A hillside deck with a view in the L. A.
and other hillside areas, is one of the best ways to add value to your property,
as well as adding to the enjoyability. Design-wise, always go for the view! Most
Southern California cities have special ordinances on hillside building, and
decks are considered a structure, like a house or garage, and have to conform to
all the same zoning rules and set-backs. Usually, you will need a geology soils
report, sometimes a professional survey, and always it will need to be permitted
and engineered. There are general rules on the engineering, like the depth of
the grade beam and caissons, but this may vary with soil conditions, sometimes
having to dig down to bedrock, if the soil is not stable, which may be 20 feet
or more and gets expensive. The picture on the top right shows heavy timber
construction with the concrete grade beam between the posts and the tie beams
that extend up and are attached to the foundation of the house. What you can't
see are the caissons that are dug down eleven feet and two feet wide under each post pinning it in position.
Most of these are in a high fire zones and the use of fire proof materials, fire resistant materials, using heavy timber construction or a fire resistant skirt around it, such as a stucco wall, may be required. Mangaris hardwood decking has a Class A fire rating.
If you are rebuilding a previously permitted deck, it will likely need to be upgraded to current standards. The hillside deck is one project where you will likely need a professional to work with. It is an expensive project, as there is no way of getting around the engineering of a structure that is going to stand the test of time. To sort this out, an excellent way to start would be to contact us!
For more pictures of hillside decks, see the Decks page!
NOTE: This design is minimal and depends
upon your geology.
It is based on general rules, not on actual conditions.