Part I — Scope and Application
The provisions of the International Residential Code for One- and Two-family Dwellings shall apply to the construction, alteration, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, removal and demolition of detached one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses not more than three stories above grade plane in height with a separate means of egress and their accessory structures.
Exception: Live/work units complying with the requirements of Section 419 of the International Building Code shall be permitted to be built as one- and two-family dwellings or townhouses. Fire suppression required by Section 419.5 of the International Building Code when constructed under the International Residential Code for One- and Two-family Dwellings shall conform to Section 903.3.1.3 of the International Building Code.
The codes and standards referenced in this code shall be considered part of the requirements of this code to the prescribed extent of each such reference. Where differences occur between provisions of this code and referenced codes and standards, the provisions of this code shall apply.
Exception: Where enforcement of a code provision would violate the conditions of the listing of the equipment or appliance, the conditions of the listing and manufacturer’s instructions shall apply.
Part II — Administration and Enforcement
Permits shall not be required for the following. Exemption from permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.
1. One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 200 square feet (18.58 m2).
2. Fences not over 6 feet (1829 mm) high.
3. Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet (1219 mm) in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge.
4. Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons (18 927 L) and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.
5. Sidewalks and driveways.
6. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.
7. Prefabricated swimming pools that are less than 24 inches (610 mm) deep.
8. Swings and other playground equipment.
9. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54 inches (1372 mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.
10. Decks not exceeding 200 square feet (18.58 m2) in area, that are not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above grade at any point, are not attached to a dwelling and do not serve the exit door required by Section R311.4.
1. Listed cord-and-plug connected temporary decorative lighting.
2. Reinstallation of attachment plug receptacles but not the outlets therefor.
3. Replacement of branch circuit overcurrent devices of the required capacity in the same location.
4. Electrical wiring, devices, appliances, apparatus or equipment operating at less than 25 volts and not capable of supplying more than 50 watts of energy.
5. Minor repair work, including the replacement of lamps or the connection of approved portable electrical equipment to approved permanently installed receptacles.
1. Portable heating, cooking or clothes drying appliances.
2. Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.
3. Portable-fuel-cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid.
1. Portable heating appliances.
2. Portable ventilation appliances.
3. Portable cooling units.
4. Steam, hot- or chilled-water piping within any heating or cooling equipment regulated by this code.
5. Replacement of any minor part that does not alter approval of equipment or make such equipment unsafe.
6. Portable evaporative coolers.
7. Self-contained refrigeration systems containing 10 pounds (4.54 kg) or less of refrigerant or that are actuated by motors of 1 horsepower (746 W) or less.
8. Portable-fuel-cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid.
The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or vent pipe; provided, however, that if any concealed trap, drainpipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, such work shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be obtained and inspection made as provided in this code.
The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures, and the removal and reinstallation of water closets, provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.
To obtain a permit, the applicant shall first file an application therefor in writing on a form furnished by the department of building safety for that purpose. Such application shall:
1. Identify and describe the work to be covered by the permit for which application is made.
2. Describe the land on which the proposed work is to be done by legal description, street address or similar description that will readily identify and definitely locate the proposed building or work.
3. Indicate the use and occupancy for which the proposed work is intended.
4. Be accompanied by construction documents and other information as required in Section R106.1.
5. State the valuation of the proposed work.
6. Be signed by the applicant or the applicant’s authorized agent.
7. Give such other data and information as required by the building official.
Submittal documents consisting of construction documents, and other data shall be submitted in two or more sets with each application for a permit. The construction documents shall be prepared by a registered design professional where required by the statutes of the jurisdiction in which the project is to be constructed. Where special conditions exist, the building official is authorized to require additional construction documents to be prepared by a registered design professional.
Exception: The building official is authorized to waive the submission of construction documents and other data not required to be prepared by a registered design professional if it is found that the nature of the work applied for is such that reviewing of construction documents is not necessary to obtain compliance with this code.
For buildings and structures located in whole or in part in flood hazard areas as established by Table R301.2(1), construction documents shall include:
1. Delineation of flood hazard areas, floodway boundaries and flood zones and the design flood elevation, as appropriate;
2. The elevation of the proposed lowest floor, including basement; in areas of shallow flooding (AO Zones), the height of the proposed lowest floor, including basement, above the highest adjacent grade;
3. The elevation of the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member in coastal high hazard areas (V Zone); and
4. If design flood elevations are not included on the community’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), the building official and the applicant shall obtain and reasonably utilize any design flood elevation and floodway data available from other sources.
Rough inspection of plumbing, mechanical, gas and electrical systems shall be made prior to covering or concealment, before fixtures or appliances are set or installed, and prior to framing inspection.
Exception: Back-filling of ground-source heat pump loop systems tested in accordance with Section M2105. 1 prior to inspection shall be permitted.
No building or structure shall be used or occupied, and no change in the existing occupancy classification of a building or structure or portion thereof shall be made until the building official has issued a certificate of occupancy therefor as provided herein. Issuance of a certificate of occupancy shall not be construed as an approval of a violation of the provisions of this code or of other ordinances of the jurisdiction. Certificates presuming to give authority to violate or cancel the provisions of this code or other ordinances of the jurisdiction shall not be valid.
1. Certificates of occupancy are not required for work exempt from permits under Section R105.2.
2. Accessory buildings or structures.
After the building official inspects the building or structure and finds no violations of the provisions of this code or other laws that are enforced by the department of building safety, the building official shall issue a certificate of occupancy which shall contain the following:
1. The building permit number.
2. The address of the structure.
3. The name and address of the owner.
4. A description of that portion of the structure for which the certificate is issued.
5. A statement that the described portion of the structure has been inspected for compliance with the requirements of this code.
6. The name of the building official.
7. The edition of the code under which the permit was issued.
8. If an automatic sprinkler system is provided and whether the sprinkler system is required.
9. Any special stipulations and conditions of the building permit.
When the building official provides a finding required in Section R22.214.171.124, the board of appeals shall determine whether the value of the proposed work constitutes a substantial improvement. A substantial improvement means any repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or improvement of a building or structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the building or structure before the improvement or repair is started. If the building or structure has sustained substantial damage, all repairs are considered substantial improvement regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not include:
1. Improvements of a building or structure required to correct existing health, sanitary or safety code violations identified by the building official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions; or
2. Any alteration of an historic building or structure, provided that the alteration will not preclude the continued designation as an historic building or structure. For the purpose of this exclusion, an historic building is:
2.1. Listed or preliminarily determined to be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; or
2.2. Determined by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior as contributing to the historical significance of a registered historic district or a district preliminarily determined to qualify as an historic district; or
2.3. Designated as historic under a state or local historic preservation program that is approved by the Department of Interior.
A variance shall be issued only upon:
1. A showing of good and sufficient cause that the unique characteristics of the size, configuration or topography of the site render the elevation standards in Section R322 inappropriate.
2. A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship by rendering the lot undevelopable.
3. A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, cause fraud on or victimization of the public, or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances.
4. A determination that the variance is the minimum necessary to afford relief, considering the flood hazard.
5. Submission to the applicant of written notice specifying the difference between the design flood elevation and the elevation to which the building is to be built, stating that the cost of flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from the reduced floor elevation, and stating that construction below the design flood elevation increases risks to life and property.