We got called to repair a deck that had just recently been repaired. At first glance it didn't look terrible because it had new railings and deck boards as well as stair treads. Then I got closer to it and realized it wasn't even safe! A guy had come in for a fraction of market price for the repair job, didn't have a license and didn't get a permit, in BLACKSBURG TOWN LIMITS!
We had to completely take the deck off the house so we could install a new ledger board with proper flashing. While we were there we replaced the joists for no extra labor cost because they were starting to rot. Had to remove the posts which were rotten and in some cases literally just stuck in dirt with no concrete footer.
The last picture is a bonus, between the town inspectors and engineer we were literally told to do that, so we did. But the point is, Blacksburg is very hard to pass inspection and we are no stranger to the inspection process and how to make it through the rigorous inspection process. It does unfortunately cost a bit more to meet these needs but we can take care of it if you happen to live in town.
The deck passed inspection, and was able to be sold. Moral of the story, it seems nice to save some money but in the end paying a licensed professional a fair market rate can be the difference between being able to sell your house or even maintain homeowner's insurance vs. a deck collapse and a lawsuit.