Trewinds Fantasy Homes Consultants- Building Codes And Remodeling

Building codes are regulations that control almost every aspect of home design and construction. Every new home, remodeling project, or room addition must be designed and built in accordance with the codes that regulate the structural design, energy efficiency, construction quality, and overall safety of structures occupied by the public.

Codes dictate the size and configuration of stairs; the number and type of windows and glass; the amount of energy the house consumes; methods and materials of construction; the location of smoke detectors; and hundreds of other items.Visit them at Trewinds Fantasy Homes Consultants to get additional information.

A new homeowner may only be minimally aware of the impact of building codes on his home, since most code issues are addressed before he occupies it. But homeowners undertaking a remodeling or room addition are likely to become very familiar with how building codes affect the design, construction, and cost of their project.

That’s because building codes often require work to be done to parts of the house that seem otherwise sound – it can be an unpleasant surprise to find that you’ve got to tear out the ceiling of a room in which you’d planned no significant work.

Below are a few of the larger code-related issues often encountered in home remodeling, and some suggestions on how you can plan for them.

More Power!

It should be assumed that any home more than thirty years old will require an update of the electrical system. Usually the culprit is too little power to serve the needs of modern life; current electrical codes require about three times the number of power outlets than a few decades ago. These additional outlets will necessitate a larger electrical panel, which may in turn require a larger electrical service (more power!). Unfortunately this is a hard problem to avoid. If you’re planning to add on or remodel, be sure your contractor budgets for an electrical upgrade.

What’s Holding You Up?

The older a home is the less it’s likely to meet today’s codes for structural strength. If work is done in an area of original construction, the structure will probably need some reinforcing – even if the structure’s been standing solidly for years.

Any remodeling that exposes existing structure or changes the way loads are distributed on the floors and walls will require a review of the home’s structure. Additions also often cause structural changes as existing supports are altered or removed to make way for the new work.

But reworking the structural elements of a home often plants a bigger (and more expensive) obstacle in the way – the necessary relocation of existing electrical wiring and ductwork that may be routed through the framing. It’s part of what’s called the “ripple effect” – a small change in one area ripples throughout the house. Whenever possible, minimize the ripple effect by designing an addition that doesn’t disrupt the house’s structure and by remodeling existing rooms without moving walls.