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The new SB-721 legislation requires all residential buildings in California of 3 or more units, with exterior elevated elements 6 feet above ground, to complete an inspection by January 1st, 2025

SB-721 California Deck Inspections

Our 721 inspections are performed by highly experienced, dual licensed, building inspectors and qualified contractors. Their expertise will ensure you get a thorough review of the required exterior decks, stairways, balconies, porches and walkways elevated 6 feet and above. Providing a professional assessment of their current condition and estimated remaining life span for each structure.


The inspection includes an individualized report of the property with detailed photos of findings on all elements and their associated structural and waterproofing integrity, identifying potential deterioration or hazardous conditions.

If any hazardous conditions are observed you will be immediately notified and given recommendations on how to proceed, enabling you to ensure the safety of tenants and protecting the asset property.

Preview Sample Pages From Our Report

The Details of California SB-721 Law 

Article  2.2. Exterior Elevated Elements: Inspections.

 (a) Exterior elevated elements that include load-bearing components in all buildings containing three or more multifamily dwelling units shall be inspected. The inspection shall be performed by a licensed architect; licensed civil or structural engineer; a building contractor holding any or all of the “A,” “B,” or “C-5” license classifications issued by the Contractors’ State License Board, with a minimum of five years’ experience, as a holder of the aforementioned classifications or licenses, in constructing multistory wood frame buildings; or an individual certified as a building inspector or building official from a recognized state, national, or international association, as determined by the local jurisdiction. These individuals shall not be employed by the local jurisdiction while performing these inspections. The purpose of the inspection is to determine that exterior elevated elements and their associated waterproofing elements are in a generally safe condition, adequate working order, and free from any hazardous condition caused by fungus, deterioration, decay, or improper alteration to the extent that the life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare of the public or the occupants is not endangered. The person or business performing the inspection shall be hired by the owner of the building.

(b) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following definitions:

(1) “Associated waterproofing elements” include flashings, membranes, coatings, and sealants that protect the load-bearing components of exterior elevated elements from exposure to water and the elements.

(2) “Exterior elevated element” means the following types of structures, including their supports and railings: balconies, decks, porches, stairways, walkways, and entry structures that extend beyond exterior walls of the building and which have a walking surface that is elevated more than six feet above ground level, are designed for human occupancy or use, and rely in whole or in substantial part on wood or wood-based products for structural support or stability of the exterior elevated element.

(3) “Load-bearing components” are those components that extend beyond the exterior walls of the building to deliver structural loads from the exterior elevated element to the building.

(c) The inspection required by this section shall at a minimum include:

(1) Identification of each type of exterior elevated element that, if found to be defective, decayed, or deteriorated to the extent that it does not meet its load requirements, would, in the opinion of the inspector, constitute a threat to the health or safety of the occupants.

(2) Assessment of the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing elements of the exterior elevated elements identified in paragraph (1) using methods allowing for evaluation of their performance by direct visual examination or comparable means of evaluating their performance. For purposes of this section, a sample of at least 15 percent of each type of exterior elevated element shall be inspected.

(3) The evaluation and assessment shall address each of the following as of the date of the evaluation:

(A) The current condition of the exterior elevated elements.

(B) Expectations of future performance and projected service life.

(C) Recommendations of any further inspection necessary.

(4) A written report of the evaluation stamped or signed by the inspector presented to the owner of the building or the owner’s designated agent within 45 days of completion of the inspection. The report shall include photographs, any test results, and narrative sufficient to establish a baseline of the condition of the components inspected that can be compared to the results of subsequent inspections. In addition to the evaluation required by this section, the report shall advise which, if any, exterior elevated element poses an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, and whether preventing occupant access or conducting emergency repairs, including shoring, are necessary.

(d) The inspection shall be completed by January 1, 2025, and by January 1 every six years thereafter. The inspector conducting the inspection shall produce an initial report pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (c) and, if requested by the owner, a final report indicating that any required repairs have been completed. A copy of any report that recommends immediate repairs, advises that any building assembly poses an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, or that preventing occupant access or emergency repairs, including shoring, are necessary, shall be provided by the inspector to the owner of the building and to the local enforcement agency within 15 days of completion of the report. Subsequent inspection reports shall incorporate copies of prior inspection reports, including the locations of the exterior elevated elements inspected. Local enforcement agencies may determine whether any additional information is to be provided in the report and may require a copy of the initial or final reports, or both, be submitted to the local jurisdiction. Copies of all inspection reports shall be maintained in the building owner’s permanent records for not less than two inspection cycles, and shall be disclosed and delivered to the buyer at the time of any subsequent sale of the building.

Contact us today to schedule your inspection,
don't fall  behind the deadline -  January 1, 2025.

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