inspection - exterior elevated element

Housing Code Qualifications for an Exterior Elevated Element

There is a housing code in California that requires the inspection and certification of an exterior elevated element. The requirement involves property owners of residential buildings with 3 or more sleeping units.



So these are weather-exposed elevated elements such as wood and metal decks, balconies, guardrails, handrails, landings, stairways, and walkways, among others.



An exterior elevated element must be inspected by a licensed general contractor, professional architect or engineer. So they should verify that these elements are in a safe condition, adequate working order, without any signs of corrosion, decay, deterioration, or any similar damage that may pose safety concerns.




The said requirements would apply to the following occupancies:


  • Apartment houses, condos, and live/work units
  • Dormitories, convents, fraternities, monasteries, and sororities
  • Hotels, motels, or vacation timeshare properties
  • Boarding houses or congregation residences, categorized with 10 occupants for transient and 16 occupants for non-transient
  • Residential assisted living facilities




Apartment property owners who fail to file an inspection certification or complete corrective work upon the specified period will face penalties. This means that owners need to have their exterior elevated element inspected and certified by authorized personnel. So if corrective work is necessary, owners need to apply for a permit within 60 days of the certification date. Likewise, owners need to respond to plan check comments within a ten-day period of the correction letter.



Moreover, only a ten-day period is allowed to obtain a building permit within the date of notification of plan approval. All work must be completed within 90 days of the issuance of the permit.




Deck Inspectors for Southern California is happy to offer our services in Los Angeles, Orange County as well as San Diego and all Southern California surrounding areas like: Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank, Santa Monica, Anaheim, Temecula, Vista, Escondido, Carlsbad, and El Cajon

apartment deck inspection

Landlord’s Responsibilities and the Importance of Apartment Deck Inspection

The responsibilities of a landlord should include accommodation and safety of his tenants. Other than that, a landlord should also focus on regular apartment deck inspection to ensure everything is in shape.




Duties and Responsibilities


As a landlord, you are expected to keep the home of your tenants safe. So you are inclined to provide your tenants with a secure place to live. Therefore, you must know how to secure the property by installing security locks or cameras in conspicuous locations.



When a previous tenant moves out, you need to ensure that the locks have been replaced before a new one moves in. At the same time, you must not allow repairmen to work unsupervised inside the apartment of the tenant. Obviously, this could lead to claims of robbery.



Additional carbon monoxide or smoke detectors must be in place in case of emergencies. Moreover, you should make sure that your tenants feel safe outside the building. This includes the repair of any broken step or unstable handrail in order to keep the surroundings free from hazard.




Comfortable Environment


It is expected by your tenants that their home is safe, but it should also be quiet. This must be enforced when you are screening potential tenants wherein they should be respectful of others. Therefore, there should be a strict implementation of quiet hours that should be free from loud music or noises after a particular hour.




Clean Surroundings


If you are the landlord, you need to ensure that the apartment is clean. Part of your job is to maintain the property as a whole. This includes the removal of trash daily, which should be agreed upon by the tenant and the management.



This also includes the elimination of pests around the property. You may hire a professional to do this or you can do this yourself if you can manage. So you need to prioritize apartment deck inspection on a regular basis to keep the property safe. Of course, it is part of your responsibility to respond to tenant requests promptly.




Apartment Deck Inspection


Aside from being mandated by law, apartment deck inspection is part of your responsibility as a landlord. Needless to say, your tenants would want to see apartment decks when they live there and even make prospective tenants want to check it out.



According to Senate Bill 721, elements to be inspected would include elements such as balconies, decks, entryways, porches, stairs, and walkways. That if they extend beyond the exterior walls of the building. Moreover, that would be 6 or more feet above the ground with stability and support from wood or wood-based products.



Therefore, you need to do a regular, annual inspection to ensure that these decks can be used safely by tenants’ family and friends. Take note that past collapses of exterior decks and failed railings have resulted in the loss of life if not severe injuries.




Your responsibility is to allow licensed structural pest control operators, general contractors, architects or engineers to inspect your apartment deck, porch, stairs, or balcony and other attachments. Allowing licensed professionals to assure the safety of your tenants will guarantee that you will never run out of tenants.




Deck Inspectors for Southern California is happy to offer our services in Los Angeles, Orange County as well as San Diego and all Southern California surrounding areas like: Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank, Santa Monica, Anaheim, Temecula, Vista, Escondido, Carlsbad, and El Cajon

elevated decks

Elevated Decks Should Be Designed With Safety as Priority

There are many factors that impact the design for elevated decks. Among these factors are engineering, slow work conditions, and safety issues, which add up to high bids.



Depending on the height involved in building elevated decks, it is critical to apply caution and planning to get the job done. Here are important considerations when it comes to the construction of elevated or high-level decks.




Designing For Height


  • Bracing – Taller support posts on elevated decks will require bracing, aside from the need for lateral stability. Take note that such a design isn’t only a regular deck on stilts. This is the reason why special design considerations are needed when it involves a huge distance from the ground.


  • Stairs – An elevated deck design includes stairs, which is an integral part that connects the lower and upper levels. To conserve floor space, it is often placed outside. The length of the stairs can also be minimized by landing it near the house.


  • Railing – If your house has a high deck, the design of the railing is critical. Standard rail height for decks more than 12 feet should be around 42 inches.


  • Grill – It is important to add reinforcement to the structure through the heavy grill. You can add double or triple joists where the grill is. A spa can be reinforced using added columns and beams that make a continuous load path down the footings. So you can also double the joists under the spas so that the span between beams can be shortened.



Take note that height is not all about reinforcement and safety though, so a higher elevation can suggest more design possibilities. For stacked decks, for instance, you can put a porch by the lower level through a watertight floor between decks. Additionally, you may consider framing and screening the walls.




Big Footings


Typical sized footings might not be enough for a single elevated deck. For one, these might not be enough to support stacked decks. Thus, it is important to consider footings that are wider and deeper than usual to handle the increase in loads.






Always remember that when elevation increases, the overall level of difficulty in building decks also increases. This is because the scaffolding can get more extensive. So the higher the work zone is, the more time-consuming it will be for moving materials, people, and tools.




Safety Issues


There are many more factors that builders need to focus, which include stacking decks over wood columns. However, it is always a top concern for builders to consider safety.



Designing elevated decks can be a concern for the crew and the contractor. In fact, even safety harnesses and scaffolding are not enough to eliminate the possibility of getting injured.




Therefore, management must focus on safety and make sure everybody involved should participate. So it is the responsibility of everyone to understand the risks and difficulties in working with height. At the same time, they should have a working knowledge of scaffolding safety as well as the proper usage of safety harnesses.




Deck Inspectors for Southern California is happy to offer our services in Los Angeles, Orange County as well as San Diego and all Southern California surrounding areas like: Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank, Santa Monica, Anaheim, Temecula, Vista, Escondido, Carlsbad, and El Cajon