Photo of decking
Photo of exterior decking
Photo of exterior stairway and decking

WHAT TO DO ABOUT SB-326

DECK INSPECTIONS

UPSI has partnered with a local SF Bay Area engineering company and will visually inspect the decks and walkways in your community to meet the requirements of SB-326. We have partnered with other industry experts and attorneys to be sure that our methods and the product of our work complies with the expectations of SB-326, is cost effective, and is meaningful for your community.

4 steps to help you get started

  • CONTACT UPSI CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND CONSULTING: We have partnered with a local SF Bay Area engineering company and are ready to strategically, thoughtfully plan your inspections.
  • PLAN: UPSI has worked extensively with HOAs for over 15 years. We understand the nuanced logistical challenges. Inspections will be custom fitted to the specific needs of your communities.
  • GET IT DONE: UPSI will work with your communities to execute the inspections and subsequent repairs timely and efficiently
  • PHASE IT OUT: UPSI will help you phase-out the inspections if your budget demands a little flexibility. You have until the end of 2024. “No need to panic just yet”

FAQs

1. What needs to be inspected?

Answer:

  • If it sticks outside the walls of the building,
  • If humans are supposed to walk on it. (Even if your patio overhangs an interior courtyard)
  • If it’s more than 6′ above grade,
  • And, if there are 3 or more “multi-family” dwelling units in the building (Not necessarily 3 decks.)

2. How many decks need to be inspected?

Answer:  While the bill doesn’t state the exact number or percentage of decks, it does demand a “statistically significant sample” to provide 95% confidence that the inspected elements represent the condition of the whole – within a 5% margin of error. The exact interpretation of this is still up for grabs, but if your community has original decks from the 70’s or 80’s, you are probably looking at more than half.

3. Who does the inspections?

Answer:  Must be signed off by a licensed structural engineer or architect.

4. What needs to be stated in the inspection report?

Answer:

  1. The identification of the building components comprising the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing system.
  2. The current physical condition of the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing system, including whether the condition presents an immediate threat to the health and safety of the residents.
  3. The expected future performance and remaining useful life of the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing system.
  4. Recommendations for any necessary repair or replacement of the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing system.
  5. The report issued pursuant to subdivision shall be stamped or signed by the inspector, presented to the board, and incorporated into the study required by Section 5550.

5. What if decks don’t “pass” the inspection?

Answer:  “If, after inspection of any exterior elevated element, the inspector advises that the exterior elevated element poses an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, the inspector shall provide a copy of the inspection report to the association immediately upon completion of the report, and to the local code enforcement agency within 15 days of completion of the report. Upon receiving the report, the association shall take preventive measures immediately, including preventing occupant access to the exterior elevated element until repairs have been inspected and approved by the local enforcement agency.”

6. What will the inspections consist of?

Answer:  The inspection is a visual inspection. If enclosed areas such as above a ceiling or behind blocking prevent the inspector from observing enough of the deck to gain his 95% Confidence (See Question #2) then those areas will need to be removed or opened such that with the naked eye or some viewing device such as cameras or borescopes the enclosed areas can be observed.

7. What if we just repaired or replaced decks?

Answer:  There is nothing in the bill to say that if decks were recently repaired, that they don’t need to be inspected. This will be up to the engineer to trust the contractor and the city inspector involved with the project to have completed the work well, or alternately, to insist that the recently completed work be re-opened.

8. When do they need to be inspected?

Answer:  Before the end of 2024, and then every 9 years thereafter.

9. How do we get started with Inspections?

Answer:  Call UPSI and we will work with you to provide an estimate for the inspections and a plan to move forward. We have been working with HOAs and multifamily construction and renovation for over 15 years. We understand the hurdles and know how to help you over them.

Scott – 510-715-0653

scott@upsionline.com

Office – 510-965-1112

info@upsionline.com