The plan purchaser is responsible to assure the accuracy and code compliance with current codes and regulations. Home designs sold at Dream Green Homes are sometimes drawn to comply with building codes in the area in which the designer or architect resides. Dream Green Homes and the associated architects and designers do not guarantee compliance, as codes and regulations are constantly changed or updated. It is the responsibility of the plan purchaser to obtain any and all structural analysis, engineering and specifications that may be required in the municipality or area of jurisdiction in which it is to be built.
Our homes are designed according to the general requirements of the residential codes used in the United States; however, each local building inspection department has its own specific code and often modifications to it that are particular for that area. As a rule, as this can be very time consuming, we do not research your local codes. You may want to do this checking yourself with the Construction Review Set or talk to the local builders and engineers. It is usual for the local building inspection departments to require minor changes. We recommend that you have a local structural engineer, builder, or a designer assist, especially if you are in an area that has earthquakes, high snow loads, high winds, unstable soils, or if you have a basement. Sometimes the local building inspection departments provide this service and can tell you the improvements needed or recommend who locally may assist you.
Building codes vary widely throughout the country and it is impossible to create a set of plans to meet all requirements for all areas as the house would be over-designed and therefore cost quite a bit extra to build. Codes are constantly changing and there are extremes in building code requirements for house plans. Some locations have no building codes or inspectors while some have codes so strict that every detail in the house must be drawn and stamped by a licensed structural engineer often with every beam, connection, strap, nail, screw, and rebar specified.
We strive for a middle ground of design with our construction drawings to keep the drawings affordable and not drive the costs of construction up with over-designing. You would not want to build a home designed to withstand earthquakes, hurricanes, heavy snow, or expansive soils if you were in an area without them, and a home designed to withstand them all would be very expensive. Consequently our plans do not show connections, fastening, rebar, or beam sizes that are affected by these structural factors. They have not had shear walls and floor and roof diaphragm analyses performed, nor beams designed that are affected by wind, earthquake, or heavy snow loads. We have chosen a moderate level of detail that gives the builder some flexibility, but also some responsibility. Because the thickness of insulation allowed in the roof is also affected by the rafter depth, our specs will usually address the recommended rafter depth based on insulation depths.
If you are in a high seismic area, high wind area, high snow load area, or area with expansive, poor soils, you will definitely need supplemental information for our plans. This is usually best provided by a professional structural engineer with residential experience. We have not heard of any of our plans not being able to be added to in order to meet local codes. We have heard of engineers providing separate drawings for foundation design reinforcement and strapping/connection schedules in high wind and earthquake areas. Often their insurance companies require them to provide this information on their own separate structural sheets so they may provide a separate foundation plan as well as floor framing plans and a roof framing plan with the structural elements called out. To further explore the issue of local codes, we recommend you check with the building inspection department or a knowledgeable, local builder. Some people order our CAD files to make the work easier (less expensive usually) for their structural engineer, especially if separate structural sheets will be needed.
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