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RE: residential upgrades

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The Florida Building Code-Existing is actually Chapter 34 of the Florida Building Code-Building. The FBC is based on the content and organization of the IBC.


Christopher Banbury, PE



Ark Engineering, Inc.

PO Box 10129, Brooksville, FL 34603

22 North Broad ST, Brooksville, FL 34601

Phone: (352) 754-2424

Fax: (352) 754-2412



From: Andrew Kester, P.E. [mailto:akester(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 9:31 AM
To: seaint
Subject: re: residential upgrades



I am not familiar with codes in CA or your area, but in FL we have a whole code, Existing Buildings. There are several code upgrade requirements based on percentage of area renovated or added onto, cost of said area, cost of home, and several roof upgrade requirements. But we are in high wind country and have had several large hurricanes with insurance companies paying out huge amounts. Now if you have your roof redone (over 30%), they are required to bring the entire roof up to current code requirements, including additional nailing of the sheathing, double moisture barrier, etc.


Not saying you have the same provisions, but these things change all of the time and you want to make sure you just don't meet your analyses requirements, there may be prescriptive type requirements like these in your code also.


I also agree with whoever said whatever you structurally touch, you have bought it. We do a lot of renovation and addition work both residential or structural, and we don't even ask if we have to bring something up to code. Any portion of the load path we alter we attempt to upgrade it even if not explicitly required, within reason and ability. I have a hard time believing a good lawyer could not find fault if we were to just stop at bare code minimums.


Good luck and tread sensitively with your architect client. I have helped clients out with their own homes before, and that sometimes is the worse because they are in charge of every dollar! (And many architects are still not convinced we don't overdue certain things in design...)


Andrew Kester, P.E.
Principal/Project Manager
ADK Structural Engineering, PLLC
1510 E. Colonial Drive, Suite 301
Orlando, FL 32803