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Dee
2007 California Building Code - occupancy code

I'm sumbitting permits to rebuild a deck and can't figure out what is the occupany code under the 2007 Calif. Bldg. Code for a single-family detached home. It is single story but maybe 2-stories because the attic was turned into a loft. Can anyone help? Thanks!

BigWalt
Re: 2007 California Building Code - occupancy code

You're better off by talking to your township because California have strict standards on building codes.

Good Luck.

A. Spruce
Re: 2007 California Building Code - occupancy code

If all you're doing is rebuilding a structure that is already there, then you shouldn't need much more than your name and address and plans of the deck itself to pull the permit. And before you go to all that hassle, try calling the building department and asking if a permit is required to repair the existing deck. Choose your words carefully because if you say repair, the requirements will be slim to none, whereas if you say "I'm building a new deck", they'll want all kinds of stuff.

Case in point, I had a client that wanted to finish off the upstairs portion of a two story garage. The structure was complete, all it needed was a little wiring and general interior finish to be livable. Next door neighbor had done the same thing to their garage already. They paid $1250 for their permits because they called it "granny quarters", which was the term used by the builder when the property was originally sold. BUT, when you call the same renovation a "day use rec. room", the permits suddenly only cost $250 and it doesn't take an act of God to get them.

All I'm saying is to use caution in the terminology you use when dealing with the building department. Odds are you won't need a permit for what you want to do. BTW, I live in California as well.

Dee
Re: 2007 California Building Code - occupancy code

Thank you so much for your reply. I thought I'd need a permit because essentially the deck is so rotten that it's really more rebuilding that repairing. But I'm keep it eaxactly the same size and style (although I'll follow current codes which are more strict.) I've rec'd such different feedback on this - I can't decide if I should pull a permit or not ....

I got two bids by very fine contractors and they didn't seem to favor getting a permit, but maybe that's because it's more work for them?

A. Spruce
Re: 2007 California Building Code - occupancy code

I pull permits if they're necessary*, otherwise I'll leave them as an option for the homeowner to choose. Technically, anything that is structural or is connected to a utility MUST be permitted, however, many times it will take longer to get the permit than to do the work, say in the case of changing a faucet or water heater.

It doesn't sound to me like the deck is a big deal. That being said, if you'd feel better by getting a permit absolutely get one. Where the additional expense comes from is the time it takes to draw the plans and specs, then stand in line at the building department. You'll likely have to have a plot plan showing the house and deck and their vicinity to the property boundaries. You'll have to have plans of the deck, including structural details of footings, joist, etc. If you can't draw the plans, figure on spending at least $300 for a draftsman or your contractor to do them. Anytime one must deal with the building department you can count on at least 1-1/2 hours of time, considerably more if plans are not approved over the counter and a permit secured in the first trip.

* Necessary, as in prudent in the course of the work, as opposed to "required" just so the jurisdiction can line it's coffers a little deeper with your money.

Dee
Re: 2007 California Building Code - occupancy code

Your answer is very, very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to give me your advice - it is much appreciated!

A. Spruce
Re: 2007 California Building Code - occupancy code

You're welcome.

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