The previous owners had this habit of building things ass-backwards because, and this is a theory, no one wanted to back to Home Depot to get more stuff. When they installed the tile downstairs, for instance, no one wanted to remove the toilet or the old tile, so they cut and built the tile over the old tile and around the toilet. So when I had to replace it... wala! The footprint of the new toilet (c 2005) did not fit the old one (c 1970), and there is a new floor layer I have to remove. The did the same with the deck and siding, so now we have huge holes in the siding where the railing used to be. They are going to have to replace a lot of siding in the back, and since it's new, and the old siding is... weathered, there will be a big color difference. Great.
The previous people who installed the deck also did not use cement of any kind. While this did save time demolishing the deck and did not tear up my yard as much, this was horribly illegal and explained why the deck seemed so unstable. Two of the main supports had already snapped in their dirt holes, and this explains why all the structural warping was occurring. This also was pulling the support beam from the house, which is what was causing all the leaking where the flashing should have been. As I suspected, this deck was a looming disaster waiting to happen at some party.
Tomorrow, Kati and PJ (the people who own Avec construction) will be in early to dig post holes, put in cement, and set the plan up for the first of three county inspectors. Should the guy show up, they will then begin to build the frame, but they can't do much until the posts have been officially inspected for spacing, plumb, and depth.
Oh, and their power tools kept tripping my breakers. [sigh...] :(