASHI Reporter

May is Deck Safety Month® and once again, we’d like to spotlight the partnership that ASHI has with the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA).

ASHI’s relationship with NADRA over the years has helped raise awareness of just how important home inspectors are when reviewing the decks, railings and stairs that are found on more than 80% of homes. NADRA created the first-ever Professional Deck Inspection Certification for ASHI members and its membership now includes more than 800 ASHI inspector members, 250 of whom are NADRA-certified deck inspectors. This important partnership brings the two associations together. Professional ASHI home inspectors who are NADRA–certified Deck Inspectors, can network with fellow NADRA Industry Professional members, who can provide much-needed expertise in deck installation and repairs.

Membership and certification with NADRA allow ASHI members who have completed their deck certifications to specially market their expertise. To showcase that they provide deck safety inspections, they can tap into NADRA resources, including access to the NADRA logo, Deck Safety Ambassador logo and the Check Your Deck® National Program. As a Certified NADRA Deck Inspector, an ASHI member will also receive a personal online profile that can be used to generate leads under the Find an Inspector section of the website.

Deck inspections can be a great way to drive business as a whole by providing a needed service to communities. Having a NADRA certification validates the inspector’s high level of competence. Michael Beaudry, NADRA Founder and Executive Vice President, commented, “A great way for inspectors to increase business is by marketing deck inspections.” 

Marketing your expertise can build revenue and add to your client base. By performing a deck safety inspection for a client, you’re positioning yourself to be their inspector in the future, as they will remember your skills and will call on you when they plan to move to a new home.

Incidentally, with the social distancing that we are experiencing due to the coronavirus pandemic, inspectors can continue to generate income while providing very important deck inspections. By conducting deck inspections, which are done outdoors, you can keep a safe distance from others while keeping your company’s name and reputation at the forefront. By working in your communities during this time, you can differentiate yourself from the competition.

NADRA is on track to achieve its goal of certifying 1,000 ASHI members in deck safety. With 30 or more ASHI members attending each chapter’s NADRA education and certification session, home inspectors affiliated with ASHI chapters are a fast-growing part of NADRA membership.

Beaudry said, “ASHI leaders are extremely serious about moving the inspection profession forward. They drive home the message that education is a key element to having a successful inspection business. That philosophy trickles down to the members, and it creates a community in which ASHI members take their job seriously and are genuinely passionate about learning.”

As a result, he commented, “ASHI members are fantastic students at the NADRA course. They take great notes and they pay attention. You know the class is going well when people are engaged and asking questions, even toward the end of the session.

To make a simple projection of the benefits to the community at large, if the roughly 60 certified inspectors in St. Louis (where NADRA has provided its deck inspection class for the St. Louis Chapter) each perform three deck safety inspections per week during 45 weeks in a year, that could equate to a total of 8,100 decks being inspected in one year alone. In turn, this number increases the corresponding prevention of potential injuries (or worse) due to the types of accidents and injuries that can happen with the use of old and decaying decks. 

Think of the difference we will make as we work together to spread the word on Deck Safety across North America.

ASHI’s new micro-credential: Deck Specialty Inspector

Think you know how to inspect a deck? Think again! 

Both the ASHI and NADRA deck courses will surprise you. After taking one of these courses, you will understand why inspecting decks is more complicated than most inspectors realize. You will never look at a deck in the same way again. Taking a deck inspection course gives you the knowledge you need to inspect decks and identify defects based on objective standards, not just on your opinion. You will learn how to prioritize defects, and how to report defects to your clients so that they can understand and use the valuable information that you provide.

ASHI’s St. Louis Chapter Embraces Deck Safety

The St. Louis chapter was one of the first chapters to offer NADRA’s deck education and certification program, and the chapter has promoted deck safety during two seminars in 2017 and 2019. The first offering was as a bonus day of training in conjunction with a seminar and members paid to take the NADRA course. 

During the second offering, the class was included in the price of the regular seminar and approximately 120 ASHI inspectors attended. Because the St. Louis chapter includes all training in its annual dues, there was no additional cost for members to get this training. 

Those who wanted to get certified or recertify had the option to take the NADRA Deck Inspector Certification test at a reduced price, as the chapter subsidized a portion of the certification and recertification fees. Currently in the St. Louis chapter, approximately one-third of its 175 members are NADRA Certified Deck Inspectors. 

Mark Goodman, who served as the ASHI St. Louis Chapter President from 2018 to 2019, said, “The education we received was eye-opening. Most of our members stated they would never look at a deck the same way after taking the NADRA class taught by Jim Maley with Simpson Strong-Tie. We brought the NADRA class to the St. Louis chapter seminars twice because after taking the eye-opening class, we wanted to make sure all of the chapter’s members were on the same page when inspecting decks.”

The Value of Deck Inspection Education and Certification

Comments from St. Louis Chapter ASHI Certified Inspectors 

Paying attention to the details is vital when inspecting. The points and checklists presented during the certification class reinforced my knowledge of deck components and design. I routinely discuss the importance of regular deck inspections with my local agents, neighborhood groups and building associations.

Earning the deck certification was time well spent. Working together with other organizations to improve consumer awareness and safety benefits the entire inspection profession.

John Wessling, ASHI Certified Inspector, Instructor for The ASHI School and 2014 President of St. Louis ASHI, ASHI Treasurer
Wessling Home Inspection Services, St. Louis, MO, john@wesslinginspections.com

A lot has changed in the past few years regarding deck construction methods. Decks used to be constructed like you would build any other portion of a house. Now that we understand why decks fail, decks are built differently. There used to be very little in the code explicitly relating to decks—that has changed thanks to NADRA’s efforts. Every new deck should be built according to the current best practices (AWC-DC6), soon to be replaced by NADRA’s best practices.

Statistically, handrail failure is the largest source of deck injuries, followed closely by attachment to the building. The most valuable things I learned by taking a NADRA deck inspection class (the gold standard for deck inspections) or the new ASHI deck inspection specialist course were related to the proper attachment of handrails and deck structure to the house. I also learned many nuances, like post sizes, notching of a post and required hardware.

We already encourage homebuyers to choose ASHI Certified Inspectors to perform their home inspections. After taking NADRA’s class twice, I see there is a tremendous market for stand-alone deck inspections. This can be an area that home inspectors use to expand their services and increase their revenue. Having the NADRA certification gives home inspectors a competitive edge. More importantly, it arms you with the tools and knowledge you will need to perform a superior deck inspection and promote deck safety.

Mark Goodman, ASHI Certified Inspector, ASHI Director and St. Louis ASHI Chapter Past-President
Brewer Inspection Services, Manchester, MO, mark@homeinspectstl.com

As the current president of the ASHI St. Louis Chapter and as a longtime member of the Chapter Education Committee, it was an honor and pleasure to have NADRA at our chapter seminars in 2017 and 2019. Mike Beaudry, representing NADRA, and Jim Maley, the main speaker for the presentation, were true professionals who put on a world-class show for our members. The NADRA class and presentation gave our members a new look at how we inspect and report on decks.

I have 23 years as an ASHI inspector, but I really did not pay that much attention to the color of rust when making a call on the integrity of the deck and the structural connections. Each and every one of our inspectors came out of this class with something they never thought of when inspecting a deck. 

We all know how inspectors are very visual; most inspectors get bored with speakers who just read from a textbook or from the slides of their presentation. So what does NADRA do? It shows actual film of deck failures with people on the decks. Everyone in the class kind of sat up straight with their eyes wide open for that. I was guessing that ASHI inspectors were saying to themselves, “I wonder who was the last inspector to inspect that deck?”

There is no ASHI inspector in this country who wants to answer to any family member that was injured (or worse) on any deck
that he or she inspected. 

“Then there was the issue of a test at the end of the class before  receiving your certification. Did I really see inspectors actually taking notes, in this digital age, to ensure that they passed the test? Yes, all our inspectors were on deck (pun intended) for this presentation. Well done, NADRA, and we look forward to having you visit our chapter again in the future. “

Harry Morrell2020 St. Louis ASHI Chapter President
Allied Building Inspections, harry@allied-inspectors.com

29 New NADRA Members Participate in Deck Evaluation / Inspection Certification Class at JLC Live in New England

“It was great to see so many industry professionals attending this weeks NADRA deck evaluation certification class at JLC Live in Providence Rhode Island.

Home inspectors, pro deck-builders, engineers and architects, coming together to gain the comprehensive knowledge of proper deck inspection.

With Deck Safety Month® right around the corner in May, we want to congratulate these new members who will be out in the field making a difference in deck safety & our industry.” ~ Michael Beaudry, NADRA Executive VP

About the class: NADRA, working together with ASHI hope to educate, promote, and enhance deck inspections and deck safety through education and improved inspection process. Learn what has changed in deck construction, understand the cause of deck failures, and the implications systems like dry below. After attending the deck session you’ll never look at a deck the same way.

This event is open to all industry professionals including, but not limited to: Inspectors, builders, contractors, remodelers, architects, designers, students, manufacturers, distributors, sales representatives and more.

If you are interested in hosting this class in your town, please contact NADRA today by emailing headquarters at Info@NADRA.org.

The NADRA Deck Evaluation / Inspection Course Includes …

The Existing Structure. The features on the exterior of a house, such as windows, overhead cables, and dryer vents require certain considerations when in proximity to a deck or other walking surface.  Numerous building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and fuel-gas systems must be considered when judging how effectively a deck works with a home.

The course is intended to assist the ASHI home inspector & industry professionals the opportunity to assess the deck construction and safety issues.  Better understand how to analyze the following deck components and issues and more:

  • Stairs
  • Footings and Posts
  • Joists, Joist Connections, and Girders
  • Ledger Connections
  • Deck Boards
  • Handrail Assemblies and Guards
  • Recognize proper and improper fasteners
  • Assess hardware and material corrosion

The NADRA Deck Evaluation checklist has been developed specifically for industry professionals as a comprehensive tool to be used to properly assess the safety issues of a deck.

ABOUT JIM MAILEY, INSTRUCTOR:

Jim is the Midwest, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic training specialist for Simpson Strong-Tie.

Jim is considered an expert in safe, outdoor wood deck construction and is an advisor on structural issues for the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA). Joining Simpson Strong-Tie in 1992, Jim has given over 500 workshops and seminars to more than 35,000 design professionals, building officials, home inspectors, builders, contractors and dealers.

He has developed numerous programs designed to educate industry professionals about how to install Simpson Strong-Tie® products as well as how structural products meet various building code requirements and safety standards.

He has been doing education to home inspectors since 1998 and was the 1st person to provide a complete program on what to look for on a deck to home inspectors at InspectionWorld in New Orleans in 2008. Additionally, he was the 1st person to provide deck education to contractors for NADRA.

He has written articles about deck safety for the ASHI Reporter and NAHI Forum home inspector publications and has written for ThisIsCarpentry about deck construction. He has been quoted in numerous contractor magazines and internet articles about deck safety.

In 2018, Jim Mailey was the recipient of the Terry Award in honor of his extraordinary dedication & unwavering commitment to creating and driving deck safety awareness across North America and beyond.

Jim earned a B.A. in Biology from Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania



NADRA Upcoming Education Schedule

Great Plains ASHI, 24th Annual Fall Seminar:

Kansas City, MO – ASHI Chapter Annual Fall Seminar. 

WHEN: September 21, 2018 7:00 AM to September 22, 2018 4:00 PM

Jim Mailey- North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) Deck Evaluation Class. This is the same class taught in preparation for taking the NADRA Certification Exam. The test can be done at the Great Plains Fall Seminar or taken online with 30 days after the class. There is an additional fee for a one year membership and certification test. Deck inspection education is valuable even if you choose not to take the test and become certified.

Learn more & REGISTER

Remodeling / DeckExpo: 

Baltimore, MD –NADRA offers specific industry courses at the show, which gives you the option to receive your certifications. You can add these sessions onto your registration during the online registration process.

WHEN: Tuesday October 9th, 2018

Deck Evaluation / Inspection Program: Tuesday, October 9th, 2018 at 8am. Instructor: Jim Mailey.This program will allow Inspectors the opportunity to evaluate a deck using the NADRA Deck Evaluation checklist.  The NADRA Deck Evaluation checklist has been developed specifically for industry professionals as a comprehensive tool to assess the safety issues of a deck properly.

Down The Load Path: Tuesday, October 9th, 2018 at 1pm. Instructor: Glenn Mathewson. This program will allow industry professionals the opportunity to learn about the new 2018 IRC provisions; this course completes the load path started in course 2, Ledgers and Lateral Loads. Decking, joists, beams, posts, foundations, and properties of the earth covered so that the entire structural system and related codes can be understood.

Learn more & REGISTER

INSPECTIONWORLD: 

San Diego, CA – Town & Country Resort

WHEN: Sunday, January 20th 8am – 12pm (4 ASHI CEs)

NADRA Deck Inspection Certification Class:  This program will allow the home inspector the opportunity to employ the ability to safely inspect a deck using the NADRA Deck Evaluation checklist. The NADRA Deck Evaluation checklist has been developed specifically for home inspectors as a comprehensive tool to be used to properly assess the safety issues of a deck. After the program the home inspector will understand how to analyze the following deck components and issues and more: 

  • Stair
  • Footings and Posts
  • Joists
  • Joist Connections
  • Girders
  • Ledger Connections
  • Deck Boards
  • Handrail Assemblies and Guards
  • Recognize proper and improper fasteners
  • Assess hardware or material corrosion
  • Review of the safety standards of all (decks, stairs, guards) structures.

Learn more & REGISTER

NADRA Education at RIDIJ 2016, Baltimore

What: ND01 – Deck Evaluation/ Inspection Certification Class for Industry Professionals

When: Wednesday, October 5th from 8am – 12pm. Presenter: Jim Mailey.

Cost: NADRA Member Price: $99  / Non-Member Price: $199

This four-hour session will teach the home inspector how to safely inspect a deck using the NADRA Deck Evaluation checklist. This checklist has been developed specifically for home inspectors as a comprehensive tool to be used to properly assess the safety of a deck. At the conclusion of this session, the home inspector will understand how to analyze the following deck components and issues: stairs, footings and posts, joists, joist connections, girders, ledger connections, deck boards, handrail assemblies and guards, recognize proper and improper fasteners, assess hardware or material corrosion, and review the safety standards of all (decks, stairs, guards) structures.

What: ND02 – A Trip Down the Load Path: Updated to 2015 IRC Provisions

When: Wednesday, October 5th from 1pm – 5pm. Presenter: Glenn Mathewson.

Cost: NADRA Member Price: $99  / Non-Member Price: $199

Now updated with all the new 2015 IRC provisions, this course completes the load path started in course 2, Ledgers and Lateral Loads. Decking, joists, beams, posts, foundations and even properties of the earth are covered, so that the entire structural system and related codes can be understood. This course also covers the topics in the NADRA Master Deck Professional-Codes 2015 certification renewal!

Upon completion of this course, attendees will…

Understand the basics of proper deck foundation design and construction.
Comprehend the concept of a load path and how forces are transferred through a structure.
Learn of various standards and sources for validating a deck’s structural system, but without an engineer.

Registration: You can register right here on NADRA’s online event registration portal.

Register Now

Deck Evaluation Class & Networking Event, March 8th

Join us in Atlanta for NADRA’s Deck Evaluation Class!

Earn your Certification through NADRA on March 8th. 

Properly constructed outdoor living structures, built using quality materials designed for use outdoors and maintained on a consistent yearly basis, can lead to many years of enjoyment. Being professionals in the industry require continued education on these materials and construction practices. You will be positioned to greatly help reduce deck, stair and railing failures – and in doing so, help prevent injuries and save lives.
ASHI Members will earn 4.0 ASHI credits 
This program will allow industry professionals to properly evaluate decks, stairs and railings using the NADRA Deck Evaluation checklist. The NADRA Deck Evaluation checklist has been developed specifically for industry professionals as a comprehensive tool to be used to properly assess the safety issues of a deck. After the program the professional will understand how to analyze the following deck components and issues and more:
  •  Stairs
  •  Footings and Posts
  •  Joists
  •  Joist Connections
  •  Girders
  •  Ledger Connections
  •  Deck Boards
  •  Handrail Assemblies and Guards
  •  Recognize proper and improper fasteners
  •  Assess hardware or material corrosion
  •  Review of the safety standards of all (decks, stairs, guards) structures
SPONSORSHIP OPPS: Click HERE
  • Main Sponsor – $2,500:
    • Top tier logo placement and appropriate signage
    • Website presence on event page and emails
    • Signage and Handouts in NADRA booth at the show
    • Podium recognition
    • 2 minute Speaking opportunity at event
  • Supporting Sponsor – $750:
    • Logo placement and appropriate signage
    • Website presence on event page and emails
    • Signage in NADRA booth at the show
    • Podium recognition
COST: For Deck Evaluation class and certification testing:
  • Attend class with no certification testing – FREE – Register HERE
  • Current NADRA Member – $99.00 for Certification Testing
  • Current ASHI Members – $199.00 for Certification Testing (includes one year of NADRA Membership Plus earn 4.0 ASHI Credits)
  • NADRA Membership for Builder/Contractor – $449.00 (includes NADRA membership and certification testing)
  • Non-Members – $499.00 for Certification Testing
  • Register HERE
What to Bring: 
Agenda: Please arrive promptly
  • Noon -12:15: Michael Beaudry – NADRA’s mission
  • 12:15 – 4:15: Jim Mailey – Seminar (short break included)
  • 4:15: Testing for those earning their certification
  • 4:30 – 5:00: Expo Visit
  • 5:00: Southeast Region of NADRA Meeting
Attend the Show! Use Promo Code “NADRA2016” & get FREE entry on the showroom floor. Register  HERE for the show. Register HERE for education, networking event and sponsorship opportunities.

NADRA Events Happening at DeckExpo

DeckExpo is just days away! Here is an easy-to-follow guide to all things NADRA happening during our time in Chicago.

If you want to make a difference while getting the most of your NADRA membership, GET INVOLVED! If you are interested in the work the Association is doing in the areas of growth, code and education, GET INVOLVED!  Please take a look and register/RSVP for the meetings below.

See you soon!

Sincerely, Your Home Team at NADRA Headquarters

  • Oct. 15 — 7:30 a.m.: Structural Design II — A Trip Down the Load Path /NADRA Master Deck Professional Codes and Standards / Register HERE
  • Oct. 16 — 7:30 a.m.: NonStructural Provisions/NADRA Master Deck Professional Codes and Standards / Register HERE
  • Oct. 17 — 8 a.m.: Outdoor Living Design and Sales/NADRA Master Deck Professional Codes and Standards / Register HERE
  • Wednesday, October 16th, 2013: 6:00pm NADRA Main Event at Howl at The Moon, 2013 National Deck Competition Winners Announced!  /Registration details can be found HERE
  • Thursday, October 17th, 2013: 11:00am NADRA Code Meeting, Glenn Mathewson – Code Summary of 2015 IRC Code Hearings/Location: NADRA Office, Room E256 /  Register via Facebook HERE
  • Thursday, October 17th, 2013: 12:30pm NADRA Education Committee Meeting / Location: NADRA Office, Room E256 / Register via Facebook HERE
  • Thursday, October 17th, 2013: 1:30pm NADRA Code Committee Meeting / Location: NADRA Office, Room E256 / Register via Facebook HERE
  • Thursday, October 17th, 2013: 2:30pm NADRA Membership / Growth Committee Meeting / Location: NADRA Office, Room E256 / Register via Facebook HERE
  • Thursday, October 17th, 2013: 5:00pm NADRA Annual Meeting / Location: NADRA Office, Room E256 / Register via Facebook HERE
  • Friday, October 18th, 2013: 10:00am NADRA / VisionScape, John Porco – Design and Sales Program Overview / Register via Facebook HERE
  • Friday, October 18th, 2013: 11:30am NADRA / Milford Enterprise, Jeff Atkins- Dealer Merchandising in the buildings and materials industry program / Register via Facebook HERE