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Free inspections of your deck, porch for safety

If the deck on your house is old, wobbly, shaky or less solid than it used to be, now you can have it inspected for free by the city’s Department of Buildings (DOB) under a newly created program.

The DOB No-Penalty Deck and Porch Inspection Program is designed to help homeowners ensure their decks and porches are safe. At no cost, you can call 3-1-1 and schedule an inspection between now and August 1.

Decks and porches are one of the crucial areas to a safe home environment – especially as the summer entertaining session arrives. Age and heavy rain can weaken the structure, which can become dangerous to anyone standing or sitting on it. Before an accident happens, calling the DOB inspectors will help you to see what you can do to fix the problem.

Under the program, there is no risk or violation for the initial DOB visit. If repairs are needed or unsafe conditions that do not present an imminent danger are found, inspectors will defer issuing violations to allow property owners sufficient time to take corrective action.

The DOB offers another program during the spring, called the No-Penalty Retaining Wall Inspection Program which is also free of fees.

The No-Penalty Deck and Porch Inspection, in effect since June 21, has received many calls, according to DOB spokesperson Carly Sullivan. “I encourage all New York residents to take advantage of this special opportunity,” she said.

To find out more about the No-Penalty Deck and Porch Inspection Program, call 212-566-5000 or visit www.nyc.gov/buildings.

 

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