January 28, 2023 Your Source for Brentwood News

Zebra Construction Takes on Balcony Laws

Company growth attributed to trust, old school values

By Susan Payne

Every building with 3 or more units in the state of California with an exterior elevated element above six feet, requires an inspection per the new “Balcony Law”. The first inspection of these elements must be completed by a licensed architect, engineer or contractor by January 1, 2025. 

Passed in 2020, bills SB-721 and SB-326 commonly known as the “Balcony Laws” state that 15% of each type of elevated wood-constructed element must be inspected every six years to promote safety and prevent loss of life.

Zebra Construction is equipped and ready to help property owners and managers with inspections. General contractor Michelle Durey and Kevin Fanta cofounded Zebra in 2019 on the foundation of trust and old school values. These structural experts have already started the inspection process with a few of their clients.

“Six young people died and seven others were injured after a balcony collapsed in 2015. Evidence from the CSLB report pointed to dry rot, leading the balcony to become structurally compromised and collapse,” Durey said.

Balcony Laws require wood constructed elements that extend beyond exterior walls of the building to be inspected.  This can include balconies, decks, stairways, walkways and entry structures. After the initial inspection, subsequent inspections must be completed every six years. The building owner must keep record of inspection for two inspection cycles, equal to 12 years. 

If any exterior elevated elements pose an immediate threat to the occupant(s) the owner must receive the report within 15 days of the inspection and the local enforcement authority will be notified by the inspector. Zebra Construction will return a plan for repairs and cost to repair the elements at this time. Work can begin without a permit if it is an immediate threat, but a permit will still be needed by the end of the project.  If there is no immediate threat, the report must be returned to the property owner within 45 days of the inspection.

From inspection to repair, Zebra Construction has created an easy step-by-step process, so property owners are abiding by the law: 

  • Free consultation is completed by Zebra Construction to review how many exterior elevated elements need inspection.
  • Property owner or manager will be given a few different options on the inspection process. The first being to inspect only what is required, and the second to inspect all exterior elevated elements to further reduce owner’s liability.
  • Once hired, Zebra can install inspection vents, which have hinges and can be opened for future inspections. They allow 5 joist bays to be seen with one vent. The vents comply with building codes for fire ratings and allow air flow that prevents moisture from being trapped in wood members. The other option is a 3 inch hole which is plugged after and inspection is completed with a camera.
  • An engineer will complete a visual inspection of exposed elements.
  • Zebra Construction will return the engineer’s report to the property owner. 
  • Zebra’s engineers will then detail a plan for repairs (if needed) which must have a permit applied for within 120 days of the report. 
  • Zebra will complete any repairs necessary with a permit. This can include sistering joists or reframing balconies due to termite damage or dry rot and making sure balconies have correct fire ratings. Railings could possibly have new piers welded if steel on the railing system is corroded, and waterproofing systems may need replacement.

“We recommend a Pacific Polymer Elasto-Deck coating. It will require the least amount of maintenance,” Durey said. 

When new laws and ordinances come into effect, Durey and the Zebra team educate and inform themselves and their clients on the requirements, giving property owners full transparency of the laws and what is needed for compliance.

“I’ve seen so many people get taken advantage of when there’s a new law in place, so we stay involved with apartment owner associations and the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California. I want to help people in any way I can,” Durey said. 

Zebra currently works in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas and focuses on seismic retrofitting and structural repairs for commercial and residential properties. They have the team to make the process seamless and will give you the education you need to make an informed decision.

“Our biggest asset is that Kevin and I who are the principals of the company are directly involved in the construction process and that’s rare. We have a small family-like company and customers are appreciative of our consistent communication and on-site presence. We’re easy to get a hold of and have a great team,” Durey said.

To get connected with Zebra Construction, or request a free consultation, visit www.zebraconstruct.com.

Related Posts

Column: State Usurping Key Powers From Cities

January 28, 2023

January 28, 2023

All over California last fall, hundreds of the civic minded spent thousands of hours and millions of dollars running for...

Kurt Rappaport Lists Brentwood Park Property for $44.5 Million

January 27, 2023

January 27, 2023

Property shares border with Rappaport’s current compound  By Dolores Quintana Kurt Rappaport, the real estate businessman, investor and entrepreneur, saw...

Respara Opens in Brentwood Boasting Exclusive Luxury Residences

January 27, 2023

January 27, 2023

One-, two- and three-bedroom private retreats now leasing Respara is now open in Brentwood featuring a collection of residences including...

Huge Sprawling Estate in Bel Air Up for Grabs

January 27, 2023

January 27, 2023

Last-ditch effort to sell Senderos Canyon spread By Dolores Quintana Bel-Air, one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the United...

Brentwood Community Council Off to a Quick Start

January 26, 2023

January 26, 2023

Traci Park and staff on hand for BCC’s January meeting By Jeff Hall It’s a new year and Brentwood Community...

Brentwood Steakhouse Now Accepting Reservations for Valentine’s Prix Fixe Menu

January 25, 2023

January 25, 2023

Baltaire Brentwood’s Valentine’s dinner to feature “romantic ambiance, fine wines and incredible cuisine”  By Dolores Quintana Brentwood steakhouse Baltaire has...

Tiger Woods Names Marcus Byrd for 2023 Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club

January 25, 2023

January 25, 2023

Established in 2009, this exemption promotes diversity in golf Tiger Woods has named Marcus Byrd recipient of the Charlie Sifford...

Nonprofit Initiates Winter Program to Foster Intergenerational Relationships

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

Sage and Seekers are slated to begin their winter session at Palisades High School on January 30 By Keemia Zhang...

Column – A California Positive: Kids Swarm Extra Classes

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

By Tom Elias It’s become a cliché, the shibboleth that California has lousy public schools and most of the kids...

Eggs in Short Supply at Westside Food Bank

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

Avian flu outbreak and inflation have been driving these shortages Westside Food Bank is turning to alternative suppliers to try...

St. Joseph Center President Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum Transitions to LAHSA as New CEO

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

25-year veteran of St. Joseph Center will service as serve as CEO of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Dr....

LA Residents Required to Place Food Scraps, Yard Waste in Green Bin For Weekly Pickup

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

Rule now in effect for all residents serviced by LASAN OrganicsLA is a curbside organics recycling program enacted by California’s...

Work Has Started on Co-living Apartments on Barrington Avenue in West L.A

January 23, 2023

January 23, 2023

1503 S. Barrington Avenue will stand four stories tall and feature 18 new apartments. @brentwoodnewsla Work Has Started on Co-living...

Scooter Braun Drops List Price of Former John Travolta Estate: Brentwood Real Estate Report – January 23rd, 2023

January 23, 2023

January 23, 2023

Property, Developments, and Listings on the Westside.*  Scooter Braun Drops List Price of Former John Travolta Estate*  Kendrick Lemar Buys...