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Old 09-16-2013, 12:44 PM   #1
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Designing a House

Assuming no specific local regulation, am I correct in thinking that I'm permitted to design and build my own house without the need for a structural engineer and architect? I would design the house based on information available in the 2009 IRC, so the design would be entirely prescriptive.

The IRC outlines everything from foundation requirements to roof design and everything in between. As long as I keep the design simple and adhere to the IRC, I can't think of a single thing that I would need a SE or architect.


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Old 09-16-2013, 02:11 PM   #2
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Would you be allowed to, yes. Should you, probably not. A decent architect adds value to the project.

As far as designing to the IRC. You need to make sure that it is the regulation you will be inspected too. If you lived in my area, you would be a fool to do so. The IRC gets modified by the state, then the county/city modifies those codes.

If you list your location, you might get better responses.


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Old 09-16-2013, 02:20 PM   #3
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Depends on where you live. If in California (earthquake state), you would need engineering to show that your foundation loading, hold downs, shear wall stress, etc is correct. So, if your a licensed engineer and can wet stamp your own problem.

I did the drawings for my garage (2-story). Considering the time I spent....paying an architect would have been cheaper....
Even if you are on the right track, you will still get run over if you just sit there.

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Old 09-16-2013, 03:07 PM   #4
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in theory you may be correct.

just remember the prescriptive requirements of the 2009 IRC do not cover all design considerations.

for example:

-it does not cover the use of steel beams
-does not cover the use of pier foundation as it requires a continuous frost protection foundation with footings
-does not address basic wind speeds of 110 mph or greater

are you saying you live in an area without any building code?

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Old 09-16-2013, 05:56 PM   #5
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Where I live, house plans submitted for a building permit are required to have a licensed engineer's stamp.
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:06 PM   #6
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Al that ^^^^^. and you might want it not to look like a POS.
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:16 AM   #7
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I would say design your house and then take the plans to an architect. This will give them a very good idea of what you want in the end product. They will then be able to fine tune your plan, improve floor plan, foot traffic patterns, room layout and size(especially kitchen and bathroom), window placement and size, etc.


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