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, quite often
a professional survey, and almost always it will need to be 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, 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
ten feet and two feet wide under each post pinning it in position.
If it is in a high fire zone, the use of fire resistant materials, using heavy timber construction or a fire resistant skirt around the structure of the deck may be required. Mangaris hardwood decking has a Class A fire rating.
If you are rebuilding a previously permitted deck, it may need to be upgraded to current standards. The hillside deck is one project where you will most likely need a professional to work with. 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.