apartment deck inspection

5 Nifty Ideas for Sprucing Up Your Apartment Deck

Living in an apartment means that you have a smaller space to work with, so you have to maximize every square foot you have including your deck.

After you’re done with apartment deck inspection, here are five nifty ideas to turn your boring deck into a cozy outdoor living space:

 

Give it some color

Just because your deck is small doesn’t mean you can’t add some pops of color to it. You could stain the wood, repaint the walls, or add accessories to the space to make it pop out without being too loud.

 

Choose your furniture well

Since you’re only working with a few square feet, you can only afford to put a few pieces of furniture in your deck. If you’re really tight on space, go for a daybed that you can stuff with pillows and a blanket for a cozy reading nook or lounge space.

You can also go for a small table with two seats for an outdoor dining area. Spruce up the space with some potted plants and you’re good to go.

 

Give yourself some privacy

Living in an apartment doesn’t exactly afford you a lot of privacy, especially with your outdoor space.

But you can solve that with a simple privacy screen made of bamboo that doubles as décor while keeping your apartment deck private so you can really enjoy your space.

 

Add some storage

If you want your apartment deck to serve the purpose of a lounge and storage area, you can pick a storage bench that could be your seating area and a space to put garden tools and other things out of sight.

You can also add shelves to display your favorite plants and décor without taking up too much of your floor space.

 

Bring the outdoors in

If you don’t have the luxury of a backyard or garden, you can still enjoy the feeling of having some greenery in your space by adding ornamental grass in your apartment deck. Ask your apartment deck inspection team if this idea is allowed in your space to make sure that you’re not violating any rules. Having some green on your foot will give the illusion of your own outdoor space even if you only have your deck.

 

A bonus tip

If you’re lucky enough to have a bigger apartment deck and your rental agreement allows it, you can always add a small pool to cool down for those hot summer days.

A stock tank pool is a great addition to your outdoor space and you can just pack it up after summer is done. Make sure to ask this during the apartment deck inspection, however, to make sure that your deck can handle the extra weight.

Are you ready to turn that once-neglected space in your apartment into your favorite spot? Follow these nifty ideas and add your own personal touch to make your apartment deck perfect for lounging, dining, and just enjoying some outdoor space.

 


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

dry rot repair

Tips on Repairing Dry Rot

Dry rot on your roof doesn’t just look horrible. It can also seriously undermine your home’s structural integrity. Neglect it and you’re setting up your house for wreck and ruin, not to mention significantly diminishing its sale value.

Understanding the cause of dry rot allows you to make the call on whether a repair is still possible or if it is best to replace the damaged part completely. Note that repairs may require inspections as mandated by SB 721.

 

What is dry rot and what causes it

The definition of dry rot is a type of fungal decay with the name Serpula lacrymans. It occurs in timber that has become too wet, with over 20% moisture. When this happens, the wood-destroying fungus attacks the timber.

Damp timber results in dry rot spores develop into the wood-destroying fungus. This type of fungus thrives in moist, damp, poorly ventilated conditions.

Damp timber in the home can be attributed to one or two of the following:

  • Penetrating damp, condensation
  • Leaking pipes
  • Faulty drainage
  • Broken roof tiles
  • A leaking washing machine that creates the ideal environment for fungi growth

 

Rescuing the Home from Dry Rot

Some types/amounts of dry rot can be repaired. However, repairs aren’t recommended if the affected areas provide structural stability to your home, such as with beams and joints, or even with flooring for that matter. In those cases, you should replace the wood instead of repairing it.

You’ll also need to eliminate the conditions that allowed the rot to grow. Locate the cause of moisture buildup and if you think you’re not able to do it, you can hire inspectors to check for roof leaks, damaged gutters, plumbing leaks, and/or poor ventilation.

 


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 permit

Obtaining a Permit Prior to Building a Deck

It comes as a surprise to many homeowners that they need a permit for building a deck. This is understandable. If you’ve gone through all of that when you first built your home, why should you still need one now?

Decks that are poorly constructed can cause serious harm to people when an accident occurs. Securing a permit to build a deck ensures that you have fulfilled the necessary requirements proving that your intended home addition follows the building standards enforced by your state.

 

Why you should get a Deck Permit

Building a deck without a visit from deck inspectors could lead to some serious trouble. Some people find this out the hard way when they’re given a hefty fine for constructing an illegal addition to their abode.

Building a deck without a permit can also come back to haunt you when it is time to sell your house. Contractors can lose their licenses if they build without permits.

And that’s not all.

In some cases, the authorities will order a newly-built deck to be forcefully torn down because of the same violation. However, the worse possible scenario is someone getting seriously injured when a deck collapses because of faulty construction resulting from non-compliance with building codes set by the state/city.

That being said, it’s in the homeowner’s best interest to work within the rules and secure the right permit. In most cases, the deck inspectors are more than willing to work with you to make sure you end up with a great deck that meets all the code requirements.

 

Securing a Deck Permit

According to the most recent edition of the International Residential Code, decks to be constructed that are more than 30 inches above the adjacent ground will require a permit. Exemptions to this rule are the following:

  • The deck doesn’t exceed 200 square feet area
  • The deck isn’t attached to the home
  • The deck will not serve as the required exit door of the home

You’re planned deck will likely not match one or two of the criteria above which means you’ll still need to get a permit.

 

Deck Permit Application Requirements and Process

Here are the primary requirements when applying for a deck permit.

  • Two copies of scale drawings of the framing plan (overhead) of your proposed deck. These can either be created using computer drafting software or hand-drawn using ¼” graph paper.
  • An elevation drawing (front or side view)
  • A site plan showing the deck’s location in relation to the house and property lines

On your framing plan, indicate the locations, spacing, and sizes of your frost footings, beams, and joists. This information will be reviewed by deck inspectors to make sure it meets structural code requirements. Be sure to include notes or visual details showing how you are going to install the footings, guard rails, stairs, and the ledger board. Be specific about material types and grades you are using for the framing, decking, and rails. Include the kind of hardware and fasteners you plan to use.

To apply for one, start by finding out who issues building permits in your area and where you need to go to apply for one. Head to City Hall and check with the Building Inspection Department.

If you live in a rural area, there may be an independent inspector that covers a wide area. Fill out and submit a completed application, along with the requirements specified above.

 


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 balcony

What Goes Into Elevated Balcony Design?

An elevated balcony is a beneficial addition to any home. A balcony is a liminal space between the inside and out that is sheltered and private, but at the same time, offers a view of the outside world.

This home feature is also beneficial in other ways. A balcony can increase the amount of living space and can make the room bigger than it is. It’s versatile and can be fitted with a storage closet or custom-built shed when a small space is a concern.

A balcony can also add architectural interest to the building and provide additional design options. It’s a great area to grow plants because it isn’t readily accessible to animals and pests.

Such a wide and open space filled with greenery could have multiple health benefits too. For one example, an airy balcony with a view can help promote relaxation. Having pockets of relaxation throughout your day helps you avoid the ill effects of stress like fatigue, cardiovascular problems, and migraines.

Speaking of a view, elevated balconies almost always have this feature. Whether overlooking a rolling field, woods, mountain, waterfront, or even a city always adds the view to the room.

In such cases, an elevated balcony can also increase the value of a house or building on the market.

 

But what Exactly is an Elevated Balcony?

An elevated balcony, as the name implies, is an indoor/outdoor structure typically found on high-rise buildings. Like the typical balcony that you’d find in most homes, it’s possible to use this space for growing plants, extra storage, an extension of the living room, or simply a cozy spot to relax in after a long and tiring day.

 

Design Considerations for Elevated Balconies

When it comes to an elevated balcony, there are two main design factors to consider.

Outlook. This refers to the view from the balcony. The outlook can be tricky to get right. That’s because it’s hard to control for, the views or the external perspective it falls outside the building footprint, by definition. Fortunately, almost any view can hold interest so it will boil down to constructing a balcony in a way that best frames the skyline of a great city or just the neighboring alley.

Refuge. This second factor is within the building designer’s control. When you think of refuge, you think of privacy. Having that sense of security that you have a place in your home where you can observe the panoramas or the flow of life outside without exposing one’s self to the general public. That sense of privacy is something that should be incorporated into the design of your elevated balcony. Some key considerations are the following:

  • Height above the street
  • Protection from side to side views
  • Protection from the elements and from the view of neighboring eyes

Before construction on a balcony, it’s imperative to have the plans checked to ensure that it complies with the building safety codes in a city or state. If you’re in need of quality inspection services in southern California, check out Deck Inspector.

 


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

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

deck inspectors

3 Quick Tips for Inspecting Your Deck

Regular deck inspection should be part of your must-do’s as a homeowner and here are three quick tips that you can use when inspecting your outdoor living area:

 

Check for signs of mold and mildew growth

You can expect mold and mildew growth on your deck, especially if you don’t clean it regularly. But if you already notice fungus growing on your deck, you should consult qualified deck inspectors in California right away to address the problem because it can pose a serious health hazard to your family.

 

Look for any missing nails or screws

Being an extended living space, your deck should be able to stand on its own while still being firmly attached to your house.

The ledger board does this job, but when you see that there are missing screws or the board isn’t well fastened, you need to have it fixed right away before your deck separates from your house.

You should also look out for missing nails that could make your deck weaker and dangerous to stay in.

 

Inspect posts for signs of rotting

 Finally, you have to make sure that all the posts in your deck have no signs of rotting. Over time, your deck may start to weaken because of constant exposure to the elements, which is why it’s best to have qualified deck inspectors in California over to make sure that everything is in good shape and to recommend any replacements or repairs if needed.

 


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 element

Are You Planning to Add a Balcony in Your Home? Here’s What You Should Consider

It’s almost every homeowner’s dream to have a balcony. This exterior elevated element doesn’t only add some extra space in the house, but it also adds a luxurious feel to space. Just imagine waking up and drinking coffee in your balcony.

But adding a balcony in a finished home is not an easy task. So if you’re planning on this as your next project, here are some of the things that you should consider:

 

The Materials

Most balconies are made from wood, cement, vinyl, or wood composite. Your choice of material should be based on what your existing home’s materials are so the balcony easily blends in with the rest of the house.

Cement is a popular choice because of how it can hold up to the elements, but some prefer wood because it offers that relaxing ambiance that a lot of people are looking for.

 

Accessibility

Building a balcony is more than just tearing down a wall and creating an exterior elevated element where you can look at your views outside. You also need to pick a spot in your house where you can easily build a doorway and access point from the room where you choose to connect your balcony too.

You also need to think about how the balcony will affect the overall look of your home and it should be placed in a convenient spot that doesn’t put a dent on your current living arrangement.

 

Size 

Most experts would recommend building an exterior elevated element that extends at least four feet outwards because it can already accommodate two to three people and maybe some chairs for lounging. Consult your contractor on the best size for your balcony considering your house, your need for that extended living space, and of course, your budget.

 

Balustrade 

Your balustrade will be the focal point of your balcony’s aesthetics. Depending on the look that you’re going for or the current theme of your house, you can choose from metal, wood, vinyl, concrete, and glass panel railings. You can also choose from balustrades that form a single straight line, semi-circle, and angular line.

 

Cost 

A typical balcony will cost you between $15 and $35 per square foot. This cost will depend mainly on your choice of materials, the cost of labor, the style that you want, and of course, the height and size of your balcony.

But if you’re willing to make that investment, you can guarantee a good return value once you already put your home in the market.

Of course, there are permits. Any exterior elevated element will need permits before you can start construction, especially if you’re building a second-story balcony where you need to make sure that the added structure is safe and sturdy.

This is when it matters to work with a contractor with the appropriate license and credentials, so you can make this part easier and move on with your project.

 


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 services

4 Tips for Checking Your Deck Before an Inspection

Your deck is the focal point of your home’s outdoor space. It’s where you entertain, spend time with the family, and just relax under the stars during the summer. With all the benefits of having a deck as part of your property, you should also invest in routine deck inspection services to make sure that this outdoor space is safe and sturdy for its purpose.

But before your reliable inspectors get to your house, you should do a self-inspection first following these tips:

 

Look for Signs of Insect Damage

Being exposed to the outdoors, your deck is the ideal breeding ground for insects. Although most materials for making decks are now treated with chemicals that keep insects away, there’s still some chance that your deck might be infested with ants and termites that could cause serious damage to its framework.

If you notice even the slightest sway when you walk on your deck, it is worth noting this observation to your deck inspector to see what can be done to address this problem.

 

Look for Cracks 

Small cracks are a normal part of your deck’s wear and tear, especially if it’s been around for a long time. But cracks around fasteners and between joists could be a sign of serious damage to your deck and should be addressed right away before it causes serious problems in the future.

Depending on the recommendations of your deck inspection services, you should seal and stain your deck at least every two years to reduce cracks that are caused by water, heat, and cold exposure.

 

Look for Rusting

Your deck may look good on the outside, but it could be suffering from some serious damages on the inside. So when inspecting your deck, you should look closely at your connectors, joists, and fasteners for any signs of rusting, which could make your deck weak and potentially dangerous to use. If you detect any rust on nails, screws, bolts, and other connectors, you should call deck inspection services right away.

 

Look for Signs of Mold and Mildew Exposure

Because of its constant exposure to the elements, your deck will develop mold and mildew at some point during its lifespan. Your steps are most susceptible to mildew growth, which could make it slippery and unsafe.

If you notice any green tint on your deck, make sure to wash and stain it regularly to address the problem. But if you see mushroom-like growth in your deck, it could be mold and fungus that could be a sign of bigger problems. Call your deck inspector right away to have your deck checked.

Your deck offers a lot of benefits to your house. Aside from being an extension of your living space, it also adds value to your property and makes it more attractive to future buyers.

So if you want to make the most of this investment, you have to make sure that regular deck inspection services are done to protect your deck from any serious damages.

 


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