International Residential Code Changes effective July 1, 2010

Builders are preparing for new code changes that take effect July 1st. As a result, we are expecting that our home prices will be going up to reflect the costs incurred by these changes. The Building Industry Association of Washington is expecting these changes to raise costs as much as $10,000 or more! See a summary of these changes below.

 If you are close to ordering but have been putting it off, we encourage you to consider ordering your home now. Plans submitted for permitting after that date will be required to follow the new codes and will therefore be hit with the new costs.

 Here are some of the major changes affecting pricing:

  • Additional Energy Efficiency Requirements-Builders must pick up one credit from a set of upgrades to the building envelope, HVAC equipment, water heater, improved air leakage control,or the inclusion of renewable energy. A one point credit is available for homes less than 1,500 square feet meeting certain specifications, while a one point debit is incurred by homes exceeding 5,000 square feet.
  • Increased Building Envelope Stringency-Component and rigid envelope mandates for structures such as walls, windows and ceilings demand higher R and U-values.
  • Duet Placement and Testing-Ducts must be leak tested, using new maximum leakage rates.
  • Envelope insulation is not permitted to be displaced by ducts in exterior walls, floors, or ceilings.
  • Building cavities are not allowed to be used as ducts.
  • Air Leakage Testing-Blower door testing is required in all residential buildings and structures.
  • High Efficiency Lighting-Fifty percent of all lighting fixtures must be high efficiency fixtures.

If you would like more information, please see the State Building Code Council website and the Building Industry Association of Washington (scroll down to the link under “Be Prepared For Energy Code Changes”) 

Please be aware that it takes between 3-4 weeks from the time you order the home until we have the complete engineered packet for permitting. So don’t wait until the last minute-call the office nearest you or email for an appointment today!


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