elevated balcony

Ideas on How to Beautify your Elevated Balcony

There are many simple and doable ideas to transform your elevated balcony into an adorable elevated balcony. Below are some of them.

 

  • Put a small coffee table on your patio. Add some table decors like a colorful flower arrangement in a geometrical vase, a torch, silver or golden candle holders, or candlesticks.
  • Add pillows on your elevated balcony chairs to make it stylish and cozy. Or if you do not have chairs, opt for colorful floor pillows.
  • Bring in some fresh air by adding pots of greens and flowers. If possible, add few pots of herbs as well for relaxing farm feeling.
  • Light up your elevated balcony using outdoor lights or lantern string lights.
  • Create a privacy wall using attractive stylish screens. Or if you are into arts and crafts, bamboo poles are affordable options that can be decorated with natural accents or string lights.
  • Add some shade by adding a fabric canopy.
  • Add pattern to your patio’s dull floor by layering outdoor rugs.
  • Make use of your elevated balcony wall to add spice on by hanging an art piece or hang planters.

 

Small touches can create big impressions on your elevated balcony. Now, decorating and transform your outdoor space according to your style and personality.

 


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 railings

Codes for Deck Railings

A deck with no railings is like inviting an accident to happen. Every state regulates certain qualifications for construction to ensure safety. But apart from the local restrictions, IRC and IBC have set stricter codes for residential, commercial, and business buildings.

International Residential Code (IRC) regulates codes for decks attached to homes and residences while the International Building Code (IBC) implements standard building codes for decks attached to apartment buildings and commercial establishments.

If you are planning on a deck project, it is best to be familiar with deck railings codes to ensure they meet community building standards. This way, you are sure of getting that much-needed permit to get the project started.

 

What is the Standard Deck Railing Height?

Homes with attached decks that are 30 inches from the surface must have guardrails of at least 36 inches high will while commercial establishments like apartments, condominiums, or bars need to be at least 46 inches high.

The same height standards apply to deck stairs. Expert deck inspectors measure the height from the nose of the stair tread to the top of the rail. Handrails must have a minimum diameter of 1 ¼ inch and a maximum of 2 inches. Guardrails must also be well-built to sustain 200 lbs. force in the middle, side, and top of the post.

 

Do Lower Decks need Railings?

In some cases, railings are not required for decks below 30 inches. However, if you opt to install guardrails, you must still conform to the code requirements. Expert deck inspectors require the rails to be as sturdy as to guards installed on higher decks.

 

What is the Standard Railings Spacing?

Baluster railings post must be installed close enough but not more than 6 inches apart. Expert deck inspectors will test the spacing using a 4-inch ball. On average, a baby’s head diameter is 4 inches, so the 4-inch rule is to ensure that babies will not stick their heads between the railings spacing.

 

Strength and Durability Standards

The top of the railings is expected to withstand 200lb pressure vertically and horizontally. Infill rails must sustain a minimum of 125 pounds of force from any direction.

Deck railings for homes and buildings must meet the International Residential Code and International Building Code tests. The series of tests are performed by expert deck inspectors or accredited professional inspection services provider.

The existing deck railings codes and requirements are specifically designed to ensure everyone’s safety. Although these codes are adopted by cities and states, local building departments might have additional restrictions. Thus, it is better to speak with your local building authorities before starting any deck projects.

Above all, getting in touch with certified expert deck inspectors can do you a lot of benefits. It saves you the trouble from submitting the necessary requirements to secure a permit. Expert deck inspectors save you from thorough government inspections, possible fatal injuries due to structural failure, legal woes, hefty government fines, and penalties.

And do not forget that these certified inspection services companies are your sure ticket to that daunting deck building permit.

 


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

deck permit

Why Permits are Required for Building a Deck

If you are building a deck, it is worth checking if a permit is necessary. As per Senate Bill No.721 or SB-721, or widely known as “Balcony bill”, “the law requires inspection of exterior elevated elements and associated waterproofing elements, as defined, including decks and balconies.”

 

Getting a permit before construction begins is quite a bit like a hassle, but the process ensures that the structure is built to standards and regulations. Securing a permit does not only ensure safety but also saves you from penalties and legal woes.

 

Securing a building permit will cost you extra money. Some homeowners consider this daunting, but we cannot skip the SB-721 law. The best way is to work with a company or inspector that will streamline the process. A local property inspector knows the ins and outs of the building codes, thus making the building phase at an accelerated level.

 

There are two common reasons why a deck permit is likely to be denied. First is non-compliance with zoning law. Depending on your local zoning law, it is best to consult first your zoning department before starting a project. The location where you are installing your deck must not affect the overall comfort of the neighborhood.

 

Second is an incorrect plan. Your proposed deck plan should indicate the correct dimensions of sizes and footings for beams and joists. Any error on your design drawing can cause project delay.

 

 

What will happen if a deck or balcony permit is not secured?

Building standards were created through constant learning. And if you decide to continue with your deck project unpermitted, these can result in serious consequences.

  1. Deck or balcony projects without a permit will be shut off immediately by building inspectors when discovered. Taking it down completely will not only cost you more money but also imposes legal responsibilities.
  2. Homeowners and contractors will probably pay fines and penalties depending on your area.
  3. You are still required to secure a deck building permit. That being said, you will have to go through the process of permit applications including submitting copies of the proposed design and paying for the permit fee.
  4. You will be required to work with a licensed inspector or contractor.
  5. Most likely you will face thorough inspection since the first project was unpermitted. Making sure that the project is sb-721 compliant, this could potentially delay the construction phase.

 

No one wants to build a beautiful deck only to be torn down apart even before its completion. No one wants to be in danger because of a collapsed deck. No one wants unnecessary physical injury and financial burden. No one wants to face lawsuits for having a non-compliant deck.  No one wants any of these setbacks.

 

Getting a deck permit saves you time and money, but also ensures overall safety. Always get in touch with certified inspectors. Hiring professional inspection services will leave no room for mistakes. Certified inspectors will take care of the permit and inspection process that will meet the existing sb-721 code.

 


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

Elevated Walkways: How They Came to Be

Elevated walkways have become an important part of urbanization. Aside from being an efficient solution to busy foot traffic, walkways also offer extra business space and are often regarded as a safer alternative to walking beside automobiles. But how exactly did elevated walkways come to be?

 

 

The first sidewalks were built in the 13th century in Chester, England. Although historians couldn’t tell the exact reasons they were built, these old sidewalks known as the Chester Rows are now considered a protected heritage site and have inspired many walkways built in the United States at the turn of the 20th century.

 

 

Elevated Walkways: Sky Bridges

The proposition to make Manhattan a “city of bridges” came about in 1913 with the publication of “The Elevated Sidewalk: How It Will Solve City Transportation Problems.” But that idea never came to life until the 60s when several towns in the United States started to consider the idea of elevated walkways again. The Minneapolis Skyway system was built in 1962 and it inspired many towns to do the same over the years.

 

 

Today, elevated walkways can be seen all over the world. What started as a simple concept of separating humans and cars on the road has now become an indispensable tool for living in a lot of cities.

 


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

Building a Balcony? Here Are Your Design Options

It’s been a long-time dream of yours to wake up and look out from your elevated balcony. And now that you have the chance to add that extra feature to your home, you want to do things right by choosing the right design elements for your balcony. To make things easier, we rounded up some of your best options:

 

 

The railing

 

Your railing will be the most visible part of your balcony, so it’s only fitting that you find the right design to match the rest of your house and make the balcony as safe as possible, especially if it’s an elevated balcony.

 

Wrought iron railing is a common choice because of how it gives off that classic look, especially when paired with a wrought iron spiral staircase. This option is perfect if your house has a European or old-world feel.

 

Glass railing, on the other hand, offers uninterrupted views without compromising safety. It is perfect for modern minimalist homes, but it can also blend well with most home designs.

 

 

The décor

 

Decorating your elevated balcony is an exciting part of this entire process because you have endless options to choose from. One of the most popular décor pegs for balconies its urban charm. Think about a mix of industrial and rustic charm where you can use wrought iron railings and add bistro-style seating for that urban effect. This style is especially perfect if you have brick exterior walls.

 

A lot of homeowners also love modern design, which is basically keeping things as simple and minimal as possible. Use muted palettes for your theme and dress the space up with pops of color through your outdoor cushions or even some wall décor.

 

Play with different textures and shapes to give your balcony extra flair. If you’re into Moroccan-themed spaces, you’d love the eclectic design for your balcony. This style is all about using bright colors, unique accessories and gold accents to create a space that makes you feel like you’re on a holiday.

 

 

The floors

 

Aside from your railings, your floor also needs to be chosen well to create the look and feel that you want for this outdoor space. Wood is usually the go-to option for a lot of homeowners because it can match with any theme and essentially easy to maintain.

 

You can also go for concrete flooring for your elevated balcony and use reactive or nonreactive stain to make it less boring. If you want to get the look for a marbled floor for your balcony, you can use an acid-based reactive stain that will change the color of the concrete to natural earth tones. But if you want a stronger color, you should use nonreactive stains.

 

 

The bottom line

 

The possibilities are endless when it comes to dressing up your balcony. From awnings to lighting, there’s a lot that you can do to create an outdoor space that’s conducive for relaxation and even entertaining. You just have to choose your design elements wisely to achieve a cohesive and structured look for your elevated balcony.

 


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

qualified deck inspectors

Here’s Everything You Need to Do to Pass a Deck Inspection

Like any part of your home, a deck has to be functional, sturdy and safe for you to use it well. This is why you need to have it checked by qualified deck inspectors at least every two years. But before you do that, you have to ensure that you will pass the deck inspection by following these tips:

 

 

Look for Any Signs of Damage

 

Your deck goes through more wear and tear than other parts of your house because it’s constantly exposed to the elements. Since it’s made of wood, it’s also more prone to pest infestation and other problems.

 

Check every nook and cranny of your deck and take note of any signs of damage. You’ll most likely see ants and termites in its framework or rust in its bolts, nails and other metal connectors.

 

Most of these damages are not really visible outside, so make sure to look under your deck. Address these issues right away to avoid flagging by your inspector.

 

 

Clean your Deck Regularly

 

If your deck has been around for many years now, you probably start to see some green tints around it due to mildew growth.

 

This is especially visible on your steps where mildew can make it slippery, which is why it’s very important to wash your deck regularly to get rid of that mildew and other dirt that’s a red flag for qualified deck inspectors.

 

You should also be on the lookout for mold and fungus growth, especially around the pillars of your deck because it could be a serious health hazard if not addressed right away.

 

 

Make sure to Follow your Decking Plans

 

If you’re building a deck for the first time, you will need to have qualified deck inspectors come over before the deck is installed so they can check your framing from above the deck. These inspectors will usually look at your construction plan and compare the end result to ensure that you are complying with standards. Aside from the form of your framing, inspectors will also look into the type and size of wood that you’re using and the proper joist spacing. If you don’t adhere to your original floor plan, your deck could be flagged as failed.

 

Of course, nothing beats a good walkthrough of your deck on a daily basis to make sure that it’s still in tiptop shape. When you walk on your deck, do you notice any screeching sounds from the wood? Do you notice that some areas are not as sturdy as they were?

 

Are you seeing any signs of damage around the deck? Be vigilant enough to notice anything that warrants a repair or replacement. Whether or not you are having qualified deck inspectors around, following these tips will make your deck safer and more functional for a longer time.

 


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 - waterproofing

Protecting Balconies, Decks And Elevated Walkways Against Water Intrusion

There is a common problem in enclosed balconies, decks, and elevated walkways that boils down to structural concerns due to water entry. But such common problems can be easily avoided using some very simple measures taken during the design and construction process.

 

Waterproofing

Nevertheless, there is not a single organization being developed to bring industry-wide standards for the proper design and construction of balconies, decks, and elevated walkways. This is because the materials used for waterproofing such structures are the same materials in the roofing and waterproofing industry.

 

Failure to determine how a deck or balcony will accommodate the drainage of water both at the wearing surface and waterproofing membrane will be a great concern for the designer and the contractor or the builder.

 

Concrete Pavers

Therefore, proper considerations must be given to the utilization of concrete pavers that can be removed easily and replaced whenever necessary for the investigation, maintenance, or repair. This also includes other wearing surfaces to provide access to the waterproofing beneath a balcony, deck, or elevated walkways.

 

However, without accessible routes, it must be assumed that the building has been built with the right materials and the proper construction techniques that are required to last through the life expectancy of the structure.

 


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

waterproofing methods - balcony decks

Waterproofing Methods And Types For Balcony Decks

Building waterproofing methods are basically the formation of impervious barriers over the surfaces of foundations, roofing, balcony decks, and walls. This includes other structural members of the building to avoid water penetrations through such surfaces.

 

Materials commonly used for building waterproofing include cementitious material, bituminous material, liquid waterproofing membrane, and polyurethane liquid membrane, among others.

 

Waterproofing in buildings is needed for the basement of bathrooms and kitchen, balconies, decks, green roofs, structure, terrace or roofs, walls, water tanks, swimming pools, and the like.

 

 

Cementitious Waterproofing

This process is among the easiest waterproofing methods in any construction. Cementitious waterproofing requires materials that are easily available from suppliers of masonry products, which are easy to apply or mix.

 

The common applications for cementitious waterproofing include the following:

  • Bridges
  • Dams
  • Marine cargo ports and docks
  • Parking structures and lots
  • Railway and subway systems
  • River locks/channel and concrete dikes
  • Sewage treatment plants
  • Tunnels
  • Water treatment plants

 

 

Liquid Waterproofing Membrane

There is a thin coating that consists of a primer coat and a couple of coats on top applied by roller, spray, or trowel. Liquid membrane waterproofing methods can offer more flexibility compared with the cementitious type of waterproofing. The liquid will cure the surface into a rubbery coating on the wall.

 

Basically, the elongation properties of the coating can reach as high as 280%. But the durability of the coating will depend on the type of polymer that the manufacturer will use for making the liquid waterproofing.

 

Liquid waterproofing membrane can be composed of polymer-modified asphalt, which can be applied by spray. Polyurethane liquid membranes are also available for different manufacturers in separate grades for roller, spray, and trowel.

 

 

Bituminous Coating Waterproofing

It is a type of coating that can be used for waterproofing buildings and provides a flexible protective coating. The bituminous coating uses formulation and polymerization grade to provide protection and flexibility against water due to the polymer grade and the reinforcement of fiber.

 

Bituminous coating is otherwise called asphalt coating in which the most common applications include areas that are under screed wet. Such would be an excellent protective coating and waterproofing agent, particularly on surfaces like concrete foundations.

 

 

Bituminous Membrane Waterproofing

Membrane waterproofing is a famous process used for low-sloped roofs or balcony decks because of its proven performance. The self-adhesive membrane and torchon membrane are used in the bituminous waterproofing membrane.

 

Self-adhesive compounds contain asphalt, fillers, and polymers. In addition to that, some compounds like oils and resins are also added to improve adhesion characteristics. Torchon membrane is also another type that can either be exposed or covered. The exposed membrane has a mineral granular aggregate to withstand wear and tear.

 

 

Polyurethane Liquid Membrane Waterproofing

This process is used for the flat roof area, balcony decks, and areas that are exposed to weathering. However, this type of waterproofing is said to be expensive. That said, it can offer higher flexibility. Nevertheless, polyurethane is very sensitive to moisture content, so it is essential to evaluate the moisture content in the concrete slab. Otherwise, de-bonding or peeling of membranes can happen after some time.

 


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

inspection services

How Buildings Can Collapse

 

There is more than one reason that causes buildings to collapse. Here are some of the chief causes of why commercial and residential buildings collapse in recent years. Thus, it is essential that deck inspection services be consulted to avoid this from happening.

 

 

Structural Failure

 One of the main reasons why buildings collapse is a structural failure. Buildings are designed to carry a particular load. Nevertheless, there are factors that can affect its integrity. Some of the factors include the increase in the number of occupants that deviates from what was earlier planned for the designs.

 

Likewise, when structural designs are done poorly, the overall stability is bound to collapse. Thus, when considering structural overload, people are required to pay attention to dead loads, live loads, and wind loads.

 

Basically, a dead load refers to the elements of the building, such as the weight of the permanent partition floors, roofs, and walls. On the other hand, the live load refers to the furniture or people that move from one area to another. Wind load considers the direction in which the wind blows and specifications need to be catered so that the building can endure the wind pressure.

 

 

Design Inadequacies

 The builder should follow the structural designs closely. When the instructions are not carried properly, then the structure of the building will weaken. A civil engineer stated that any change of earlier planned building structural design into a more complex design not accounted for can increase the weight. It leads to some tension to the columns which could lead to collapse. Perhaps considering deck inspection services to existing designs can help fill in the inadequacies or neglect.

 

 

Incompetence In Engineering Practices

 Improper mixing of concrete is also among the main incompetence by engineers that could lead to issues of building durability. Concrete should undergo three different stages to be approved. Such would include batching, curing, and testing.

 

 

Counterfeit Materials

 There are building materials manufactured in some places where cement or steel bars are counterfeit. This can be used in buildings when the engineer is not cautious, leading to the collapse because building strength is not guaranteed.

 

 

Poor Workmanship

Having a role allocation that is poor in the case of building construction can lead to the mixing of materials poorly. So engineers need to supervise the builders accordingly to avoid this.

 

 

Wrong Building Use

 Switching to another building to be used can pose a threat to the building itself. That is because when a building has changed from its planned intentions, they can be subject to overloading. That could lead to challenges in the design capabilities of the building. It is essential that deck inspection services be consulted first before settling in the building to be used.

 

 

Building Settlement

 In some cases, engineers fail to check the soil strength of the ground where the building is to be constructed. Thus, it could lead to the collapse of the said building in the long run.

 

 

Natural Calamities

 Natural calamities are also a factor in building collapse, particularly in foreign countries. They include cyclones, earthquakes, and tsunamis that led to a number of building collapses in recent years.

 


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

qualified deck inspections

Checking Your Home’s Deck Frequently

Structural problems can be avoided with prompt and regular inspections of all elevated decks. But people often fail to address this issue until it is too late to react.

 

According to deck professionals, it is best that homeowners know when the appropriate time is to conduct inspections.

 

Sadly, homeowners ignore regular deck inspections because they often think decks will last forever. On the contrary, the age of exterior elevated elements, such as decks, could mean a possibility for trouble.

 

Deck Inspectors for Southern California

Expert deck inspectors would suggest a number of activities to be done to avoid this from happening:

  • Search for decaying or split wood in all areas
  • Test banisters and railings and make sure railings are no less than 36 inches in height
  • Check fasteners, nails, and screws, and replacing those that are suspicious
  • Examine each step for any decay. If the area behind the stair treads is open, the opening should not be higher than 4 inches
  • Clear debris to keep fallen leaves and other items from causing mildew that would damage the wood.

 

Take note that decks have an expected life span just as roofs do. Just imagine your deck sitting out there in the weather for a whole year, which should be pretty tough for extreme weather conditions. Thus, always follow the advice of expert deck inspectors and have your home’s deck checked frequently.

 

 


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