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Codes, Loads and Other Specifications

You have the land and you have a design concept, but before the actual home can be built there are many plan specifications which must be understood, addressed and handled before actual construction can begin. What do these include? Who is responsible? How important are they? We address them all in this week’s article.

What is the Snow Load of Your Roof?
Snow Covered Log Home RoofSnow? Well, this may not apply to your project if you are building below 2,000 feet, however, other weather phenomenon such as hurricane winds or extreme humidity may play a factor. The general concept is that your architect should have a full understanding of the special nature of your build location and how the design will be affected because of the weather conditions. Roof pitches, structural loads, roof vents and many other aspects of your home’s design may need to be modified in order to meet the needs of your environment.

What are the Zoning Laws and Codes?
Some remote locations may not have zoning laws or strict codes but it is a bad idea to assume that your home’s design will automatically meet the codes you do have. Your architect should make themselves aware of the codes in your area so that when engineered plans need to be submitted for approval, the process is smooth and changes are not needed that might delay your project.

Does Your Location Have a Review Board?
If you plan to build in a development, it is imperative that your architect is fully aware of any regulations the development might impose. Some boards have few restrictions while others have very specific requirements that can greatly affect the design your home. You may need to change the height, use alternative materials or remove features. If you know what your parameters are early, you can avoid problems later on.

Will Your Design Meet the Changing Energy Codes?
Energy codes are getting more and more strict throughout the United States and can vary from state to state. Your architect should not only know and understand how these new codes affect your plan, but be experienced in designing homes that meet these changing requirements. Even with new regulations in place, a quality designer can create a home that both meets your aesthetic needs and is energy-efficient.

The most important thing to remember is that your project requires more than just a plan and a plot of land to build it on. Make sure you have a team in place that can handle the codes, regulations and requirements of your specific location.

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