Code Violation? Department of State Codes Division Southern Tier Regional Office Newsletter
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March 2010

This is the second of my Codes E-letters.  To view the first, click here 

Roofing Permits

Recently, there have been a lot of questions regarding the requirements to obtain a building permit for roof replacement. If we look at the code, Appendix J of the Residential Code, re-roofing is classified as a level I alteration. Likewise, chapter 3 of the Existing Building Code states that level 1 alterations include the removal and replacement or the covering of existing materials, elements, equipment or fixtures using new materials, elements, equipment or fixtures that serve the same purpose. That definition would apply to a new roof covering whether or not the old roof is removed.

In 19 NYCRR1203, there is a list of actions that are exempt from building permit. There is an exemption for repairs, provided that such repairs do not involve: (a) the removal or cutting away of a load bearing wall, partition, or portion thereof, or of any structural beam or load bearing component. However, since re-roofing is specifically referenced as a level I alteration, it is not exempted by 1203 from the requirements of a building permit. So, a building permit is required for re-roofing whether or not the old roofing is removed. Repairs can be made to a roof without a building permit and still be in compliance with 1203.


Code Official's Meetings

Just a reminder, regular CEO meetings are held in my region.  The Allegany/Cattaraugus County meeting is held in Olean on the fourth Tuesday at the Ponderosa at 6:30 PM in Olean.  Steuben/Schuyler CEOs meet at the Bath at the Ponderosa at Noon on the first Thursday.   Chemung County meets o0n the second Tuesday at the Country Buffet in Big Flats at Noon.

If you would like to have a regions meeting in your area, contact me or your regional representative and we will help set on up.

Wind Turbines

One last item, many areas of the state have wind turbine projects.  Wind turbines are NOT buildings and are not regulated by the building code.  That means that none of the provisions of your local law for the building code apply including requiring permits and charging for the permit.  If you have a separate law regarding wind turbines and other projects such as cell towers, then those provisions will apply.

Electrical Inspections Part II

Imagine that you are a code official and you have just done a plumbing inspection in a new house under construction. The plumbing work was poor and incorrect. You told the contractor that he would have to make changes before the work would be approved.

A few months later, you drive by the house and find that it is has been completed and somebody is living there.

Click here to read more

Amanda's Law

For those of you that have not heard, Amanda’s law went into effect on February 22, 1010.

The law is named for 16-year-old Amanda Hansen of West Seneca, New York, who died on January 17, 2009, due to a carbon monoxide leak from a defective boiler while she was sleeping at a friend's house.

Basically, this law requires that all one and two family home and multiple dwellings have at least one CO detector installed. Generally, this detector must be on the lowest level of the home that contains a bedroom.

 (read more)

Smoke Detectors

  Some people have missed the new smoke detector requirements for existing one and two family houses that are found in the property maintenace code. Here is the section:

PM704.2 Smoke alarms. Single or multiple-station smoke alarms shall be installed and maintained in Groups R-2, R-3, R-4 and in dwellings not
regulated in Group R occupancies, regardless of occupant load at all of the following locations:

1. On the ceiling or wall outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms.

2. In each room used for sleeping purposes.

3. In each story within a dwelling unit, including basements and cellars but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. In dwellings or dwelling units with split levels and without an intervening door
between the adjacent levels, a smoke alarm installed on the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level, provided that the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level.

Single or multiple-station smoke alarms shall be installed in other groups in accordance with the Fire Code of New York State.

This means that every bedroom or other sleeping area has to have a smoke detector.



More to come next month. IF you have any suggestions for article of interest. Let me know. IF you wish to be removed from the email subscription, send me an email and your name will be removed from the list.



Contact: Charles P. Bliss, PE
585-437-5708 (FAX)
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