Dave's Tips - Knowledge is a time-saver

One of the best pieces of advice I got from building inspector Don Lucas was that the more familiar I am with the town’s building code, the easier of a time I’ll have planning the details of my eco-friendly home building project.

Right now, the state of Connecticut uses the 2009 International Residential Code. Even though the 2009 IRC has been superseded by newer versions of the code, the state you live in may use an older version. In our case, this happens to be the 2009 edition. Generally, the price for a paperback copy of this code ranges from $30 to $129 - I suggest shopping around for the best deal.

The purpose of the IRC is to create minimum regulations for one and two-family dwellings of three stories or less. According to energystar.gov, the code brings together all building, plumbing, mechanical, fuel gas, energy and electrical provisions for these types of residences.

I found that being more familiar with my state’s building codes enabled me to talk shop with the town building inspector. Since I read up on it beforehand, we were able to accomplish more in our face-to-face meetings because he didn’t have to spend as much time explaining things to me. Being familiar with the code has also helped me communicate more efficiently with the architectural firm and other licensed professionals who will be doing some of the work on my home.

If you’ve had an experience with your state’s building codes or the building inspector in your town or city, I’d love to hear about it. Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

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