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                               Neal Franson Los Angeles Builder, Specializing in Custom Decks, Wood Patio Covers,  Hill-side decks, Trellises, Gazeboes, Pavilions, Solar Patio Covers, wooden gates and fences...

Deck Tips News

Hillside Decks

A hillside deck with a view in the L. A. area 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 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.
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. 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, see the Decks page!

Hillside deck design

NOTE: This design is minimal and depends upon your geology.