NYC DOB Starts No-Penalty Deck, Retaining Wall Inspection Program

The Department of Buildings notes that factors such as weather and shifting soil can cause decks, porches, and retaining walls to weaken, deteriorate, or lean over time, so it is important the owners are diligent in making sure they are safe and code compliant in order to prevent potential accidents.

New York City's Department of Buildings began its 8th annual No-Penalty Deck and Retaining Wall Inspection Program on July 12. The two-month-long citywide initiative allows New Yorkers to call 311 and request a free, no-penalty visual inspection of their decks, porches, and retaining walls, to ensure those structures are maintained in accordance with the NYC Building Codes.

After the inspection, the department will notify homeowners of the findings and whether or not the conditions observed pose an immediate safety hazard or warrant repairs. If immediate safety hazards are found, the department will not issue violations for a limited time, giving homeowners the opportunity to make corrective repairs.

New Yorkers can call 311 to schedule a free, no-penalty inspection any time between July 16 and Aug. 31.

DOB notes that factors such as weather and shifting soil can cause decks, porches, and retaining walls to weaken, deteriorate, or lean over time, so it is important the owners are diligent in making sure they are safe and code compliant in order to prevent potential accidents.

"From both a safety and a monetary standpoint, homeowners are well advised to take advantage of this unique program," said New York City Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler. "Too many preventable accidents result from the neglect of decks, porches, and retaining walls, and conducting repairs following an accident is far more costly than maintaining them properly in the first place."

Since the No-Penalty Deck and Retaining Wall Inspection Program was launched in 2010, the department has performed several hundred of the inspections.

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