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Cutting codes to cut costs of construction

Discussion in 'Residential Energy Codes' started by Coder, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Coder

    Coder Silver Member

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    I have been given the task of figuring out what code provisions can be amended out in an effort to "break down the barriers of affordable housing" as one council member stated. The consultants that were hired to get paid a bunch of money from the City to tell us where we can begin to get rid of the barriers immediately went to the fire sprinkler requirements. The Fire Marshal and I wholeheartedly disagreed. We both think that we should take a hard look at the energy code requirements instead. For our area it comes down to getting rid of overkill high R-values that basically dictate rigid and spray foam plastics (this along with todays light weight construction materials consisting of a bunch of "was wood" make sprinklers even more important!), blower door testing, mandatory whole house mechanical ventilation, etc. We believe that these could all be ways to reduce the expense of new construction. We would rather see a reduction of the requirements of a non- life safety "green" happy feel good code than take away automatic fire sprinklers to save money instead of saving lives. Thoughts?
     
  2. linnrg

    linnrg Sawhorse

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    add up all of the permitting and fees - from development (subdivision), Utility, planning/zoning. building/fire and you are going to get the biggest figure (cost)
    You will also get a big cost if you combine sprinklers, AFCI's, blower door tests, higher insulation values, new solar requirements, etc.
     
  3. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    The energy code saves money in the long run which is part of being "affordable" (ongoing costs).....Sprinklers save not much...99.62% survival rate with HW smokes and CO...%99.88 with RFS....

    Let them build tiny houses?
     
    Rick18071 and jeffc like this.
  4. Coder

    Coder Silver Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Where did you get those stats from?
     
  5. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Sawhorse

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    Affordable housing is a term that is used to describe a forever moving number based on economics not building codes and development fees so much. If I can develop a
    300 unit subdivision for cost of $15,000 per lot and sell them all within a year for $20,000 per lot I made a nice profit. However if it takes 5 years to sell all my lots and the market has doubled the price of a lot to $40,000 will anybody in their right mind still be selling them at $20,000? Same scenario applies to building a home if you eliminate all code requirements similar to the rural areas of my state the price for the exact same home out in the rural area built by the same builder will be the same or higher as the home he built in the city with code requirements and permit and impact fees. Why because that is how a free market works. It is not the responsibility of government to provide ways to build affordable housing or a path to affordable housing. Job markets, wages and where you choose to live determine what an individual can afford in the way of housing.
     
    ICE likes this.
  6. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Trash all codes,

    Than start taking pictures of what is built, and post them here after you show the good city higher ups.

    I would insert a few places for examples, but I am on that political correctness train right now.
     
    Coder likes this.
  7. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

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    Coder, that's very interesting that your powers might think the codes are the culprit in high cost of construction. After you've cut all these cost how does the community keep the landowner from taking the savings when they increase the cost of land to the developer or builder? The housing price most likely will not decrease? How are they controlling the building material cost, did they lower the sales tax rates? Have they looked at giving the permit fees away? Builders like that one!

    What's Public Works Department changing to make housing more affordable? Are they eliminating stop signs or changing the types of curbs or putting sidewalks on one side instead of both sides to cut the cost to the developer, which in turn could reduce the cost of the house, ...right?

    Is the City Council requiring a percentage of the housing to be set at lower cost like they do in ski resort towns in Colorado? Aspen comes to mind.

    My suggestion: Might look at adopting the 2009 IECC, no blower door test and the R-values are reasonable and would save some $$. Shouldn't affect the ISO insurance ratings that much.

    Have they looked at eliminating the building department and using third party inspections, "Did I say that out loud?" :eek:
     
    jar546 and Inspector Gift like this.
  8. Coder

    Coder Silver Member

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    That is one thought that crossed my mind.
     
  9. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Does someone need to set down

    Run an average house through the process

    And see what are all the costs the city puts on a project

    Lay it out on the computer screen


    As part of that include land costs

    And cost of the house itself



    Might find out the city has very little impact on the total
     
    Coder likes this.
  10. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Does your city allow the mini houses like Salida???
     
  11. Coder

    Coder Silver Member

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    Won't be long now.
     
  12. Coder

    Coder Silver Member

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    Not yet. HUD manufactured homes with the "arctic package" could start to become pretty popular around here though. No IRC or IECC to deal with and you can get one delivered and installed in an empty mobile home park lot for under 100k.
     
  13. Coder

    Coder Silver Member

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    I like it! For the right person (my single mother in-law comes to mind) this would be perfect. This is exactly where our zoning regulations for existing MH Parks need to be heading. Kudos to Salida for thinking outside the box.
     
  14. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    NFPA study from 2014 maybe....I probably lost it when I changed jobs but I will look for the link....NFPA buried it pretty good...
     
  15. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Well the person’s in charge should allow them in neighbor hoods

    If they are so into affordable housing

    Sounds like mobile home park is segergation
     
  16. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Sawhorse

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    Park Models less than 400 sq ft are built to the ANSI standards for recreational vehicles. You need to find models that are over 400 sq ft and built to HUD standards to be legal to use as a home. Chariot is one manufacturer that has HUD park models more they are between 400 and 500 sq ft.
    As always check your state laws first.


    910 J St # G-2
    Salida, CO 81201

    1 bed 1 bath 391 sqft
    FOR SALE
    $88,500
    $Get pre-qualified
    Own a brand new Park Model / Tiny home in a quiet park at 910 J Street. Great location just 2 blocks from elementary school and a short walk along the bike path to downtown Salida and the Arkansas River. G-2 is a brand new Athens Park Model 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath, 391 S.F. with many upgrades including a large covered side deck, 2x6 floor and 2x4 wall construction, low-e windows and updated insulation. Good size bedroom and bathroom. Bright and open kitchen and living area; tile floors throughout home. Kitchen features full size gas range/oven and refrigerator. Washer/Dryer hookups, storage shed and small side yard. On-site park manager helps ensure a quiet and safe neighborhood, all units are owner occupied, cats ok but no dogs. Homes have many additional upgrades - see attached list. Park Model Recreational Vehicle designed only for recreational use, and not for use as a primary residence or for permanent occupancy.
     
    my250r11 and steveray like this.
  17. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    Really.....You can BUY a house that doesn't allow dogs?....'Merica...
     
  18. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    What state are you located in?

    What has the state legislature said regarding building codes?

    Many individuals mistakenly believe that Cities have more autonomy than they really do.
     

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