I am a balcony inspector; the company that I work for does inspections under the two balcony bills. I speak often with other people in my industry including other balcony inspection company inspectors. We pretty much all agree that there is a lot of confusion amongst owners boards of directors and even the attorneys on interpreting the language in the balcony bills.
SB 326 regulates balcony inspections for condominiums. It requires inspections every 9 years by a structural engineer or an architect. It also requires a much higher percentage of balconies be inspected as opposed to what is required for apartment balcony inspections.
SB 721 regulates balcony inspections for apartments. Under this bill a general contractor can perform balcony inspections.
In a search today for something entirely unrelated to decks, I stumbled upon the news that a Homeowners Association in Diamond Bar CA had been red-tagged and the residents ordered to leave their homes because of deferred maintenance leading to structural concerns. The order to leave has been rescinded after the first engineers report declared the property and immediate hazard and recommended evacuating units was found to be lets say “over cautious”. There are 155 condos at the property on the first and second floors. The second floor units have balconies while first floor units have a patio.
Several structural engineers reports on the conditions found at The Village at Diamond Bar came to the conclusion that “while there are substantial deferred maintenance issues that should be addressed throughout the complex property, the condition does not create a widespread and immediate danger to the life or safety of all occupants of the individual units as previously recommended via a report by Khatri International, a structural engineer hired by the Diamond Bar Village Homeowner’s Association.“
Imagine driving into a Ford dealership; you are looking to buy a new car…
After taking your new Ford home and driving it for a couple months you have a problem with it. No problem you think, I’ll go to the dealership and they’ll fix it under the factory warranty right? Away you go and the dealership looks at you and says, we’re sorry, your warranty was for only 30 days and 30 days has passed…we can fix it for $X,XXX.xx.
You stand there in disbelief, saying wait this is a Ford dealership, I bought the car from you and have a factory warranty. The service manager says no you don’t, we warranty the car but only for 30 days after you buy it. So you call Ford and say hey I bought a car from X dealership and they say there’s no factory warranty available, what’s up with that?
Y’all ready for this? Our new 3 to 4 minute video series will focus on best practices building and waterproofing decks over living spaces. I’ll be talking about framing, sloping, sheathing, flashing, drains and much more! Watch for our posts coming soon.
“The deck that we had off the house,” she said. “It was a two-tiered deck, and it was redwood, and that’s what brought down our house.” Corey and Danusia Larsen of Malibu CA of the Woolsey Fire that burned over 600 homes.
I’m still trying to find it but I remember seeing a quote from a firefighter in California describing wood decks as organized kindling. That quote sticks in my head and won’t budge. I’ve reviewed hundreds of pictures of homes that are burned and often you can see the outline of a wood deck or the remnants of…
To me the ideal fire resistant home would be stucco or concrete or Hardie board with a metal or concrete roof any decking on it would be a division 7 traffic coating that is fire rated for use in California fire zones.