SB326 Structural Engineering Inspections

We provide Structural Engineering Inspections for SB326 (Senate Bill SB 326) and SB721 enacted January 1, 2020 for balconies, stairs, and decks. (California Civil Code 5551)



Letters of Recommendation For So Cal Structural for Structural Engineering Inspections for SB326 and SB721


Structural Engineering Scope of Services 

For compliance with SB326 & Civil Code Section 5551:

(a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

  • “Associated waterproofing systems” include flashings, membranes, coatings, and sealants that protect the load-bearing components of exterior elevated elements from exposure to water.
  • “Exterior elevated elements” (EEE) mean the load-bearing components together with their associated waterproofing system.
  • “Load-bearing components” means those components that extend beyond the exterior walls of the building to deliver structural loads to the building from decks, balconies, stairways, walkways, and their railings, that have a walking surface elevated more than six feet above ground level, that are designed for human occupancy or use, and that are supported in whole or in substantial part by wood or wood-based products.
  • “Statistically significant sample” means a sufficient number of units inspected to provide 95 percent confidence that the results from the sample are reflective of the whole, with a margin of error of no greater than plus or minus 5 percent.
    • IMPORTANT: The HOA and/or property manager may hire our firm to inspect only the minimum designated number of exterior elevated elements that satisfy the statistically significant sample definition in Civil Code Section 5551 (e.g., for 50 exterior elevated elements, 45 would satisfy the statistically significant sample definition; e.g., for 25 exterior elevated elements, 24 would satisfy the statistically significant sample definition). However, we highly recommend our firm inspect all of the complex’s exterior elevated elements.
  • “Visual inspection” means inspection through the least intrusive method necessary to inspect load-bearing components, including visual observation only or visual observation in conjunction with, for example, the use of moisture meters, borescopes, or infrared technology.

(b) Visual inspection will be conducted by Jeremy Livermore, SE, PE (licensed structural engineer and licensed civil engineer, hereafter “Inspector” or “Structural Engineer”). The Inspector will inspect a random and statistically significant sample of exterior elevated elements for which the association has maintenance or repair responsibility. The inspection will determine whether the exterior elevated elements are in a generally safe condition and performing in accordance with applicable standards.

(c) Prior to conducting the first visual inspection, the inspector will generate a random list of the locations of each type of exterior elevated element. The list will include all exterior elevated elements for which the association has maintenance or repair responsibility. The list will be provided to the association for future use.

(d) The inspector will perform the visual inspections in accordance with the random list generated pursuant to subdivision (c). If during the visual inspection the inspector observes building conditions indicating that unintended water or water vapor has passed into the associated waterproofing system, thereby creating the potential for damage to the load-bearing components, then the inspector may conduct a further inspection. The inspector will exercise their best professional judgment in determining the necessity, scope, and breadth of any further inspection. All further inspections will require the property manager’s maintenance workers or contractors to remove surface materials (stucco, waterproofing, drywall, wood siding, plywood, etc.) for the inspectors further inspection of the structural system (studs, joists, beams, posts, connections, etc.). All associated work and costs for removal of surface materials shall be at no cost to SoCal Structural.

(e) Based upon the inspector’s visual inspections, further inspection, and construction and materials expertise, the inspector will issue a written report containing the following information:

(1) The identification of the building components comprising the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing system.

(2) The current physical condition of the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing system, including whether the condition presents an immediate threat to the health and safety of the residents.

(3) The expected future performance and remaining useful life of the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing system.

(4) Recommendations for any necessary repair or replacement of the load-bearing components and associated waterproofing system.

(f) The report issued pursuant to subdivision (e) will be stamped or signed by the inspector and delivered to the property manager for delivery to the HOA board.

(g) If, after inspection of any exterior elevated element, the inspector advises that the exterior elevated element poses an immediate threat to the safety of the occupants, the inspector will provide a copy of the inspection report to the association immediately upon completion of the report, and to the local code enforcement agency within 15 days of completion of the report. 

Accordingly, our Structural Engineering scope of services includes the following services

  • Task #1: Inspect exterior elevated elements to meet the above provisions and comply with SB326 & Civil Code Section 5551. The exterior elevated elements will be selected by our inspector in conjunction with the HOA and property manager for notifying tenants in advance.
    • For example:
    • The statistically significant sample size of 80 balconies is 66.
    • The statistically significant sample size of 40 stairways is 36.
    • A minimum of 102 EEE’s are required to be inspected for this complex.
    • We recommend our firm inspect all exterior elevated elements (not merely the minimum required by the statistically significant sample).
  • Task #2: Write one (1) page report for each inspected exterior elevated element. Each report will have the official structural engineering seal (stamped/signed) to comply with Civil Code Section 5551.
  • Task #3: Write a 1 page executive summary report and include any relevant sketches for some repair conditions.


  • Task #1: Performed at a mutually agreed upon time by the CLIENT or CLIENT’s representative.
    • No greater than 25 EEE’s will be assessed in 1 trip to the complex.
  • Task #2: Performed within 5 business days of the site inspection.
  • Task #3: Performed within 10 business days of the final site inspection.


Stamped and Signed Reports emailed to the CLIENT or CLIENT’s representative.



  • Full size Drawings/Plans/Blueprints for a building department submittal
  • Calculations.
  • Permit submittal services and administration with the authority having jurisdiction.
  • Guarantees and warrantees.
  • Contractor’s means and methods of construction.
  • STRUCTURAL ENGINEER will not be responsible for demolition, construction debris removal, and hazardous materials identification during our site assessment. If demolition of ceiling elements are required, CLIENT shall provide the appropriate demolition for the structural observations.
  • STRUCTURAL ENGINEER will not review, make observations, show on drawings, or provide information related the existing utility or irrigation lines or any other architectural, mechanical, electrical, or plumbing items, units, or equipment as these are non-structural related items of the project. 

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER may be retained for additional services not covered in this AGREEMENT with an additional agreement upon CLIENT’s request.