Arthur Merdinian, Home Consultant & Architect
The idea of remodeling your home may seem like a fantasy come true – with the wave of a wand everything will magically be new and beautiful. But in reality, there are many more behind-the-scenes rules to follow than you see on HGTV. These are steps that are absolutely necessary for a successful outcome. One of these all-important steps is securing proper zoning approval and building permits required by the municipality for the job. Depending on which municipality you live in, permits must be pulled in order to start construction and schedule inspections. Professional remodeling companies take this burden off of homeowners and do it for them, while DIYers often struggle with endless red tape.
Fortunately for our clients, Mosby Building Arts has a team of on-staff drafters and Architect that are aware of the codes and accustomed to working with different municipalities. The important thing to note here, is that each municipality is different! St. Louis County alone has 92 municipalities, not including those in the entire metro area. Generally speaking, most municipalities have adopted the 2015 IRC (International Residential Code), but that doesn’t preclude them from having their own set of amendments. New amendments or policies can be adopted at any time. As a homeowner, this can be extremely frustrating to stay on top of!
Over the years, the IRC has been updated to include clarifications, as well as additional requirements. Some examples of these include things such as:
- Structural requirements for seismic and wind loads
- Additional structural framing requirements for a wall of windows
- Deck requirements like having to tie the floor structure of the deck into the floor structure of the house
The list below includes changes to the code that are generally accepted throughout the region:
- If a permit is required, chances are you will need to update your smoke detectors to meet current code requirements – a combo smoke and CO detector on each level and a smoke detector in each bedroom. They need to be hard-wired on their own circuit and interconnected.
- Window opening control devices are now required if the bottom of the window opening is within 24” of the floor and more than 72” above the ground outside.
- Foundations now require more steel reinforcing and larger footings.
As you can see in these examples, there are very specific building guidelines that we all must follow. While you may be tempted to skip the permits to avoid potential budget increases, time increases, or headaches, these rules are put in place for a reason (health and safety) and it’s important that they are followed.
Put your trust in Mosby to stay on top of all the details that keep you safe in your home. Our planners and Architect maintain a current database of building code requirements for all St. Louis, Missouri municipalities, and automatically apply these to construction drawings that are submitted for permits. Call us at 314-909-1800 to start your “safe and built-to-code” remodeling project today!