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California Balcony Inspections, What to Know!

In California, there is a mandatory safety inspection and must be performed before January 1, 2025. According to SB-721, this bill would require an inspection of exterior elevated elements and associated waterproofing elements, as defined, including decks and balconies, for buildings with 3 or more multifamily dwelling units by a licensed architect, licensed civil or structural engineer, a building contractor holding specified licenses, or an individual certified as a building inspector or building official, as specified. This ordinance came about due to an unfortunate event in 2015 in Berkeley, CA where a balcony collapsed resulting in several deaths. Therefore, the state has implemented requirements throughout the entire state for apartment buildings to be held to buildings standards and safety regulations.

One thing that has changed since the original law was passed is that now those who are doing the inspections can also do the repair work. It can be a conflict of interest so, be sure to get a certified inspector or engineer to verify the completed work.

In summary, who can perform these inspections on what type of buildings by when?

Who can perform inspection? A licensed architect, civil or structural engineer or General Contractor holding A, B or C-5 Licenses issued by the Contractor State License Board.

What type of buildings? Owners of multifamily (soft-story) apartment buildings with three or more units that have:

  1. Balconies, decks, porches, stairways, walkways, and entry structures that extend beyond exterior walls of the building and that rely in whole or in substantial part on wood or wood-based products for structural support or stability; and
  2. A walking surface that is elevated more than 6 feet above the ground level; and
  • Balconies designed for human occupancy or use.

When is the deadline for the first inspection? January 1, 2025

For more information regarding the reports and specifics, California Apartment Association. Please contact Saunders Construction if you have any questions regarding the structural integrity of your soft-story building, Saunders Construction has over four decades of experience performing seismic retrofits. We service five states, California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Utah.

Posted Under: Earthquake Preparedness & Safety