Author Topic: american building codes ?  (Read 6925 times)

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Offline Tom Bainbridge

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  • Limey Carpenter
american building codes ?
« on: August 06, 2008, 03:04 PM »
in england we have only one "code"

we call them the "building regs", they apply to the whole country



scotland i believe MUST have SLIGHT differences (but am not exactly aware of what they might be)



however the scottish "regs" on sash windows ARE different

because they have different standard dimensions for certain components of sash windows

my guess is climate is a consideration







can you explain your codes [ in simple terms ] 

the plural codes(s) implies you have more than one (or even possibley) many different codes



has every state got an entirely different code ?

is there a federal minimum to ALL codes ?




i would understand that

alaska might have different codes regarding foundations in permafrost

to say texas

where permafrost (on the face of it) is not a problem




on the otherhand with individual states being so large

and cover so many different climates, desert to high mountains that there are different codes in a single state




dd
« Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 03:16 PM by Tom Bainbridge »
Bromley, Kent. UK

aka dirtydeeds

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Offline Robert Robinson

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  • southern Indiana, U.S.A.
Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2008, 03:26 PM »
I think every state, and even every county has building codes. I have a friend in Florida of coarse have codes for hurricanes, which here in Indiana, we wouldn't need. Some codes tell you how high a hand rail on a deck should be, or if you even need one depending on how high the deck is. I know a local code is when building, you must stay 10 feet away from the property lines (sorry, I didn't convert it to metric).
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Offline Tom Bainbridge

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Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2008, 03:43 PM »
RR

there is no need for you to apologise to me for not converting to metric

im english so i have to, on occasions

work in both imperial and metric

you work in a country that is ALMOST exclusively imperial, so its natural that you are biased that way





personally am more biased towards metric

but even guys 20 to 25 years my junior

still work exclusively in imperial



i dont care as long as they get it right


dd
« Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 03:46 PM by Tom Bainbridge »
Bromley, Kent. UK

aka dirtydeeds

Offline Tom Bainbridge

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Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2008, 03:52 PM »
but its a bugger

when a guy calls his dimensions in imperial

and i have, a metric ONLY tape
« Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 04:03 PM by Tom Bainbridge »
Bromley, Kent. UK

aka dirtydeeds

Offline Tom Bainbridge

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Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2008, 04:07 PM »
then things get interesting

he "guages" across his imperial/metric tape



and guesses his dimensions in metric

then gives me it to me in centimertres



when i want it in mil..................................      >:(


« Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 04:11 PM by Tom Bainbridge »
Bromley, Kent. UK

aka dirtydeeds

Offline Tom Bainbridge

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  • Limey Carpenter
Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2008, 04:13 PM »
the differnce between 100 centimetres

and 100 mil

is about a yard  :P
Bromley, Kent. UK

aka dirtydeeds

Offline Robert Robinson

  • Posts: 722
  • southern Indiana, U.S.A.
Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2008, 04:15 PM »
Yeah, I figured I could give it to ya in Liters  ;D then neither of us would know what were talking about.
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Offline Steve Baumgartner

  • Posts: 98
Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2008, 04:20 PM »
Returning to the original question, I believe that the way it works here in the States is that there are a couple of nationally standard "model" codes that have no actual legal status.  States, counties, and municipalities enact laws stating their own code requirements, normally starting with one of the uniform codes as a base and then adding or modifying for local specifics.  For instance, California has very stringent earthquake codes that don't apply most other places.  Enforcement is entirely a local issue.  One result is that contractors have to get to know the hot buttons of the local inspectors.

Offline Bob Swenson

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Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2008, 04:26 PM »
DD

AS Steve said  we  have a National code called the BOCA code with local variations.

For instance the required depth of a footing in this area is 42 inches

In Florida I believe it's only 18 inches.

42 inches is for the frost but it can be deeper if you don't hit hard pan.


Building setbacks are regulated by the local zoning laws.
Where we are the side setbacks are only 5 feet.

Nothing is carved in stone

LB

You can Google Boca and buy the book for 75 bucks if you think you
are coming over to get away from the G Ps


   

Offline Tom Bainbridge

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Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2008, 04:35 PM »
thats no joke here



local inspectors have their OWN interpretations, of the one and only code

they are low grade pay workers

so their bosses back them to the hilt

right OR wrong



SO

the answer as a buider is...........

NEVER EVER get into a no win position










Bromley, Kent. UK

aka dirtydeeds

Offline Ted Miller

  • Posts: 234
Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2008, 04:44 PM »
Framing back in Michigan we built for the rain, snow and keeping in the heat.

Out here in Southern California will build for shake and bake. When I am talking footings with some guys out here, I mention rat walls and they think I am talking about large rats back east digging into your foundation.

Most guys out here never heard of a frost line.

Inspectors, well I have to say it all depends on the day of the week, if they feel good, then you will be good to go, if their wife gave them a hard time last night, you will surely get a hard time today on the site...
« Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 04:45 PM by Ted Miller »
Miller's Wood Works

Offline Tom Bainbridge

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Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2008, 04:46 PM »
LB

here a house footing is NOW a minimum of a metre

i practice it is also the maximum

this all came about from an exceptionaly dry summer (i think in 1976)



this is absolutly regardless of the fact that the properties affected in 1976 where on clay

rather than on sand, bed rock, shale, flint or any other type of material




the depth has more to do with insurance companies than the load bearing capacity of the soil in a given area





yes.................................. people building on bedrock

have been told to dig to 1 metre to satisfy local building inspectors




sad but true



Bromley, Kent. UK

aka dirtydeeds

Offline Tom Bainbridge

  • Posts: 1009
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Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2008, 04:49 PM »
ted

agreed

the day of the week and the wife's mood

also affect the descisons


dd
Bromley, Kent. UK

aka dirtydeeds

Offline Bob Swenson

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Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2008, 05:03 PM »
Funny DD

The standard footing for 12 inch blocks is 24 inches

If the building inspector doesn't like  the soil he will
do a test and make you form it at any size that makes him
happy. Best to do fondations at cost plus.

One day we hit an old farm dump and had to go down
12 feet. Pored 6 yards of concrete in that hole.

LB


Offline Robert Robinson

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  • southern Indiana, U.S.A.
Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2008, 05:29 PM »
Funny DD

The standard footing for 12 inch blocks is 24 inches

If the building inspector doesn't like  the soil he will
do a test and make you form it at any size that makes him
happy. Best to do foundations at cost plus.

One day we hit an old farm dump and had to go down
12 feet. Pored 6 yards of concrete in that hole.

LB



Wow thats deep. Was you almost looking for pilings to put down to as they do in Louisiana
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Offline Bob Swenson

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Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2008, 05:42 PM »
Robert,

No, we just hit the corner of the old dump

and had to dig it out by hand cause the

excavator was long gone.

lots of old antique  bottles were in that hole

Bob

And you minus guys, I don't like you either 
« Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 05:44 PM by Bob Swenson »

Offline Tinker

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Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2008, 08:11 PM »
Most of my work was in my home town of Wilton. Occasionally, i got work in a neighboring town. since the building inspector did not know me, he always gave me a hard time.  On one job, he was particularly (IMHO) obnoxious and overbearing.  I argued that there was no town code, state code or national code that would make me do what he was telling me to do.

"Young man, in this town, I AM the code"  End of arguement.

Two or three years later, I bought a house and moved into that town.  since i was now a resident, he never bothered me again.

seems code restrictions are all relative to something other that the printed word at times.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Tinker

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Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2008, 08:22 PM »
When i was working in Wilton, I was well known, having lived there as a kid growing up.  I had been involved with many volunteer projects thru HS years.  later, after getting out of the army, i was involved in Civil defense and a volunteer fireman of 27 years.  I had a reputation with my builders and building department for going the extra mile when doing footings.

At one time, i did an outside terrace (stone foundation and flagstone surface).  the people told me they might eventually put a closed porch over top of the terrace.  The terrace did not require any inspections until they decided to put walls and roof over top.  the BI told the owners to dig around the footings inside and outside of the walls to show the footings were correct size and depth. 

The owners said that Tinker had put them in and told them they were adequate for two story building.

BI said, "If Tinker says they are good enough, we don't even have to look."

Like I said, the code restrictions are all relavent to the whims of the restrictors.
Tinker

Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Eli

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Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2008, 08:56 PM »
East and Midwest (BOCA), South (SBCCI), and West (ICBO). These are the original three regions of major code in the US. In 1994, these three code commisions formed an alliance (the ICC) and in 1997 published the first IBC (International Building Code). Unfortunately, these agreements don't include Fire code in most cases, and the National Fire Protection Association has joined together with Plumbing/Electrical officials and Heating/Cooling officials to release their own set of codes.

So the two major players are NFPA 5000 codes and the IBC codes. State and local inspection officials have to figure it out which to use. They are at liberty to quote either set of codes.  Each of these two references and accesses many other codes, foundation and load bearing tables by engineering code officials. Fire, mechanical, plumbing codes. So any state that accepts one of the two major sets of code is also accepting lesser parts of as many as five codes.

There's also NAHB, ANSI, etc. any of these is an hour's worth of background reading.
Do nothing, stay ahead.

Offline Per Swenson

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Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2008, 09:15 PM »
You guys are funny.

BOCA, SHCHMOCA.

I got yer building code right here.

This,  10507-0  +  10509-1 and or 10511-2


Per
Party like its 1929. It's the American way.


There outta be a law banning sesquipedalianism on

internet forums.

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Offline Eli

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Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2008, 09:56 PM »
well yeah, but I thought we might go so far as to put some proper names in there......

I think it's pretty universal that you gotta walk right to get passed. The guy doing the electrical inspection on my current job (and the work, coincidentally) is a member of a Beer brewing club with my client.
Do nothing, stay ahead.

Offline Per Swenson

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Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2008, 10:05 PM »
Eli,

Don't get me wrong, graft is not rampant.

And when it does happen its more like a time share for your brother in law in the Bahamas.

That would be for the 200 unit condos.

But lets face it, its still a old boys club.

Joey gets pulled over for doing 30 in a 25, he is paying the ticket.

The mayor gets stopped for being loaded and knocking over a few mail box's, he gets a ride home.

No impropriety there but then that officer never has a overtime problem again.

Per
Party like its 1929. It's the American way.


There outta be a law banning sesquipedalianism on

internet forums.

www.swensonz.com

Offline Ted Miller

  • Posts: 234
Re: american building codes ?
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2008, 11:45 AM »
I remember back when I first starting working with my pops on jobs, ok I was the "gopher" anyways he ask me how I would like to help him build a large deck on this house he finished a few years back. Hey at 11 years young I was following his foot steps, man couldn't wait to get to that job site and maybe start swinging a hammer.

So we got to the job and he said "see this tool", posthole digger, "see all those chalk marks on the ground, yup all 24 of them, makes me some holes". Great so I began spinning and getting into that first hole. So after a few minutes I was down 20" or so and said hey pops I am done. He said, "when your knucles hit the ground, you are below the frost line, 48 inches".

Boy did I learn to hate the frost line. My favorite was getting out the 90,000 BTU kerosene heater, make a tent with visqueen, and heat up that ground in order to get those footings done for a addition in below zero weather...
Miller's Wood Works