Tag Archives: code

Rare Desicion to Not Adopt New Building Code Causes Stir

Rare Decision to Not Adopt New Building Code Causes Stir

The following article by Brian Walker (in its entirety, without edits, appeared December 5, 2017 in the Coeur d’Alene Press). Tune in tomorrow for my commentary.

COEUR d’ALENE — Kootenai County commissioners’ decision to not accept the most recent version of the International Building Code for new residential and commercial construction starting in 2018 puts the county in uncharted territory, said Chris Fillios, the lone board member who opposed the move.

“I’m not sure where this goes from here,” said Fillios, adding that cities and counties adopting the code is typically a routine housekeeping matter.

Community Development Director David Callahan and Fillios said the idea and corresponding vote on Thursday by fellow commissioner Marc Eberlein and Bob Bingham to not adopt the recent codes caught them by surprise.

“What made the decision newsworthy in my view was that the board has embarked on a new policy direction for the unincorporated areas of the county in which compliance with building codes will no longer be mandatory, but will instead be voluntary,” Callahan said.

The decision does not affect construction inside city limits.

Callahan said he’s been directed to develop a plan that would move the county toward the option of voluntary implementation of the building codes similar to Boise County — population 7,028, according to the last census.

That county, in which Idaho City is the county seat, requires that home builders or homeowner select one of two options. The options include a “Basic” building permit in which there are no building inspections or a certificate of occupancy (CO); or an “Upgrades” permit that includes inspections and a CO.

Eberlein supports the format because it gives residents a choice.

“Let people make their own decisions,” he said.

Eberlein said not adopting the recent building codes cuts bureaucracy. He calls the codes a “protection racket for special interest groups.”

“I didn’t go looking for this fight, but I can’t approve more bureaucracy,” Eberlein said. “If it wasn’t a protection racket, why wouldn’t you have a five-year warranty on your house (rather than a one-year warranty)? Having a building permit also doesn’t provide you with an absolute safeguard.”

Eberlein said he supports the choice option rather than doing away with building codes altogether like in Bonner County.

“I want sideboards (on the policy decision),” he said, adding that a Bonner commissioner is now interested in the choice option.

Eberlein said he believes it’s also unfair that a farmer in southern Idaho can claim the agriculture exemption to the building code when someone in North Idaho can’t on a pole barn.

The commissioner said he realizes that most residents, including himself, would want the “Upgrades” permit on their home or business, but many would prefer the “Basic” permit on some outbuildings.

Kootenai County commissioners’ decision means the code adopted in 2015 will be in effect until Dec. 31 and there will be no mandatory building code requirements after Jan. 1. However, state-mandated electrical, plumbing, mechanical and septic inspections will still be in place.

Although Eberlein would like to see Kootenai County follow Boise County’s format, the local board has not decided on specific options on future building permit applications.

Jeff Tyler, vice chairman of the North West Property Owners Alliance, supports the commissioners’ decision in the name of property rights and less cost and regulation.

“Having the government involved in building your home does not automatically mean peace of mind,” Tyler wrote in an online comment. “In the Boise Foothills, for instance, a half dozen homes are falling apart … due to unstable ground that the Idaho Geological Survey showed as unstable in previous inspections yet the subdivision was approved anyway.

“Local cities will most likely approve the new rules, but you can now build your home in the county the way you like.”

Tyler said among the new rules for 2018 would be an increase from a 40 pounds-per-square-foot snow load to 70, which would increase the cost for a home.

Bonner and Boundary counties are other counties that don’t have building code requirements.

Fillios, who has a background in real estate, said he did not see any reason to not adopt the codes.

“To not adopt them leads us down a potentially dangerous path,” he said.

Not adopting the codes could expose homeowners to shoddy construction, decrease property values and lead to lending issues if a certificate of occupancy is not issued, Fillios said.

“If you do away with the codes, there will always be people who cut corners,” Fillios said, adding he plans to do more research into the possible implications of the board’s decision.

“My concern is that this goes far beyond limiting regulation and an ideological argument,” he said, adding that he’s dealt with more substandard construction in Bonner County than Kootenai. “When we make decisions based on ideological grounds, my concern is that could fail to consider the repercussions.”

Fillios said comparing Kootenai County, a rapidly growing area, to rural Boise County is apples to oranges.

Tyler wrote that there are banks in Bonner and Boundary that will loan to approved builders and have bank inspectors visit the site.

“This is the way homes have been built and financed long before government intrusion,” he wrote.

Callahan said the commissioners’ decision didn’t rescind existing codes. The board just declined to adopt the most recent versions of the code, he said.

Commissioners will need to hold a public hearing to rescind the current codes, Callahan said.

“I can’t really predict the timeframe for any possible hearing to repeal the existing codes as we would presumably only do so once we have a plan in place for the voluntary implementation,” he said.

Callahan said he doesn’t know what the ramifications are, if any, for the county not adopting the new regulations by Jan. 1. He declined to comment further, citing the need to confer with a county attorney to understand the next steps.

Area cities are also in the process of considering updated building codes. Post Falls, which has experienced a lot of growth, will consider the codes tonight. Mayor Ron Jacobson said he expects them to be approved as usual.

“I’m all for less regulations and you don’t want government overreach, but you also have to have guidelines,” he said.

A message left with North Idaho Building Contractors Association leadership was not returned on Monday.


Spokane? Roof Steel Starts? and Winging It!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Your from Spokane area? Can one construct a custom pole building as home Spokane county? Would you have any references of builders in my area to consider? TERRY in MEAD

DEAR TERRY: Yes, I was born and raised in Spokane – still have a plethora of family members there (as well as a home).

You (as well as anyone else) can construct a post frame (pole building) home anywhere in the United States. Post frame buildings are totally Code conforming structures. Keep in mind you WILL have to have engineering for your building, which is why it is most beneficial to deal with a building provider who can get engineer sealed plans for you to obtain your Building permit.

The builders we refer are what is known as “technicians” – they are the people who swing hammers and drive nails and screws. They are generally unqualified to assist you through the design phase of your proposed project. Once you have determined the features which best meet your needs for space and your budget, we can provide names of several who you can then vet to determine which will be the fit for you.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a question on first roof metal sheet. How far do I overlap the end soffit fascia board? BILLY in VENICE

DEAR BILLY: The leading edge of the first panel of roof steel should fall directly dead center of the varge rafter. It should not, in any case, extend beyond the rafter.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am looking to build a 20’x12′ pole barn style roof/structure overtop a deck adjoining to 12’x12′ shed all next to a concrete deck/pool. The deck will be connected to the 12’x12′ shed, sharing same roof with having a 4:12 pitch metal roofing on 2×4 perlins. Shed will be 2×4 framed, 2×6 floor joists/frame, 2×6 rafters, 12″ o.c. My deck plan is 2×6 PT framed wrapping around 6×6 posts and using 10 post support pier blocks (6 in middle spaced every 3rd joist and 1 each between 6×6 post to support 2×6 frame). Will that suffice?

– can I use 6×6 PT posts 10′ o.c. with a single 2×12 notched into 6×6 for top header? Or would doubled 2x12s be needed (notched)
– 10 engineered trusses 24″ o.c. on 2×12 header? Or doubled trusses at posts—giving 6 total trusses

Thank you. Your site is very informative. RYAN in MOUNT HOLLY

RYAN: In a nutshell – no, your ideas will not be structurally sufficient. This is one of the reasons the State of New Jersey requires engineer sealed plans for all structures – it is the insurance every building is designed to meet with the requirements of the Building Codes and to protect you and your loved ones from the consequences of the unexpected collapse of some or all of your building.


What Classification is a Horse Riding Arena?

True horse riding arenas are big buildings. Even a relatively small one at 60 foot wide by 120 feet long is a big building – 7200 square feet. Add on a decent width (12 foot as a minimum) aisleway and (10) 12 foot square spaces for stalls, wash racks, tack and/or feed rooms and we are now up to over 10,000 square feet. I have done up to 100 foot wide clearspan by 240 feet long – just for the arena! Some states exempt horse riding arenas from building permits – but what about those which are required to get permits? What should their Occupancy Classification be?

This is a question which is not clearly answered by the Building Code books. In most instances, arenas would be classified as “U” – however it is possible the officials might try to deem it as being “A” (assembly) “B” (business) or “S” (storage), which could entail the need for restrooms, accessibility and depending upon the square footage –  sprinklers.

I did some searching at www.TheBuildingCodeForum.com where many of the participants are code officials. The State of Montana has their own amendment to the IBC (International Building Code) which I found posted on a forum.

(8) The following modifications apply to riding arenas:

(a) Subsection 312.1 is amended by addition of the following paragraph: “Riding arenas limited to occupant loads of 200 or less and used for boarding, breeding, and training of horses, horse shows and competitions, clinics and rider instruction, and open riding are considered agricultural buildings subject to the provisions of Appendix Chapter C, as amended. Uses such as rodeos, barn dances, craft and other nonlivestock shows, conventions, and similar events which result in large numbers of spectators or occupants are not allowed in riding arenas classified as agricultural buildings.”

(b) Appendix Chapter C, Subsection C101.1 is amended by addition of: “9. Riding arenas as defined in amended Subsection 312.1.”

Arena InteriorPlanning a riding arena, in a state other than Montana, and finding the Planning and/or Building Departments want it to be classified as other than a U occupancy? If so, I would certainly pull out Montana’s amendment as it does make practical sense and see if you can sway the powers to be. When it comes to a savings of thousands of dollars, the effort can be well worth it!

Roof Trusses? Contractor Reviews, and Insulation Installation!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I would like to rip off my current roof of trusses that are made of 2x4s 2 feet on center with new one of mono-pitched trusses that are every 4-ft or less on center. The roofing material on top of the new trusses would be a SIP panel of some sort. The unfinished ceiling would be the bottom of the SIP panel. The house would have exposed trusses to create a loftier feel as the ceilings are currently too low. (house is 28 ft wide by 30 feet long)

Is this something that you can help with — the design & manufacture of the trusses/roof?


DEAR NATHAN: Your Building Department is going to require engineer sealed plans in order to issue a building permit for your project. As such, your best bet is to hire a local engineer who is experienced in wood frame construction to provide your plans. They should come out to your house and do a thorough investigation into the adequacy of the structure to support the loads.

Some thoughts to consider – SIPs are going to prove to be very expensive. You could create a more spacious feel by constructing a knee wall on top of one of the existing walls, then use I joists or parallel chord trusses – either of which can be insulated between to give an adequate R value.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How can I find independent customer reviews in Washington state for Pride in Construction. GINGER in TACOMA

DEAR GINGER: Getting independent customer reviews on any building contractor anywhere is a challenge, as most builders do not construct enough buildings to develop much of a track record either good or bad.

Here are the seven steps to not getting yourself burned by any contractor, follow these: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/07/contractor-6/ and require a performance bond and you will greatly limit your risk of not getting the finished product you expected. Here is Performance Bond information: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/07/contractor-bonding/.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I will be installing insulation under the steel roof. Are staple guns the best choice for temporary stabilization until the roof is added? What length staples? Which gauge staples? Narrow? Electric, air or grip staple gun? Recommendations? I will be using metal tape to join each roll of insulation side-by-side.

Trying not to re-invent the wheel, that’s why I went Hansen of course. RALPH in KENNEWICK

DEAR RALPH: From Chapter 14 of the Hansen Pole Buildings’ Installation Guide: Using a minimum 5/16” galvanized staple, staple through insulation to eave purlin top. As an alternative to staples, 1” galvanized roofing nails (with the big plastic washers) also work well.

These fasteners are only going to be needed long enough to get a sheet of steel on top of them, so there is no occasion to get fancy at this juncture. I’ve found a tack hammer to be more than adequate.

Keep in mind, the one edge of each roll of A1V insulation has a pull strip on it, with adhesive under the pull strip. This eliminates the need to use rolls of tape to adjoin each piece of insulation.


Pole Sizes, Adding On a Shed Roof, and Ridge Vents

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We live in Pacific county in Washington state and wondering what size of truss pole we would be looking at needing for a 60 ft truss. We are in a wind exposure “C” and trusses will be on 12′ centers. The building we are planning will be 60’w x 48’d with 15′ eve height. Any help will be appreciated.

Thank you,CRAIG in RAYMOND

Concrete slab in a pole barnDEAR CRAIG: There are a plethora of factors which will go into determination of what size columns will work for your or anyone else’s new post frame
building. These include (but are not limited to):

Soil bearing capacity
Embedment depth
If columns will be tied into a concrete slab
Spacing of wall girts
Is building fully enclosed, partially enclosed or a roof only
Slope of roof
If building has a ceiling
Roofing material

When you order your new post frame building package, all of these variables will be factored into the design of not only the columns, but all of the components and your building plans as well as the supporting calculations will be sealed by the engineer of record.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I want to attach a shed roof along the side of my 40 foot pole barn. The span is 12 feet and I plan on the outside of the roof being on 10 ft. high 4×4’s and raising it to a height of 12 ft. on the pole barn. There are 5 6×6’s to line up the 4×4’s to. I was wondering the most cost effective way to attach the metal for the shed roof. I plan on enclosing the sides when funds permit, but for now help with what type of construction, be it wooden trusses or just 2×6 or 2×8 rafters.

Thanks in advance for all your assistance. BEN in TONEY

DEAR BEN: The most cost effective method (as well as structurally correct) will be to discuss your project with a Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer. With your investment in a new post frame building will come plans which correctly size and locate all members as well as detailing all of the connections.

With this said….

The 4×4 columns you propose using will not be adequate to carry even the most minimal of loads which will be imposed by Code.

Your shed will be designed with a single rafter on each end, and rafters on each side of the interior columns. Depending upon the load conditions at your site, expect to see 2×10 or more probably 2×12 rafters. Purlins on edge will be joist hung between the rafters and the roof steel will attach to the purlins with screws.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I paid for continuous roof venting and I got plain 14 in ridge cap can you look in to this? JOE in CLEARWATER



DEAR JOE: The steel ridge cap itself does not change for a vented ridge – the foam closure strips beneath the ridge cap provide the ventilation. According to our records, you were shipped the correct vented closures. Please advise if by some chance you did not receive them.



Sliding Doors, Codes, and Quonset Huts!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I would like to get a quote for sliding garage door for commercial building.

The size that I would like to have is 8′ wide 12′ tall. If I can get two slide garage door it would be perfect (two 4’x12′ garage door) if not One door is fine.

White garage door with no window would be nice.

Can it be automatic door or does it come with manual only?

Can you do installation? or do you guys only provide materials?

Thank you. HANG in ROCKY MOUNT

DEAR HANG: Thank you very much for your interest.

building problemsNot sure a sliding door is the best option for a commercial building, due to security issues. Sliding doors typically seal tight enough to allow the neighbor’s cat into your building. You may find a sectional steel overhead door to be a better option, as well as being less expensive.

The sliding door(s) could be either one piece or split (bi-parting), are available in your choice of any of the popular roll formed steel siding colors and can be fitted with automatic electric openers (read more about openers for sliding doors here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/04/propel-electric-door-openers/).

As we are not contractors, we do not provide installation of anything, anywhere.

Hansen Pole Buildings provides sliding doors only with the investment into a complete post frame building kit package, due to the amount of damage when shipped by themselves. We would recommend you contact the ProDesk at your local The Home Depot®.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: You’re getting a lot of foot traffic coming through your front door and you do not know how to answer the questions direct them my way I’ll take your builds it’s a damn shame that you don’t know how to build a pole barn house to code

Please get out of the way a residential construction guys really staying to the pole barn homes and I’ll keep out of your way as well on just straight back yard pole barns


DEAR KURT: What appears to be a shame is you know so little about our business you have chosen to just wing out your suppositions without having educated yourself. My life experience has taught me you will catch more flies with honey than vinegar – this adage holds true with business relationships as well, just a suggestion you might want to give a try to.

Actually we do not build anything, we supply complete ENGINEERED building packages for post frame buildings of all sorts – including houses. All of our buildings are structurally Code conforming and we have the ability to answer all of our client’s questions, although we do appreciate your offer to do so for us.

Next time you decide you want to sell or construct a post frame building which actually meets Code – drop us a note as we can provide it for you and/or your client.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Good day, I would like to replace the shingles on my Quonset shop with tin and was wonder if 29 gauge would form to the shape of the roof and what kind of spacing you would recommend for strapping under the tin? MATT in ALBERTA

DEAR MATT: Roll formed 29 gauge steel is not going to bend to fit the curve of a Quonset. I have seen people apply it going horizontally (lengthwise) on Quonsets, although have not done it personally. Under most snow and/or wind load conditions, supports every two feet beneath the steel should be adequate.