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"Floor Area, Gross" - Roof Overhang - Porch

Discussion in 'Residential Building Codes' started by Jeremy Bair, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Jeremy Bair

    Jeremy Bair Registered User

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    Good afternoon.

    I am having some issues with my local building / code enforcement office. There is a "shed" on my property that has a covered porch (under the same roof line). The shed has been there since ~2008 and was built by the previous property owner.

    The shed itself, measured from the inside (per the definition of "floor area") is 199 sq/ft. Local building code specifically says....

    one-story detached accessory structures are exempt from building permit provided the floor area does not exceed 200 square feet, is not used for habitable space, and does not contain plumbing or mechanical.

    The local building department wants me to permit the structure as they are including the covered porch in "floor area" as they are using the definition of Floor Area, Gross from the IBC... even though the structure has been existing for 11 years.

    FLOOR AREA, GROSS. The floor area within the inside perimeter of the exterior walls of the building under consideration, exclusive of vent shafts and courts, without deduction for corridors, stairways, ramps, closets, the thickness of interior walls, columns or other features. The floor area of a building, or portion thereof, not provided with surrounding exterior walls shall be the usable area under the horizontal projection of the roof or floor above. The gross floor area shall not include shafts with no openings or interior courts.

    There is no definition of "usable area" so they say well, the porch is capable of being used, so it is included.

    I cannot find any definitions of "usable area" in the IBC, IRC, Fire Code, Energy Code, etc... as noted to look for definitions in the IBC.


    If I can't get them to change their minds, I guess my option is to cut the porch off... and maybe leave an overhang, however I cannot find anywhere that says if the IBC or IRC have a rule / code for a "maximum" roof overhang / eave size?


    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Welcome!!
     
  3. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    So how did the shed police, find out about the shed???
     
  4. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    There are a lot of terms in the code not defined.

    It is more you know it when you see it.

    One cities opinion::


    From these definitions it is clear that the floor or building area of a structure is measured from the interior face of the exterior walls. It is also clear that useable exterior space under a roof or other projection should be included in the floor area. However, it is clear that the square footage of exterior decks without a roof or floor above should not be included.


    https://www.sanjuanco.com/DocumentCenter/View/1673/Floor-Area-Determination-for-Accessory-Structures
     
  5. Jeremy Bair

    Jeremy Bair Registered User

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    the prior property owners had pulled a permit to move the structure and set it on a foundation... instead they sold the house, and we recently got a new code inspector who was going thru old unfinished permits and found the prior permit, and now says that the structure is out of compliance.
     
  6. Jeremy Bair

    Jeremy Bair Registered User

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    the kicker is ... the local code just says "floor area"... it does not specify NET or GROSS...
     
  7. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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  8. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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  9. Jeremy Bair

    Jeremy Bair Registered User

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    there is no 2nd story... just an attic area with rafters
     
  10. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    That was my example of my norm for horizontal projection


    It appears some believe an attached patio/canopy to a shed should also be included,



    So how did the shed police find you ????
     
  11. Jeremy Bair

    Jeremy Bair Registered User

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    as stated above...

    the prior property owners had pulled a permit to move the structure and set it on a foundation... instead they sold the house, and we recently got a new code inspector who was going thru old unfinished permits and found the prior permit, and now says that the structure is out of compliance.
     
  12. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Well
    Sounds like three options

    Talk to the head person and see if they have some common sense

    Go through the appeals process

    Get the saws all out.
     
  13. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Sawhorse

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    If there is a permit to place the shed on the property on a "foundation" and it is not on a "foundation" now then that maybe the only thing out of compliance, so modify the permit for what is there. The 200 sq ft is the number for the exception to require a permit. You have a permit for the structure so tell them you want to amend it. I suggest you ask to deal with a building inspector for a solution and not the code enforcement officer since he may know nothing about building codes and the number of different "foundations" you can install under a shed.
     
    Inspector Gift likes this.
  14. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    I'd agree with MT, you already have a permit, it is now just a matter of completing it to said permit or altering the permit....If they "expired" the permit, then you may have to renew it......OR.......make the porch "freestanding" and have 2 <200sqft structures that do not require a permit....
     
  15. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    Ah, but isn't the permit expired as it was never extended?
    Code indicates that where no clear definition is provided you revert to dictionary definitions?
     
    cda likes this.
  16. Jeremy Bair

    Jeremy Bair Registered User

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    that is why they are including it... because the dictionary says "usable" means "capable of being used" ...
     
  17. my250r11

    my250r11 Sawhorse

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    GUYS, the previous owner had a permit not the new one. Don't know many judges that will uphold the owner to something to old owner pulled a permit for. If over 180 days permit void. If no work done to the shed it is existing none conforming and move on.
     
  18. Jeremy Bair

    Jeremy Bair Registered User

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    Any idea where there is any legal statute for this? They are well aware that the structure was built 10+ years ago by a previous owner, and they said that does not make it exempt from needing to be in compliance with the code.
     
  19. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Sawhorse

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    There was a permit. The issue is does it not meet today's code or the code that was in effect when the permit was issued. Did the permit indicate the size of the shed and did it include the porch area. If the building department has already disposed of the plans for the project then the only thing an AHJ has to work from is the sq footage and work description on the existing permit.

    Until they tell exactly what is out of compliance and if you need a new permit to correct it you cannot make it compliant.
    Is it a building permit issue or is the accessory structure a zoning issue?
     
  20. my250r11

    my250r11 Sawhorse

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    Every state is different, but usually when they adopt the building code the first time the have to allow existing structures until they are changed. If yours was truly built before an adopted and no work done when the previous owner pulled the permit I don't see how they can make you do anything. If it was that easy we would make all non-complaint buildings be complaint. Now if work was done then you have an uphill battle.
     

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