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The Building Department and You

Something we hear a lot: "Why does the building department have so many strict rules of what I can and cannot do on my property?"

It's your home and you want to do what you want. However, your local jurisdiction can tell you what to do with your own home because the government has the power to regulate land use and building practices in the interest of the public health, safety, and welfare. A new home or alterations to an existing home can impact not only your property, but also your neighbors and the surrounding environment. Therefore, local jurisdictions have a vested interest in ensuring that home remodels comply with building codes, zoning regulations, and other requirements.

Building codes may regulate the size and placement of structures, the type of materials that can be used, and the placement of utilities and other systems. Zoning regulations, on the other hand, are designed to control the use of land in a specific area and ensure that land uses are compatible with one another. Zoning regulations may restrict the type of structures that can be built in a particular area or regulate the height of buildings and the amount of impervious surface.

Your local building department has adapted code from the International Residential Code (IRC) and it is our job to read, interpret and follow these laws as we design your project. It may seem overwhelming, but we have many years of experience navigating this process and building relationships with representatives of the local jurisdiction.


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