The Add-on Process: The Importance of Construction Permits

Let’s talk about construction permits and inspections. Before you start your next project, you want to secure all appropriate permits for modifications or additions to the home. Non-permitted work presents major health and safety risks to you, your family, and any future residents.

Room additions are inspected at various points during construction from framing, plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems. Building codes set minimum requirements for the types and sizes of materials to be used to meet safety standards. Additionally, buildings have specific zoning information that is listed in California’s Zoning Code. These requirements are based by neighborhood, but the information is highly complex.

The Process of Obtaining Construction Permits

According to Los Angeles County Public Works website, the process of obtaining building permits is basically the same for additions/alterations as it is for new structures. This process begins with determining what type of structure meets the zoning requirements of the site. An applicant should have a dimensioned plot plan illustrating an overhead view of the property with all structures outlined and distances to property lines and between structures identified. The existing and proposed construction should be clearly indicated as well. Once an applicant has a complete construction plan for the project, it is then submitted to the local Building and Safety District office.

It’s true, the applications and inspections can make your head spin, which is precisely why we recommend hiring an experienced, locally licensed contractor who offers quality work.

Our contractors know what is required for all types of construction projects from kitchen remodeling to large scale additions. Let us worry about staying on top of the necessary permits, while you hunt for chic furniture and trendy décor.



Salt Water Pool vs Chlorine

Are you wondering about the differences between a salt water pool vs chlorine swimming pool and which one is better?

There are various articles out there that do not give a clear answer as to which one is better. We’re here to make the answer more clear for the general public. We will explain our answer in simple but precise details.

Salt Water Pools Are Considered Better Overall

A salt water pool has important benefits compared to a traditional chlorine swimming pool. The main benefits are related to health of the users.

There is still chlorine in salt water pools but there is a much lower concentration of it. Having low amounts of chlorine in pool is very beneficial for a swimmers health compared to traditional chlorine pools.

Certain amounts of chlorine can cause irritation to skin, irritation to eyes, burning pain, and redness. It is also known that long-term exposure to low levels of chlorine gas is potentially linked to lung diseases, shortness of breath, and tooth corrosion. Although certain amounts of chlorine are required for its negative health effects to be visible, it is easy to understand that chlorine is not good for human health.

When it comes down to price, salt water pools have a higher initial expense. However, the cost of maintaining a chlorine pool is higher.

Pros of Salt Water Pools

  • Lower concentration of chlorine
  • Less irritant on skin
  • Less irritant on eyes
  • Costs less in maintenance chemicals
  • Do not require maintenance as frequently as chlorine pools

Con of Salt Water Pools

  • Initial installation is more expensive compared to a chlorine pool

Another thing that some may consider a con about salt water pools is that they have a slightly higher electricity cost. Although, this is not necessarily a con because the average maintenance cost still remains less than a chlorine pool due to savings on chemicals.

Pro of Chlorine Pools

  • Lower initial cost

Cons of Chlorine Pools

  • Relatively high amount of chlorine compared to salt water pools.
  • Certain amounts of chlorine are known to cause negative health effects.
  • Can cause irritation in the eyes such as itchiness, burning, and blurriness.
  • Can cause irritation in the skin such as itchiness and burning.
  • Has a higher cost of maintenance compared to salt water.

In simple terms, salt water pools have much more benefits. The only so called “down side” is that they have a higher initial cost. But hey, better things usually cost more right? Although the initial cost of a salt water pool is higher than a chlorine, chlorine pools required more expenses on maintenance over the long run anyways.

All in all, the salt water pools win the challenge. Are you looking to build a pool for your home in LA County? Our Los Angeles pool builders offer top quality services for affordable prices.



Homeowners Encouraged to Convert Garages Into ADU

Homeowners in populated areas like California are being encouraged to convert their garages into ADUs that can be rented out.

In California, a law called Senate Bill 1069 was passed with the purpose of creating additional affordable living spaces for residents of the state. The law uses the term “Accessory Dwelling Unit” to refer to a secondary housing unit on a single home property.

Why Does This Law Encourage Homeowners to Convert Their Garages?

This law encourages homeowners to convert their garages into ADU in order to create additional affordable housing in the state.

Affordable housing can help the economy as a whole. It can help people save some money on rent while providing while also reducing the amount of homelessness.

This Law Encourages Homeowners by Providing Easily Obtainable Standards for Doing Garage Conversions

SB-1069 encourages people because it purposely removes any previous legal difficulties involved with of converting a garage.

This law provides a set of easily obtainable standards and regulations for garage conversion to legally take place. While at the same time, it prevents cities from requiring additional permits and fees.

Therefore, homeowners in California no longer rely on their city to give them rights for doing conversions. Now, cities can’t make it impossible for property owners to convert their garages.

As long as the set of standards set by SB-1069 are met, a property owner can have a legally converted garage. As a result of the ease involved with legally converting garages into ADU, more and more people are encouraged to take the approach.

The main reason this law was passed was to increase affordable housing space in California because the cost of living is extremely high in the state. For homeowners, it can either provide additional living space, or additional income from renting it out. While at the same time, if it is being rented out, it can be used as an affordable means of housing for a renter.

Professionals near you like All American Builders can go over all the details and potential benefits of a desired project. Our pros specialize in providing garage conversion in Los Angeles, CA and surrounding cities.

is it hard to convert a garage into an adu in california

Is It Hard to Turn a Garage Into an ADU in California?

Are you wondering if it’s hard to turn your garage into an ADU in California?

The answer is no. In California, it is not hard to turn your garage into an ADU. It is now easier than ever to do garage conversions in California.

More and more people have recently been converting their garages into accessory dwelling units. Are you wondering why or how?

A Recently Passed Law Makes It Easy for Garage Conversion to Take Place

A recently passed law called Senate Bill 1069 (SB-1069) has been a cause of the legal ease involved with California garage to ADU conversion.

The state of California has come to a point where housing costs are relatively high for the general public. Accordingly, a main purpose of this bill is to provide additional housing spaces that can be rented out for affordable prices.

As a result of homeowners converting their garages into ADU, affordable housing spaces are being created.

How Does This Law Make it Easy to Convert a Garage Into an ADU?

Prior to this bill being passed, individual cities made it extremely difficult for homeowners to obtain proper permits for conversions.

The law SB-1069 prohibits local agencies such as cities from requiring permits. It also prevents them from imposing connection fees or capacity charges. A set of standards and regulations for garage conversion is provided by this law.

The set of standards are regulations provided by this law make the process of conversion a very fast and easy. No need to depend on the city to give you a permit in order for you to use your garage as a legal secondary housing unit.

Contractors near you can provide you with everything you need from start to finish.

Our team at All American Builders specialize in garage conversion near Los Angeles and surrounding cities. If you are located within our service area, please get in touch to go over the details of your desired project!

Residential Swimming Pool Regulations in Los Angeles

Residential Swimming Pool Regulations in Los Angeles, California

Updated residential swimming pool regulations in Los Angeles. The requirements for the design and construction of swimming pools in Los Angeles are regulated by the following codes and regulations:

  • The State provisions for Public Swimming Pools are found in 2016 California Building Code (CBC) Chapter 31B
  • 2017 Los Angeles Building Code (LABC) Sections 3109, 6109, and 8118 shall apply to all pools

Permanently Installed Residential Outdoor In-Ground Swimming Pool or Spa

LA City Green Building Code Section 4.304.5 requires any permanently installed outdoor in-ground swimming pool or spa for one and two-family dwellings to be equipped with a cover having a manual or power-operated reel system.

General Permit Requirements for Building a Private Pool?

A Combined Building-Mechanical permit is required to be obtained to construct private pools pursuant to LABC Section 107.2.2. However the exception to this requirements is neither building nor combined building-mechanical permits are required for the building the following pools:

  • Swimming, bathing, and wading pools not exceeding 24 inches in depth and not exceeding a surface area of 250 square feet.

mechanical permit shall be obtained for any additional gas or electrical outlets installed for any of the exceptions noted above. Moreover, a grading permit shall be required to obtain for excavations when the pool requires a building permit or combined Building-Mechanical permit and the lot is located in the grading hillside area.

Pool Enclosure Construction Permit Requirement Los Angeles

A separate permit to construct the pool enclosure is required, if any portion of the enclosure is constructed by a masonry contractor with stone or concrete higher than 3.5 feet as per Section 106.2 of LABC.

Pool Building Plan Requirements for City of Los Angeles

Two sets of pool building plans and one set of calculations are required for all pools at the time of permit issuance. Each set of plans must include a fully dimensioned plot plan, showing the location of the pool, pool enclosure, and all accessory equipment and their setbacks to all adjacent buildings, property lines, and slopes. An exception to the pool building plan requirement however is only one set of plans and no calculations are required, when there is a valid City of Los Angeles Standard Plan for the swimming pool on file with the Department. Pool building plans and calculations must be signed and stamped by a California registered engineer or licensed architect.

Zoning Code Requirements Building Pool

All pools shall comply with the use and location requirements of the Zoning Code. Pools shall not be located in any required yard in which fences more than 3½ feet in height are prohibited as outlined in LAMC Section 12.21.C1.g. Residential buildings shall comply with any additional regulation imposed by an ordinance, “Q” or “T” condition or any other zoning regulations. A pool or spa which are higher than 30 inches above ground are not permitted within the required yards for the property.

Glazing Swimming Pool Building Code Requirement in Los Angeles

Glazing in walls of a building and fences used as the barrier for swimming pools and spas shall comply with the requirements set out pursuant to LABC Section 2406 when all of the following conditions are present:

  • The bottom edge of the glazing is less than 60 inches above the pool side of the glazing
  • The glazing is less than 5 feet from swimming pool or spa water’s edge

Private Swimming Pools Single-Family Homes

For private swimming pools located at single-family homes, the construction of a new swimming pool or spa or the remodeling of an existing swimming pool or spa shall be equipped with at least two of the seven drowning prevention safety features as listed under Section 3109.4.4.2 of the LABC.

Moreover, the exception listed under Section 3109.4, for residential swimming pools shall not waive the requirements to provide a pool enclosure complying with Section 3109.4.1 through Section 3109.4.3. Los Angeles pool builders must comply with all codes and regulations.