- The inspector couldn't enter the building.
- There needs to be 3' of flat runnout at the bottom of the stairs, and some of the gravel had sunk down a bit.
- Lack of adequate hold-down on the porch roof.
Frankly, I've worked hard keep from using Simpson Strong-Ties in visible locations. The reason being that most of them are as ugly as sin, and meant to be used inside walls and covered over. On an exposed structure like a porch they really can detract from the look. Their popularity stems from the combination of increasing code requirements and cheaper construction methods and materials. Use a Simpson Strong-Tie and everyone is happy because the burden of failure falls on them. It's a CYA sort of thing.
I was delighted when my first final list made no mention of additional hold-downs on the downhill side of the porch roof. The engineer had made much of the uphill connection at the house, but was silent on the lower portion. In the absence of direction my builders had fastened them with a single #10, 4-inch, stainless steel deck screw. My real frustration at not being there for the latest final inspection was that I might have been able to distract him or at least point to the last inspection report and kept the focus on those few items.
When I described the whole situation to my octogenarian neighbor, Roxy Nelson, he laughed. He had commented to me long ago that he thought the roof was liable to blow off in a stiff wind. As a machinist he had used plenty of metal in his place, and he was skeptical about my solution.
I did finally look up some data and the likely uplift on each rafter is 350 pounds. Trying to find the pull-out resistance of the screw was more difficult, but it seemed clear that 350 pounds was a stretch. Moreover, it seemed clear that the real point of failure would be the screw pulling through the cedar. So, in the end the house may be uglier, but safer.