Balcony Inspections

SB 721 (Chapter 445, Stats. 2018)
"Balcony Law"

June 16, 2015 shortly after midnight 6 people died and seven others were injured after a balcony on which they were standing collapsed.

Overwhelming evidence pointed to dry rot leading the balcony to become structurally compromised.

Improperly maintained waterproofing membranes and lack of rain gutters can expedite loss of structural integrity in raised walkways.

Zebra suggests having this done at the same time as your soft story retrofit project.


Process with Zebra Construction Inc.

Step 1 - The Proposal

The first step would be to have us out to visit your property.  We would love to meet you there and teach you about retrofitting and answer any questions you may have!  Once we have measured, we will get together with one of the 3 engineers we work with and confirm design ideas from measurements.  We then send you a proposal with engineering and estimated construction based on design and projects similar to yours we have completed in the past.

Do you Already Have Engineering Plans?


What Buildings Require Inspection?

Buildings with 3 or more units are required to comply with the new "Balcony Law"

What must be inspected?

Elevated exterior elements

  • Balconies

  • Decks

  • Porches

  • Stairways

  • Walkways

  • Entry Structures that extend beyond exterior walls of the building
    Including supports and railings)

When must inspections be completed?

The first inspection must be completed by January 1st 2025, then an inspection must be completed every subsequent 6 years and the building owner must keep their record of inspection for 2 inspection cycles (12 years)

Who must the inspection be completed by?

  • Licensed architect

  • Licensed Civil Engineer

  • Licensed Structural Engineer

  • Certified Building Inspector

  • General Contractor with A, B, or C-5 License (Minimum 5 Years Experience)

Zebra's Recommendations:

Jack Ding, M.S. P.E. 
Pacific Engineering & Risk Consulting Group
(858) 888-3904

Michael J Falcone, PE
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
(213) 271-1977

What to expect?

  1. The engineer will visit the property and mark areas which they would like to see for their inspection 

  2. You must have areas opened (Zebra Construction can do this)

  3. The engineer will return to the property to review opened areas and make plans for any necessary repairs.

  4. The engineer must return a report to the property owner within 15 days for any elements that pose an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants and the local enforcement authority will be notified.

  5. Non-immediate threats will be given a report within 45 days.

  6. The area if it does not need repairs may then be returned to its original condition. (Zebra Construction can complete the stucco patching.)

  7. The engineer will give a plan for repairs which must have a permit applied for within 120 days of the report.

  8. Owner can collect estimates for repairs. (Zebra can provide an estimate)

  9. Permit will be pulled and repairs must be made.

  10. Must be repeated every 6 years.