Tags Posts tagged with "Deck"


Incident raises questions about high occupancy and code enforcement

A deck collapses at a home on Old Field Road, injuring at least two. Photo from Town of Brookhaven

By Rebecca Anzel

A party at an East Setauket home Aug. 26, attended by about 400 people was interrupted around 11 p.m. when an elevated deck holding 50 to 100 attendees collapsed. Two people were injured and taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, Brookhaven Town officials said.

The 10-foot high, 43-year-old deck did not violate any town codes, according to a town building inspector, but it was unclear if the structure had been inspected since it was built.

The home was illegally converted into living quarters for eight people. An investigation found it did not have carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, and had illegal key locks on interior doors and a broken basement window.

These types of changes, officials said, make it difficult for emergency personnel.

“The deck collapse that occurred this past weekend is a prime example of the serious safety hazards that exist when our governmental codes and laws are violated,” Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Valerie Cartright (D-Port Jefferson Station) said. “The numerous violations at this location jeopardize the health, the safety and the wellness of the home occupants as well as the visitors to the home on that evening.”

The homeowner, identified by officials as Zeyit Aydinli, will appear in Sixth District court Oct. 27 in Patchogue. He paid fines of an undisclosed amount in May for code violations on the same property.

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) said the town plans to pursue legal action against Zeyit.

“We are not settling this case.his case is going to go the distance unless the homeowner wishes to enter a guilty plea.”

—Ed Romaine

“We are not settling this case,” Romaine said. “This case is going to go the distance unless the homeowner wishes to enter a guilty plea.”

He added that no one has been arrested for underage drinking, though three people have been ticketed for violating the county’s social host law, which holds homeowners responsible for underage drinking on their property. Those names were not released, but have been shared with Stony Brook University.

Timothy Ecklund, dean of students at the university, said many of those who attended the party were most likely university students, but there is no way to determine an exact number.

The university is working with town officials to learn as much as possible about the incident, and “appropriate action” will be taken in accordance with university student policy.

Nearby neighbor Lauren Krupp called the police the night of the party to complain about the noise. She said police told her there was already a patrol car in the area. Soon after, Krupp said she heard a loud noise and speculated later it was the sound of the deck collapsing.

Krupp spoke about her interactions with the first group of students to inhabit the house, last year at this time.

“They were very polite young men who introduced themselves,” she said. “We visited the house once and there was a big banner with Greek letters. It appeared that they were a fraternity.”

Krupp said she hopes the incident can be a learning experience.

“I hope this leads to some reform,” Krupp said. “It’s just not appropriate for the neighborhood. It’s lucky there was not a more serious outcome.”

Donna Newman contributed reporting.

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By Ellen Barcel

Now that the nice weather is just around the corner, you’re probably thinking of enjoying outdoor living. Landscaping involves plants, but you also need some beautiful hardscaping, that is, a porch, deck or patio. Each has its pros and cons and works well in different situations. Here’s an overview of each.


Porches are generally raised structures, which run across the front of the house, usually with a cover. Porches are frequently made of wood but can also be made of concrete and brick. Since they are raised, they can have a storage area underneath them. This storage area can be open, closed in with a low trellis or completely closed in with a door. Porches add to the curb appeal of the front of a house as well as adding living space. Add a small outdoor table, a pair of chairs and some plants and the effect is quite charming.

Porches look particularly nice on Victorian and colonial style houses. Porches with a cover have the advantage of allowing for outdoor living even on a rainy summer day. The cover also helps keep blown debris from collecting on it. If you are concerned that the porch cover may block some of the sun from the room behind it, there is an easy solution — consider adding a light tube or skylight to that room. Porches need a railing around them, so no one accidently slips and falls. Hanging baskets of colorful flowers can be suspended from the porch cover. Porches may need to be painted or stained periodically, depending on the choice of materials.


patiowPatios are built at ground level and lead out of the back of a house. They have basically the same benefits as decks do. One advantage of patios is that made of cement, stone, slate or other hard material, they need virtually no maintenance. If a weed barrier is placed under the stone or slate, you don’t even need to spray to keep weeds from popping up between the stones. Since patios are at ground level, they do not need a railing around them. Don’t forget to add some lighting so you can enjoy your patio in the evening. Patios can be built so they blend into the deck of an in-the-ground swimming pool if you have one.


Decks are generally open wooded structures, usually accessible from the back of the house. Think lounge chairs and flower boxes when you think of decks. This is a great place for outdoor living, enjoying meals outside, reading a book or even watching TV. One advantage of decks is that there is a certain amount of give in wood, meaning that standing for any length of time is easier on the legs. Since decks are elevated, you get a better view of the surrounding yard, kids playing, etc. Decks are ideal especially if you live in a split level or high ranch house. As with a porch, decks need a railing around them so no one slips. Deck railings are a great place to grow colorful annuals in appropriate flower boxes.

deckwThe main disadvantage of a deck is that the wood needs to be treated periodically so it will not decay. If this is not done, you will find yourself doing more frequent repairs. However, you can get around this by using man-made “wood,” which lasts much longer.

However, before you make any decisions on whether you want a porch, a deck or a patio, check with your local building department. In some areas, you need a building permit no matter what you add; in some you need a permit if the structure is physically attached to the house or has a concrete footing. In other cases, a patio set in sand doesn’t require anything and doesn’t affect your taxes, while one set in concrete may require a permit and may add to your property taxes. There may also be limits on sizes of the additions. For example, a porch may only be allowed to extend so many feet out from the main structure. So get all the facts.

If you don’t have any electric connections outside your house — this is especially true of older homes — have an electrician come and install at least one in the front and one in the back. If you’re adding a water feature, check with the electrician to see if this is enough or if you need a special electric connection designated just for that feature.

Whatever you decide, you’ll find that adding a deck, patio or porch to your home provides you with years of outdoor enjoyment as well as adding to the value of your home.