expert deck inspectors

How to Prepare for Building an Elevated Deck

No matter how small or big your home is, a deck adds value and functionality to your home. If you love entertaining and the outdoors, extending your living space by building an elevated deck is a great investment.

But before undertaking a deck building project, it is necessary to have the necessary tools, skills, and equipment needed. Hence, professional assistance is key for efficiency, quality, design and warranty options, planning, and proper compliance with permits.

What is an Elevated Deck?

Industry trends show that more homeowners are now ready to add decks to their properties. What used to be a luxury is now possible for every homeowner thanks to innovative construction technologies.

Elevated decks are platforms, inches above the ground, that attach to the house. It can be made of concrete, metal, or wood material. Elevated decks also come in an array of styles and uses. For example, the space under your deck can be an outdoor storage space or a shaded seating area.

But elevated decks and porches have added safety measures to prevent falling, breaking down and rotting, and other hazards. But regardless if building an elevated deck or not, every structure should meet local and standard building codes.

Preparing For Building an Elevated Deck

Planning permission is the fundamental step when building an elevated deck that is 11 inches above the ground or higher. Similarly, planning permission is mandatory if the size of the deck covers more than half your garden area.

Seeking out planning permission cannot be skipped otherwise you will need to stop and destroy the constructed deck and rebuild which can be a waste of money and time.

Then, you will need to start searching for the best deck builders or installers in your area. You should consider a deck builder or contractor that has been around for years.

It would be wise to ask for references from your circle that has had first-hand satisfactory experience in the past. Or you might want to check websites, ads, social media, or bulletin boards in your community to get information about reputable deck builders.

Once you have found the right company or builder and have agreed on building an elevated deck, the contractor will prepare the deck site before construction begins like cover the soil (depending on the height of the deck), stopping weeds, layout the shape of the deck while ensuring there are no underground services, dig holes for footings and piers, prepare the soil, and more before actual building starts.

The completion of your elevated deck is just the beginning. There is another essential task you need to carry out at least every two years, to have it inspected by pros. Reach out to creditable and qualified deck inspectors to check any damage, make sure your deck still conforms with current local building codes, and avoid hefty state fines.


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 inspections

What Kind Of Deck Inspections Do California Residents Need?

Decks, porches, and patios provide extended functional spaces to thousands of homeowners in California. While these add beauty and value to properties, many owners overlooked the importance of deck inspections to maintain safety.

Many accidents like failed railings, slips, and falls have resulted in severe injuries and traumatic loss of life. Decks are a place for family and friends to gather, entertain, and relax. So, they need regular inspections to ensure they are strong, safe, and durable.

Why Do We Need Deck Inspections?

Exterior structures like decks are exposed to elements that cause cracks, rotting, and other damages. Whilst these decks follow local building codes, they do wear and tear over time.

Being a heavily-used area at home, regular deck maintenance will detect conditions that pose hazards to the occupants. Deck inspections help prevent stair problems, railing breakages, or possible collapses.  Lastly, this will save money from costly repair and more importantly save lives.

California Balcony Inspections Law

In California, the state requires periodic deck inspections on properties with balconies, decks, porches, or patios. The requirements may vary by the type of building and elevated space you have.

The recent signing of Senate Bill 721 and Senate Bill 326 raised a lot of concerns about the new inspection requirements. The below details will give an idea as to what the new laws entail.

Senate Bill 326

SB 326 requires all multi-family, HOA (Homeowners Association), and condo units to have EEE inspections. An apartment that is going through condominium conversions needs an inspection before the first close of escrow.

Deck inspections for exterior elevated elements under SB 326 can only be done by a licensed architect or structural engineer. The first inspection must happen before or on January 1, 2025, and subsequent inspections happen once every nine years.

Senate Bill 721s

The new state law requires all buildings in California with three or more multifamily residential units to have their exterior elevated elements such as porches, balconies, stairways, decks, and walkways.

Any structure designed for human occupancy with entry structures that extend beyond the exterior walls of the building, and with an elevated walking surface of at least 6 feet above the ground must comply with the new law.

The initial inspection will be on the first of January 2025 and with regular deck inspections every 6 years. A licensed architect, structural or civil engineer, certified building inspector, or licensed contractor holding A, B, or C-5 license qualifications with at least 5 years of experience constructing multistory wood frame buildings can complete the inspection.

The minimum inspection includes the condition of waterproofing elements, the condition of load-bearing components, and the evaluation of projected service life and future performance.


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 326

Get Your SB 326 Inspection Done Before the Summer

California has one of the best summers in the United States. So, you need to get your home ready for the summer ahead of time.

As a homeowner, it’s also your responsibility to get an SB 326 inspection for elevated surfaces 6ft off the ground. Here’s what you need to know about it:

What is an SB 326 inspection?

On August 30, 2019, Senate Bill No. 326 (SB 326) was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. This law requires the inspection of all condominiums or multi-family housing under the control of residential homeowners’ associations (HOAs).

This law ensures the safety and structural integrity of condominium decks, balconies, stairways, walkways, and railings. It also covers other structures that are more than 6’ off the ground.

The first SB 326 inspection of a property should be completed no later than January 1, 2025, and every 9 years (or less) thereafter.

Why do you need to have an inspection before summer?

Your balcony or deck gets the most use during the summer since the weather is warm and sunny.

Here, you’ll get to organize barbeque parties with friends and family or just enjoy the good weather. So, if you are to get an SB 326 inspection, it must be before the summer season begins. Make this a part of preparing your home for the sunny days ahead.

With an inspection, you get to ensure that your balcony is safe enough for people, which will help give you peace of mind.

What do you need to know about SB 326 deck inspectors?

With the law requiring an inspection of all exterior elevated elements, you need to work with a licensed deck inspector. These professionals know exactly what to look for to ensure that your deck or balcony is up to code and create a report indicating that your exterior elevated element is safe.

According to the law, any elevated structure supporting weight with wood supporting structures should get a professional inspection. This includes decks, porches, stairways, walkways, and other entry structures that are more than 6 feet above ground level.

The SB 326 inspection should only be done by a certified professional like Deck Inspectors experts.

Get Your Inspection Now!

Although the law gives property owners a couple of years to get their initial inspection, it’s best to have your SB 326 inspection now. This will not only give you peace of mind knowing that you’re compliant with the law, but it will also help you ensure the safety of your family.


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

wood deck waterproofing

Get Your Deck Summer Ready with Wood Deck Waterproofing

Summer is a special time when the sun is extra sunny, the weather is extra fine, and people are eager to get outside.

As a homeowner, this is also the perfect time to give your house much-needed upkeep and makeover. Especially those areas that get exposed to the elements the most, one of which is your deck.

Why summer is the perfect time for deck upkeep

Your wood deck takes the worst beating from the elements and weather changes throughout the year.

When summer comes, your deck sees a lot of parties, gatherings, and weekend fun. The extra weight, water exposure, and other factors can cause serious damage to your deck’s integrity.

Therefore, it’s critical to invest in wood deck waterproofing and other deck maintenance before the season starts.

What you need to know about wood deck waterproofing

Wood deck waterproofing is such a smart investment if you want to keep your deck in good shape for a long time.

Investing in waterproofing will preserve the integrity of your deck, so you can enjoy it for years to come.

Ignoring wood deck waterproofing, on the other hand, could lead to some serious—and costly—problems in the future. For one, you might need a complete deck rebuild or restoration if the damage becomes extensive. Your deck may also become unsafe for use. Safety concerns can come with fines if inspectors find that it’s not up to code.

With wood deck waterproofing, you get to protect your deck from the elements, especially water, by providing a protective surface.

You also get to choose different sealants and coats depending on the type of wood used in your deck and the level of protection that you want for it.

Hiring the professionals in wood deck waterproofing

You might be tempted to make this into a DIY project. However, wood deck waterproofing is something that should be left to professionals. When you hire waterproofing experts, you can guarantee that every inch of your deck will be treated properly. So, there’s very minimal chance of damage even if your deck is constantly exposed to water and sunlight.

You also get to cut the time it takes to waterproof your deck. Experts have the tools and experience needed for efficiency. That also means you get to avoid costly errors that could possibly cause more damage to your deck.

So, before the summer months begin, make sure that you get in touch with 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

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 deck

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

deck inspection services

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

expert 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