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Knowing and Understanding Building Codes

Knez Building Materials Co. knows that building codes and regulations can be a complex process. That’s why the Knez experts are here to help you answer four common building code questions to get you started and headed in the right direction.

Knez Building Materials Co., Portland OR

  • What’s your project?

Are you building new or adding onto an existing building? Are you renovating an outdated space or getting rid of it altogether? Building codes and regulations differ depending on what you’re planning to construct, change, or knock down. Pinpoint your project and then hunt down the appropriate materials and guidelines based on where the project is – our next question.

  • Where’s the project?

Building codes and regulations vary by location. Generally speaking, there are three code divisions: federal, state, and county. Codes and regulations for all three divisions must be met in order to “be up to code.” For instance, it’s common for counties to have sign-size restrictions for new buildings. Additionally, fire codes are usually set at the state level by the state’s fire marshal and ADA design standards are a federal requirement.

Go to your state and county’s governmental website and search for building codes to learn more about permit procedures, inspection requirements, and any fees associated with your project. Homeowners may also find it easier to contact their local housing department.

  • Who’s building your project?

It’s easy to get caught up in code. So, don’t forget about occupational and safety requirements. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration provides safety measures on everything from asphalt fume to welding, cutting, and brazing.

Hiring licensed contractors and certified specialists may also be required. Be careful not to confuse a professional license with a business license. A professional licensed electrician, for example, has passed exams whereas an electrician with a business license has business know-how and insurance (but perhaps hasn’t passed his exams – so be sure to ask).

  • Are you building green?

Green building and LEED are fast becoming a building standard. The place to start is with the U.S. Green Building Council, or USGBC, which oversees LEED certification and its rating systems for residential and commercial constructions and communities. The U.S. Department of Energy is another resource where you can learn more about the Building Energy Codes Program which helps states adopt energy codes for energy-efficient building.

Visit the Knez Building Materials Co. blog to read more about environmental and building green, including how to recycle building materials.

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