terrace

A Terrace and Balcony: What Are the Differences?

Have you ever looked at adding an additional living space and wondered whether you should add a balcony or terrace? You are not alone. Balcony decks and terraces have long been confused with each other though, so to help you distinguish between them, here are a few key differences:

 

Size

The most obvious difference between a balcony and terrace has to be its size because the terrace is much bigger than a balcony, which is considered a smaller extension of the indoor living space.

 

Location

Another key difference between the two is their location. Balcony decks are extensions of the upper floor space. This means that they could be attached to the side of a house or a building, which makes them elevated.

Terraces, on the other hand, are usually flat platforms that serve as an extended outdoor living space. In recent years, a terrace could also mean a flat platform on the rooftop of a building where an outdoor living space could be created.

 

Finally, balcony decks and terraces are different from how they are accessed. Balconies are smaller and they are always attached to a room in the house while terraces are open spaces that have a separate entrance.

 


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

contractor

The Five Things to Look for in a Contractor

Constructing or renovating a house can be very tricky, tedious, and stressful. Although the idea of doing it yourself can look enticing and easy, putting yourself in a situation that requires a lot of time, work and money could make you easily lose your cool. So before that happens, it’s best to hire a contractor to get the job done for you. Here are five important things that you should look for in your contractor:

 

  1. Credibility

It goes without saying that you need a contractor that’s not only good at marketing itself but also credible enough to really give you the results that you aspire.

Credibility is very important when hiring a contractor because you’re essentially putting your project in his hands, no matter how small it is.

For instance, if you need your apartment to be inspected as part of your requirements, a professional apartment deck inspection team should do the job to ensure that everything is checked properly.

 

  1. Bonding capacity

No matter how small your project is, it’s a smart move to find a contractor that could offer you a bond for your project because it’s a sign of their financial strength and credibility. An un-bondable contractor could actually be a sign that they’ve had problems with past projects and paying their bills.

 

  1. Tenure

Although there are some good contractors that are new in the business, the experience still counts a lot when you’re looking for someone to do even the simplest home renovation projects for you.

Good contractors have already worked on numerous projects in the past, which means that they’ve dealt with a lot of situations and know how to handle them properly by now.

 

  1. Safety ratings

Safety should be a top priority in all your projects. So whether you need an apartment deck inspection or a full renovation, it’s very important to look at a contractor’s MOD rating (Experience Modification Rate), which is a plan required on all employer’s meeting a premium eligibility criteria for every state.

You’d want to book a contractor with less than 1.0 MOD rating, which is based on its industry classification and the number of OSHA incidents that’s been recorded by the company over a certain period.

 

  1. Technology

The construction industry is all about adapting to new techniques, tools, and technologies to make projects more efficient.

So if you want to get things done fast without sacrificing its quality, it wouldn’t hurt to hire a contractor that’s already adept with technology and uses it for projects to be completed more quickly.

A renovation or remodeling project is a lot more serious than it looks. You’re putting your money on the line, for one, and you might also need to make some sacrifices while the project is being worked on.

So if you want things to go as smoothly as possible, it’s very important to look for a contractor that will give you the most value for your investment.

 


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

building permits

How Expensive Is It to Get Building Permits?

Whether you’re building a new house, renovating some parts of it, adding an extension, or just want to get your house inspected by expert deck inspectors, you will need to secure building permits before you can start working on the project.

The truth is, building permit costs are growing exponentially every year that you really need to prepare financially for it to avoid any hiccups in the process.

But how expensive is it really to get building permits this year?

 

The Average Cost

In the United States, the national average cost for getting a building permit is $1,184, but it can range between $396 and $1,973. The cost can even reach as high as $7,500 in some big cities while smaller towns can charge as low as $100.

A building permit is strictly required for all types of building or remodeling projects in all states to make sure that the building code safety is complied with.

Whether you’re doing an electrical or plumbing project, doing any structural additions, or doing a complete renovation, you will be required by your local state to secure a building permit before any work can start.

 

Here are the average building permit costs of some of the most common renovations and rebuilding projects:
  • Building a house: $1,200-$2,000
  • Construction: $1,200-$2,000
  • Garage conversion: $1,200-$1,500
  • HVAC: $1,200-$2,000
  • Electrical: $10-$500
  • Bathroom: $1,200-$2,000
  • Plumbing: $50-$500
  • Deck: $0-$500
  • Basement: $1,200-$2,000
  • Building inspection: $200-$500
  • Demolition: $200
  • Window: $260-$600

 

The actual cost of securing a building permit will depend on the extent, type, and specifications of your project. This is why it’s very helpful to seek professional advice to know exactly how much you need to prepare and to avoid any hassles in securing the building permit itself.

For instance, if you want to add a deck or renovate an existing one, it’s best to hire expert deck inspectors who can do a full assessment of your deck and help you determine if you need a permit and what the costs will be.

If you’re planning to build a new deck, for instance, you may need to pay a permit fee of up to $500, which is relatively low as compared with other projects because decks don’t usually need any additional components like outlets, roofs, and wiring.

There will be instances, however, when you might need the services of a land surveyor to know exactly the best spot and the size for your deck.

Finally, you need to keep in mind that permit costs are different for commercial and residential buildings since an additional valuation is usually applied to the permit application fee.

At the end of the day, it’s best to work with contractors who can help you with the nitty-gritty involved in securing building permits and take care of your project so you don’t have to do the hard work yourself.

Once your project is complete, you may be required to hire a team of inspectors to make sure everything is done right and appraise your home if you’re putting it on the market.

 


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