Building Code: Or Not?!

Things Which Scare the Pooh Out of Me

And we are not talking about things which go bump in the night or hide in closets waiting to jump out.

Hansen Buildings’ Designer Rick recently ran up against an interesting situation.

One of the responsibilities of clients is to verify the code information with their Building Department prior to ordering. As there are, at times, only questions which can be answered by the client, we have found it to be the best solution for all involved if the client checks out building code requirements with his local jurisdiction.

Building Code Snow LoadsThis particular client lives in the far northern United States, where it tends to snow…a lot.

Client does his part and gets this response:

“We don’t enforce the building code in Xxxxxx County, so you will have to have whoever designs your building refer to the xx State Building Code. We have a link for that on our County Website it is as follows: xxxx”

So Rick gives it a try and comes back to me with:

“You are sure right on this.  I just got off the phone with the county.  He actually used the words “we don’t care if it is built of straw” as long as your setbacks conform. 

This is my first encounter with a county that doesn’t even have a snow load, and I didn’t think there were any.

The link in the e-mail below gives me an error code and the link on the county web site for the XX State Building Code gives me Chinese.”

Now this particular building is going to be constructed where there is snow in the winter….lots and lots and lots of snow.

Personally, I am not a fan of government intervention, however I am a fan of people not being hurt or killed when under designed buildings collapse.

For people who are going to build in areas where the Building Code is not enforced – do due diligence, make every effort to find or calculate loads which will be adequate for your structure.

If you need help understanding your local building code, ask me.  I’m all about safety first.







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