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Remodel and New Code?

Remodel and New Code?

New postby Builder on Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:02 am

Dear Codeman ... When remodeling a home built in the early 80s, when are we required to meet new code related to the work being done? This may be too broad to answer. We plan to remodel, bathrooms and bump out a portion of the laundry room to accommodate the washer dryer and increase space, and replace old windows and doors. The work will include demolishing down to the studs. Thanks for any discussion re; old code vs. new code compliance. Trying to learn.
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Re: Remodel and New Code?

New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:35 pm

Basically, if you area is using the ICC codes or has codes based on the ICC codes, your area is likely using the ICC Existing Building Code, and (typically) the Existing Building Code will allow certain items to be "repaired" with like material and in a like manner to the code which was in effect at the time of construction instead of the new code - as long as the repair does not make the structure more non-conforming to the new code than it already was.

In other words, say that you have a balcony and a railing, and you are "repairing" the railing by replacing a baluster or two, you can "repair" the railing back to it original design and construction as long as the "repair" does not weaken the railing nor make the openings in the railing larger than they were originally.

However, if you take the railing down and replace the railing, the new railing will need to meet the new code currently in effect.

The Existing Building Code creates a nightmare when trying to use it unless you fully understand what it is trying to do, and all "new work" (i.e., the "new" railing in my example) must meet new codes ... with the exception of some historical structures (and historical structures does not include just any old structure, basically the structure needs to be historical and deemed such, by local, state or federal government).
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