Florida Building Code
What is the Florida Building Code?
The Florida Building Code is a unified state-wide document originally developed in the 1970’s. This Florida Building Code requires counties and municipalities to adopt and enforce a minimum standard of building construction.
Although the Florida Building Code is a uniform code, each county or municipality may have different interpretations. They can even require more stringent rules.
For example, Broward and Dade County ( in south Florida) have stricter guidelines for building, due to the close proximity to the coast of Florida.
All of Florida is considered to be in a hurricane region. As a result, the Florida Building Codes are based on wind resistance. Termite and energy conservation are also required for all new construction homes.
Enforcing the Florida Building Code
Each county and municipality is required to enforce the Florida Building Code.
The county is required to do a minimum number of inspections on the construction on your new home. Each county or municipality can also require more inspections then the following minimum:
- Foundation: Includes foundations/grade beams and monolithic slab-on-grade
- Framing: includes columns and vertical cells, lintels, tie beams, framing-trusses-bracing-connectors, door and window framing, fire blocking, curtain wall framing, energy, insulation, and accessibility.
- Sheathing: Roof and wall sheathing, sheathing fasteners, roof and wall dry-in.
- Roofing: dry-in, flashing, roof coverings, insulation.
- Final Inspection: Done after home completed and ready for occupancy.
Even though the county does these inspections, the code does not cover the quality of workmanship. For example, if the wall is crooked, it will still pass the inspection.
If you are building a new construction home and are concerned, you can hire an independent inspector to conduct phase inspections.
How the Florida Building Code impacts New Construction Homes
The Florida Building Code is updated every 3 years. The latest 2010 Florida Building Code required that new homes to be 30% more energy efficient. So new construction homes are built with double pane energy efficient windows, more roof and wall insulation, high performance water heaters, upgraded HVAC systems, energy efficient appliances. Air leakage in home and air ducts would be reduced.
The new 2013 Florida Building Code is coming out at the end of 2014. Now these new construction homes will be required to be a minimum of 50% energy efficient.
As new construction home builders are required to put more features into these future homes, we anticipate new construction pricing to increase also. The prices between new construction and resales could grow significantly.
The Florida Building Code also requires builders to pretreat the ground with termite treatment and provide a termite bond for one year or provide a termite bait system and provide a 5 year bond. This would eliminate the termite inspection that is needed for a resale home.
This is the year for new construction homes, and Buyers Broker of Florida would be glad to assist you through the this detailed process. We find the home, evaluate it , review the contracts, help with your design center selections, recommend inspections, and negotiate any repairs. We are familiar with all the builders and can offer input on each one. Contact us today at 407-539-1053. You will be glad you did.