SB 721 Inspection

Preparing for the New Year: SB 721 Inspection Addition

2020 has brought some challenges in people’s lives. But the coming year 2021 will surely bring hope and endless opportunities for improvement. The best wat to start off on the right foot is by starting off early! it is important to note that buildings or apartments are subject for SB 721 Inspection under the building standards code of California.

 

The addition of the current Senate Bill No. 721 will require the inspection of exterior elevated elements and associated waterproofing elements for decks and balconies, also meaning that the SB 721 Inspection will require the landlord to enter the dwelling to make necessary repairs and to comply with the requirements stated in the Senate Bill.

 

As a landlord, you are required to abide by this bill to determine any condition that will pose immediate hazard to the health and safety of the occupants.

 

For load-bearing components in buildings or apartments, the SB 721 Inspection will also require the landlord to ensure that these are in generally safe condition, adequate working order, and free from any hazard.

 

Tenants are also required to report any hazardous condition in their rental property to get proper attention from licensed architects, civil or structural engineers, or building contractors at the soonest possible time.

 

To learn more about the SB 721 Inspection, click here and get redirected to our health and safety code section


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 decks

Budget Friendly Ways to Utilize Every Inch of Your Apartment Deck

There are a lot of ways to improve your apartment deck and help get the most bang for your buck by being able to better utilize every inch of the space you are paying for!

Here are some budget-friendly ways for you to transform your apartment deck into a functional space for you and your guests.

 

Installing multifunctional balcony furniture

 

If you know a bit of carpentry, you can build a spectacular piece of multifunctional balcony furniture to enhance your apartment deck. This combines a lot of seating space with a bench and vertical storage.

 

Creating a vertical lattice structure with some cheap materials for your local hardware store will provide a shelving space for small plants or objects. You can also use small dollar store crates under the bench to stash some small blankets, pillows, or games. Thrifting a small outdoor rug will help warm the space and bring the whole area together, sustainably and cheap!

 

Adding pops of colors with planters

 

You can set the tone for an inviting balcony by implementing touches of colors that are known to bring calmness, warmth, and serenity to any space. One easy and eco-friendly way to add a pop color is by creating your own planter wall.

Adding greenery not only helps keep the air clean around you and promotes pollination, but also brings a new feeling liveliness to an area that can lead to more calm and happy feelings.

 

A fun way to maximize color is by picking up some cheap pots on Amazon or at your local plant shop and painting them to match your own aesthetic! Make sure to choose colors that you find yourself drawn to, and make you feel good looking at to help enhance the moods that bring out the best in you.

Seating ideas using pallet boards

 

Pallet boards are also quite useful when you are transforming a simple balcony deck into something inviting and relaxing. These can be used to create a wood pallet sectional sofa with tufted outdoor cushions to transform the outdoor apartment deck into a cozy hangout.

 

If your balcony is a bit limited in space, you can utilize the wall by using a roll of inexpensive reed fencing to spruce it up. You might opt for a string of paper lantern-style lights to add a bit of ambiance during the night.

 

Throw in a machine-washable cotton rug on top the wood tiles and put a white planter with hassle-free faux plants to seal the deal.

 

Adding twinkle lights

 

One of the most important elements of any room is lighting and while the sun provides all you need during the day, adding some inexpensive twinkle lights can help maximize the hours of use for your apartment deck.

 

If you are transforming your balcony deck, consider using string lights to line the walls, railing, or windows. Adding fun lights will create a nice new spot for dinner dates while practicing social distancing, or just a nice breathe of the crisp fresh air before bedtime.

 

 

Ideas for the improvement of your apartment deck has no limits if you make the most out of it. You can spend a fortune, or you can settle for trendy pieces from local discount stores to begin with.

 

For any questions regarding the safety, upkeep, and protection of your apartment deck, click here! We are ready and eager to take on all of your questions or set up a consultation.


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

balcony decks

Five Homeowner Hacks for Revamping your Balcony Decks

Looking forward to having a great year in 2021? One of the best ways to start off the new year fresh is by revamping your balcony decks by bringing in new elements that will promote calmness and a good sense of grounding for the new beginning that everyone deserves.

 

No matter how big or small your space is, there are still ways to make your balcony decks as homey as possible. To pull out the top cozy vibes this year end, here are five homeowner hacks to revamp your balcony deck:

 

1.    Adding a table and chair set

 

It is understandable that an open balcony deck can be particularly challenging to transform into a cozy space to hang year-round. But you can enjoy the simple pleasures of life by adding a small table and a chair where you can sip your morning tea or coffee while reading the newspaper. Top the space with a knitted blanket and a cute throw pillow, and you will be set to chill morning and night with your laptop, phone, or even your favorite book.

 

2.    Installing built-in seating

 

If you have more breathing space, you may decide to maximize it by installing some built-in seating.  A fun way to do this is by picking up some pallets at your local hardware store, stacking them in your own unique way – almost like a giant game of Tetris! Top them off with some colorful cushions and an outdoor rug and you have yourself the perfect custom space to vibe out during downtime

 

3.    Bring in the greenery

 

Sometimes, putting in some furniture is too much to ask because of the limited space on your balcony deck. One way of bringing life to the space is by adding some planters full of lush plants.

 

This will surely create a backyard feel that will raise your spirits and ground even the busiest of people. Add in some pots of herbs to add to the greenery, while also replenishing your kitchen!

 

4.    Floor pillows

 

You do not always need to invest in furniture to bring a space together. Floor pillows are a great way to make any small space feel cozy and put together. Go with a color scheme that brings you calming energy and happiness and throw up some twinkle lights to make the place really shine at night!

 

5.    Spruce up some old Folding Furniture

 

Many secondhand stores are filled with old fold up chairs and tables. These can be great finds for anyone with a small space! They can easily be folded up and put away during harsh weather, and then brought back out when it is time to enjoy that balcony deck again!

 

A tip we love to share is to buy some outdoor canned or spray paint in your favorite colors and give the old school furniture your own quirky twist! Updating the color can help bring a whole new look to some old furniture, and make it feel timeless and fresh all over again

 

Balcony decks can be a great extension of your home, or condo. Maximizing your living space by adding warmth to your outside space can help ground and comfort any person during even the toughest of times. Make sure you utilize every inch of what you are paying for by using some of our DIY tips and tricks today!

 

 

Any questions regarding balcony decks and how to keep them safe, protected, and up to code? Get in touch! Click here to be taken to our contact page so we can help you with all your decking needs today

 


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

SB 721 Inspection

Balconies Through the Ages: History of Elevated Balconies

Through the years, balconies have played an essential role in architectural history. From the medieval ages to modern times, balconies have added a united aesthetic to homes where homeowners can gather, entertain guests, and enjoy the outside world without stepping out of their property lines.

A Little Background of Elevated Balconies

The word balcony originates from “balcone”, an Italian word which means scaffold. The earliest balconies were constructed in ancient Greece thousands of years ago, mainly for functional needs such as to boost interior light and improve air circulation for homes in hot climates.

During medieval times, balconies were used for ceremonial and recreational functions, such as when people of importance stood out on a balcony as they made proclamations to those listening below them from the ground.

While balconies were once used by dictators to show power, during more recent times they hold many functional uses such as providing spectators a better view of plays, operas, and sports games.

Most recently, due to the Covid19 Pandemic, balconies have served as brief escapes for people in large cities and apartment buildings around the world.

Different types of balconies then and now

Hourd

An ancient balcony made of wood, animal skin, or manure. While most balconies are associated with love and romance, a hourd is purposely built to protect a territory from invaders during the war. Castle defenders will stand on the hourd while dropping more manure or rocks to invaders below.

Juliet balcony

This is a compact type of balcony put up outside a French window or door on the second floor of the house. Juliet balcony is the most popular type and is a common architectural feature in countries like Italy and Spain. Balconets or balconettes, are other terms used for Juliet balconies and come in a wide range of designs – from minimalist to intricate railings.

French balcony

This one is a false balcony that opens into a railing with no space with the view of the surrounding around and below.

True balcony

Elevated balconies of this type add beauty, appeal, value, and some extra space to homes. In some states, properties with outdoor spaces add to the actual value of the property.

 

Besides, true balconies give homeowners the privacy they need without leaving the house. It becomes a private spot to enjoy the view around, watch the sunset, and get a breath of fresh air.

Mezzanine

This is an indoor type of balcony commonly seen between two stories in a building. Mostly, a mezzanine serves as a nook to entertain guests which features a deck with protective railings.

Hung balconies

These types are commonly featured in residential and modern buildings that sit perpendicular to the building. From the cable fixes to the platform the material mainly consists of steel.

 

Hung balconies work by fixing the metal cable on the metal platform and is then connected to the wall at 45 degrees.

 

Today, elevated balconies are used for both functional and recreational purposes. Balconies are now additional parts of the household to communicate with neighbors, hang clothes, enjoy the sunset over a cup of coffee, and so much more.

Got more questions about elevated balconies or need some guidance with inspections? Reach out by clicking here!


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

deck inspectors

What New Codes Mean for Deck Inspectors and Owners

Decks attached to residential properties add to the aesthetics of the structure and allow for owners and renters extra space for entertaining guests, for soaking in some vitamin D, or for relaxation.

However, most homeowners do not give too much thought to the status of their decks, leaving them in a poor state because of a lack of regular maintenance.

In the United States alone, there are about 45 million decks of which just 40% of these are safety compliant.

Since updated deck codes have been developed and implemented, qualified deck inspectors conduct inspections to see if existing and newly built decks are safe according to new deck codes and standards.

What deck inspectors look for during deck inspections?

Deck loads

  • Building codes require any construction of decks to have evenly distributed loads on the entire deck. For a deck to carry a uniformly distributed load 50% of the load is carried by the deck-to-house connection and the half is carried by the post.

Posts and Footings

  • Qualified deck inspectors will see to it that the depths and sizes of the holes meet the state’s building standards and what is on the approved building plan.

 

Normally, the depths standard is 12 inches below and the holes should be free of water and loose dirt. Posts should also be on undisturbed soil, be pressure-treated, and must be attached to its footing so it will not slip off.

Beams and Girders

  • Girders must be 12 inches away from the ground should be properly bolted on a notched post. But as always there is an exception to the rule and is only applicable if the elevation of the property does not provide the minimum 12 inches distance or if the deck is the property is on a very dry location.

Ledger Connection

  • Qualified deck inspectors would check if ledgers are correctly attached to a structure using lag crews and bolts. Bolts and crews must be strategically placed at least 2 inches; top and bottom and at least 5 inches from ledger boards.

 

Also, spacing for the ledger fasteners must be based on the moisture content, deck loads, sheathing thickness, and type of wood species (which are beyond visual inspection) but primarily, as what most building codes require, the spacing of the ledger fastener is based by the length of the beam.

Cracks

  • Deck inspectors will also check for existing and developing cracks as these can cause the connections from splitting which can weaken the deck bracing.

Fasteners or Connectors

  • Qualified deck inspectors will also take note of missing fasteners or connectors, rusting crews, loose fasteners, and any signs of degradation. In some instances, deck inspectors will carry new fasteners to replace those they remove during the inspection.

Decks may look so simple and easy to construct, but there’s more than meets the eye. Decks at home are bounded by safety regulations to avoid serious injury or death.

 

Looking for qualified deck inspectors to get your inspection done right? Click here to get in contact with some of our best! 


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

The Best Materials to Use for Modern Elevated Decks

Homeowners are now presented with a wide range of materials for home elevated decks, providing limitless ways to customize your deck just to your liking and stand out from the crowd. But with so much to choose from, picking the right material for your elevated decks can be a grueling process.

Before pushing through with your home deck plans, have a look at the list below to see which material might be the best fit for you.

Your choice deck materials are as follows:

Pressure-treated lumber

This is an affordable, easy to find, durable material and is generally recommended for small, elevated decks; however, PT lumbers are prone to warping, shrinking, and swelling when exposed to harsh elements and might require more upkeep depending the climate you live in.

Composites

This choice is easy to clean, weather-resistant, almost maintenance-free, and available in a variety of colors and features. Composites are more expensive compared to PT lumbers.

Aluminum

This is probably the perfect material for elevated decks as it is excellently rot and mold resistant. Aluminum is also a lot lighter when compared to wood, composite, and plastic materials. More so, it is exceptionally durable compared to most elevated decks materials.

Tropical hardwoods

Naturally resistant to insects, makes tropical hardwoods a good material choice. However, expect to shell out a good amount of money as this can be a harder find.

Red and Cedar

These materials add natural beauty to your elevated decks due to its rich and natural color. Both are also chemically treated making them resistant to rot, decay, and insects.

Have an elevated deck that’s up for inspection? Click here to get in contact with our qualified deck inspectors! 


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 walkways

Do Elevated Walkways Have A Clear Future?

There are speculations that elevated walkways can make way for the future of how public parks, particularly in urban environments, will be designed.

 

The only problem for urban development is the lack of space for creating such necessary sanctuaries that residents enjoy.

 

Concept Design Proves It Is Possible

 

In a concept park designed by a team in a park in Istanbul, Turkey, they featured elevated walkways weaving in and out of the trees above ground. It even had trampolines high above the ground level for everyone to have fun.

 

They are planning to create a series of different zones that might not be possible for densely packed locations just within 6 miles north of the bustling city center of Istanbul.

 

  • The Plaza.
    • This is the entrance of the park where visitors gather, sit, or lie down the lawn.
  • The Loop.
    • This is where visitors can enjoy a series of hammocks and swings above the park floor.
  • The Chords.
    • This invites people to wander the footpath twisting around the tree trunks, giving it a signature look different from any other public park that exists today.

 

The elevated walkways in mind will allow people to experience nature that is typically non-existent, creating a new interaction with trees in various heights.

 


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

Deck Inspection

What to Keep in Mind While Planning Your New Deck: How to Pass That Deck Inspection

Do you often envision the deck you are planning to build for special outdoor activities and celebrations of the family? Well, you must ensure that the deck is safe and up to the latest regulatory codes. This can be done by performing routine deck inspection.

 

Deck Safety

 

Since your deck is located outside of the house, it is often subject for the harshest elements the entire year. This means that the deck is often exposed to heat and cold weather conditions taking a tool even on the most well-maintained outdoor structures.

 

What You Need to Look Out For

 

Insect damage

    •  Modern day decks are mostly made of wood or a composite of such often treated with chemicals to keep bugs away. You can check for any deterioration if you notice some movement or sound when you first step onto it.

Rusted fasteners or connectors

    • Sometimes the safety of the deck is not visible from the outside. So, you have to look under the deck to ensure that connectors, fasteners, and joists are all in good shape.

Cracks and rotting

    • Wood tends to crack after some time specially between the joints and around the fasteners. This can exploit the weaknesses in your deck leading to serious problems.

Mold and mildew exposure

    • Almost all decks develop a green tint from mildew within its lifespan. In fact, steps are prone to mildew growth making them slippery and unsafe.

 

Deck Inspection

 

Deck framing

    • Inspectors for framing would usually require decks to be built low to the ground. This makes the job of inspectors easy without having to crawl down the structure. During deck inspection, inspectors will have to look at the specific connections assembled across the frame.

 

  • Among the areas to be inspected are the joist and beam spacing, as well as the hardware connections. Before the permit can be closed, you must pass a final inspection when all the work is done.

Deck footing inspection

    • Contractors can save ample amount of time on a project if they coordinate promptly about the footing inspections after the excavations. You can pass the footing inspection by using an inspector measure so that you can verify the base sizes and depths of the holes meet the specifications of the approved plans.

 

Professional Deck Inspection Cost

 

Perhaps the most important areas have been discussed and the remaining item to talk about is the cost. Typically, professional deck inspection cost ranges from $25 for a 30-minute inspection to as high as $199 for an hour.

 

What to Do If You Fail

 

It is possible to make mistakes as even experienced tradesmen can overlook details. Therefore a deck inspection is necessary because an inspector can look for details that others can’t.

 

If you fail, it is guaranteed that the next time your deck is inspected, it will become much safer and ready for use. So, it is not that bad to fail at your inspection after all.

 


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

Exterior Elevated Elements

Types of Exterior Elevated Elements: Differences Between Balconies and Porches

If you think a balcony is synonymous to a porch, then you should spend some time reading this article and get the true difference between the two elevated elements.  Here are basic differences between balconies and porches to begin with.

 

What Is A Balcony?

 

The balcony is a platform built outside the building, commonly enclosed by walls or balustrades, and supported by console brackets or columns. Basically, such a platform is projected from the wall of a particular building mostly above the ground floor.

 

Types of Balconies

 

A typical balcony is typically small and not used for entertainment or social gathering. Here are different types of balconies each one unique from the other.

 

True balcony

    • This one is common to everyone because it is a space with a floor and railings, open to the outdoors. Some can be very big and can hold furniture, such as a table or bench and a couple of chairs.

Faux balcony

    • Designed to look like a balcony, this one doesn’t have a floor. In fact, you can’t stand on it. However, it has some rails to give the impression of an actual balcony. Consider it as a decorative structure intended for making the exterior look more stylish.

False balcony

    • A small regular balcony but not faux balcony. Only a little bit of floor space and railings is available. But it is not built to hold furniture because it is only used to extend a room making it more open and offer breathable space as air can enter through this part of the apartment.

Mezzanine balcony

    • A real balcony located indoors is what best describes the mezzanine balcony. It also has a floor and railings making a space look more interesting as it serves different purposes.

 

What Is A Porch?

 

Just like the balcony, a porch is not all built the same. Here are a variety of porches made in different designs, placement, and purpose.

 

Types of Porches

 

Open porch

    • This one is something that doesn’t have any enclosures or sidewalls. It is just an elevated structure with a roof.

Front entry porch

    • This type of porch is attached directly to the front door, marking the main entrance of the house.

Farmer’s porch

    • Commonly attached to a farmhouse-style structure, this type of porch has a roof and supports beams and railings, going along the front of the house.

Back porch

    • Opposite to the front entry porch, the back porch is situated at the back of the house, commonly connected to the back door.

Detached porch

    • This one is not attached to the house, but its structure is similar to that of a pavilion or gazebo.

Screened porch

    • Enclosed by screens, this porch has a roof, often considered an extension of the living room.

 

As an exterior elevated element, the porch has many other names depending on its design and location inside the property.

 

Thus, the differences between the balcony and porch have been established. This makes each exterior elevated element a special part of the house with specific purpose.

 


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

waterproof deck sealer

Best Types of Deck Sealer

You can protect your wooden deck from any potential damage with the right deck waterproofing and sealer techniques. Take note that decks serve as living rooms of outdoor spaces where you can spend quality time with family to barbecue or enjoy a quiet evening with a glass of wine.

Wooden decks are subject to deterioration from exposure from the rain, snow, sun, or wind. This will wear away the wood, leading to cracks, fading, rot, and splinters. That is the main reason why it is very important to consider deck waterproofing with regular applications of deck sealers.

 

Seal-Once Marine Penetrating Wood Sealer

This is the best type of deck waterproofing. It is a clear water-based sealer that penetrates right down into the wood fibers to provide long-lasting protection against mold growth and moisture damage.

 

Eco Advance Exterior Wood Water Repellent

There is a reason why this product is the easiest to apply. Simply mix the concentrate with 1 gallon of water and use a sprayer to cover your deck with a light coat of the formula. This will not even harm your lawn or outdoor plants.

 

Olympic Stain Smartguard Concentrated Sealant

When it comes to the best value for money, this concentrated sealant is a well-priced that comes in concentrate form. Moreover, this sealer prevents water damage, rotting, splitting, and warping.

 

Olympic Stain Maximum Waterproofing Sealant

Wooden deck sealants typically last a year, but the Olympic Stain sealant lasts up to 3 years. It protects decks from cupping, rotting, and staining caused by humidity and water.

 


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