A typical deck/balcony of a home is constructed of a wooden or composite material platform built above the ground, although many decks are just built upon and raised above the surrounding surface of the ground. A deck surface above the surrounding ground or surface 36 inches or more is required to have a surrounding railing for safety. Railings must support 200 pounds of lateral force at the top edge without "considerable" movement that would cause concern in an average individual. The railing must be designed to not have openings of more than 4 inches, and decks with stairways must have a handrail that can be grabbed by a typical person's hand for support from falling. While some decks are constructed as floating or cantilevered structures tied into the main home's structure, if they are built of wood/composite, they are still considered decks for the purpose of design, inspection, and safety, although they may be called balconies. While deck standards, materials, and designs are now much stronger than decades ago, they are still prone to the forces of nature, and human use and modification, and still need to be inspected on a regular basis.
Our general visual deck/balcony inspection includes photos and a written narrative about any defects and deficiencies observed at the time of the inspection. What we inspect on decks or balconies include but are not limited to: