Lost In San Diego (Deck permit)

Old 09-05-07, 12:42 PM
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Question Lost In San Diego (Deck permit)

My situation is this..we built a deck a few years ago and never obtained a permit to do so..never had a problem until last weekend when an inspector showed up telling us we have30days to obtain a permit and to do so we will need plans..pretty sure it was a neighbor trying to do ANYTHING he could to cause problems for us..we have ALOT of friends and family whom we regularly bbq with and have pool parties..that having been said,the guys who built it have moved away..the reason they cited was,in a nutshell,it was more than30"above ground..basically it extends about20'out from our back hill down onto OUR PROPERTY!!doesnt obstruct ANYONE'S view!!since i really dont know ANYTHING about drawing plans im wondering if ANYBODY knows of a website or anything else i can use to draw up plans so i can obtain a permit?!!?PLEASE HELP!!!!thank you VERY MUCH for your time,roman&co.
Old 09-05-07, 12:55 PM
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Lost In San Diego

Like it or not, the deck may be a safety hazard to you and your guests. Just because it is still standing, does not mean it is adequate. An engineer can give you a good assement and a list of modifications (if any) to make it comply. You bought the house in that condition, so you are responsible.

There have been some pretty healthy lawsuits (millions of $'s) for collapsing decks during a party.

When you go to sell, you could encounter the same situation if the owners had a good home inspection. - You might as well make it right now and be able to enjoy it as long as you live there.

Not good news, but you cannot fight life safety, no matter where the complaint came from.
Old 09-05-07, 08:47 PM
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Welcome to DoItYourself.com, the Deck forum, AND dealing with a building department in CA!!!


If the deck is more than 30" above grade, it needed a permit, and it needs railings.

Just be nice to the inspector and he MAY be reasonable with you. He's holding ALL of the trumph cards at this point, you are NOT going to win an argument with him, so don't go there!!! He (or she) can only make your life miseerable.

Probably the biggest obstacle will be proving the footings. That is the one part of the entire deck that is the most buried. They can see the attachments, they can see the framing, they can see the nailing -- they can't see what is buried in the dirt.

You'll probably have to make some changes. Ask the inspector what he (or she) wants you to do, then DO IT, and do it their way.

Dick (Concretemasonry) only began to touch the surface on deck safety issues. There are BIG changes coming about in the next year or two regarding decks and the ledgers that they are attached to a building with in every building code in the country, and probably the world. (It's gonna make free-standing look more inviting by the minute!!) Bolt sizes and patterns, flashings, ledger sizes, ...)

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