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Minimal building standards

July 25th, 2007

Because of our restricted budget on this project, we plan on completing a lot of the work on our own. As such what we want the builder to complete is different from what most people would want (i.e., a finished home).

We consulted with the city’s building inspector for our area to find out what minimal building standards existed and found the following:

  • All floors must, at minimum, be 5/8″ tongue & groove plywood. No other flooring is required, in general (see below).
  • At least one bathroom must be completed with a functional toilet, sink and shower. The floor cannot be just subflooring, and must be waterproof (e.g., tile). Other bathrooms in the house can just be left at the rough-in stage.
  • The city does not actually issue an occupancy permit for single-family dwellings. They will not stop you from moving in any time. However, we do need to check with our insurance company as they may not cover us if we are living in a partially completed house.
  • He will want to meet with us to review the building plan before we begin, but after we get our construction permit from the city.

NOTE: I am not a lawyer. This is just my interpretation of what I was told. If you need the answers to these types of questions for your own project, you should definitely ask the question of your own local inspector.

I should also emphasize that while we are trying to some degree to meet minimal code requirements, this is only for what needs to be completed not how it should be completed. Those items that we are completing should significantly surpass building code standards.

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