California balcony/deck/ porch inspection law

“Now 15 percent of the load-bearing, exterior elements on apartment buildings and complexes with three or more units must be inspected every six years. Elements that must be inspected include balconies, decks, porches, stairs, walkways and entryways.”

By: Keith Burbank

POSTED: SEP 17 2018 10:19PM PDT

Gov. Brown signs balcony inspection law following deadly Berkeley collapse

By Bay City News Service, read the original story here.

Gov. Jerry Brown today signed a bill requiring inspections of apartment balconies, decks, outdoor stairs and elevated walkways to hopefully avoid deaths from collapses like the one in Berkeley in 2015.

At a birthday party in June 2015, six young people died when a fifth-story balcony collapsed, according to the office of state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, who co-authored the bill, Senate Bill 721.

An investigation revealed the balcony had been poorly sealed and became infested with dry rot and the builder had a history of lawsuits related to construction defects, Hill’s office said.

Now 15 percent of the load-bearing, exterior elements on apartment buildings and complexes with three or more units must be inspected every six years. 

Elements that must be inspected include balconies, decks, porches, stairs, walkways and entryways.

Those elements must be inspected if they extend beyond the building’s exterior walls and are six or more feet above the ground and get stability and support from wood or wood-based products. 

State Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, was the other author of the bill. 

Read the bill here

DECKING OUT A CONDO IN THE CITY BY THE BAY: AZEK BUILDING PRODUCTS

DECKING OUT A CONDO IN THE CITY BY THE BAY

It isn’t every day that Steven and Brucie Schneider, of San Rafael, California-based construction company Schneider Construction, are asked to build a deck on TOP of a building. Fortunately, when that does happen, which seems to be a new trend in the San Francisco area and beyond, they are more than up to the task.

Condo Rooftop in San Francisco

And that’s just the challenge the dynamic duo of Steve and Brucie recently faced when they were tasked with solving a condo association’s challenge of expanding a rooftop area that was once the site of a rotting, wooden deck. Keeping that deck failure in mind, they wanted to provide the owners with a low-maintenance and durable option for the new deck. The revamped outdoor space will serve as a common area for condo residents, while providing a gorgeous, bird’s eye view of the San Francisco skyline.

AZEK Deck on Condo Rooftop in San Francisco

Inspired by its rich color and superior durability, as well as its Class “A” flame spread rating, Steve and Brucie selected AZEK Deck’s Vintage Collection in Mahogany. According to Steve, they have worked with AZEK Deck for several years because of its aesthetic appeal and it’s easy to transport. They also really like it for roof top installations because it’s lightweight, won’t add unnecessary weight to the building and AZEK’s Vintage Collection carries the Class ‘A’ Flame spread rating, which many buildings in California require.

“We specifically chose AZEK Deck for the 10th Street Lofts because we wanted to create this space with materials that are sustainable and low maintenance,” Steve said. “The condo association and homeowners already dealt with a wood deck that needed to be replaced after only seven years. We knew that AZEK products would look beautiful, and are also engineered to last far longer than traditional wood decks. And AZEK Deck’s 30-year fade and stain warranty and limited lifetime warranty are major benefits to the homeowners.”

But first, in order to bring this project to life, the Schneiders had to figure out how to get all of the materials onto the rooftop since the interior elevator access wouldn’t accommodate the long lengths of decking. The solution? Use a heavy duty crane to hoist all the materials from a nearby parking area onto the residential rooftop. This coordination took a herculean effort from the builder, the city and nearby residents to ensure the project got off the ground without a hitch. Pun intended! Everything worked as they planned and they were soon off to the races!

For this project, Schneider’s team also had to develop a unique understructure solution for the decking that would fit the space constraints below the condo’s rooftop access doors. Steve engineered the one-of-a-kind deck support with steel to provide a stable base for the decking and railing.

In the end, the project was completed on time and offers a gorgeous view for residents to enjoy the San Francisco skyline – during the day or into the evening – and everyone is thrilled with the new low maintenance deck. But don’t just take our word for it. Watch the entire project unfold right before your eyes.Completed AZEK Rooftop Deck

NOTE: The Class “A” Flame Spread Index rating is based on results of testing per ASTM E84, recognized by the International Building Code (IBC) as a standard method for testing flame spread.

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