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Old 06-26-2008, 02:45 PM   #1
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Where to find building codes?

Is there somewhere online to find them?
I'm planning an addition to my new house and need to understand the codes
for the foundation, and possible brick wall construction, so my plans won't be rejected when submitted for the permit.
I'm in California, in my consult with the city, they said new codes 2007 international codes were adopted on Jan 1 2008.
She suggested I go to the Library, wow that sounds painful and time consuming, must be online somewhere??
Thanks, jack


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Old 06-26-2008, 03:08 PM   #2
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You can also buy them like most people do.

Because they are printed by a national, consensus non-profit organization, free copies are not given out and there are legal requirements that obviously prevent free distrubution unless an adopting city or municipality want to freely distribute them openly alfter they buy the permission.

Codes and standards are written by gropus and they have no authority until they are adopted by a legal entity. After that, there can also be local exceptions/requirement that can be adopted, so the local area still has the final say-so. In California, you can expect many local requirements.

I have been on code and standards committees and have never been paid for my time or efforts. Some people are lucky if their employers pay the expenses and allow the use of time.


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Old 06-26-2008, 04:00 PM   #3
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Cities don't buy the permission to use the code. They buy the books and adopt the code. Your city is require to have a copy of the adopted code books on hand for you to look at. Libraries also have them.

You will not find them online. It doesn't exist in full online for free.

I have it on disk, and I tell you it isn't cheap. The books are expensive as heck too.
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:02 PM   #4
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This isn't a real simple question to answer. Your contact at the city indicates the 2007 International Code, which doesn't exist. What she means is the 2007 CBC (California Building Code) which is California's version of the 2006 IRC (International Residential Code) with a boatload of additional requirements including much of Title 24 (California-specific codes relative to everything from energy conservation to structural engineering, etc.).

The basic 2006 IRC costs about $80.00 and can be purchased at quite a few places including:



The 2007 CBC can also be bought at BNI, but it costs about $300.00.


The question becomes how much of the additional, California-specific information will you need. Will the 2006 IRC suffice or will you need at least some portion of the 2007 CBC. It's a tough call...
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:10 PM   #5
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Each of the models codes (IBC and IRC) are available in bound or on CD. The local requirements are not included since they are only a national minimum standard (not always the best way to build). The cost is roughly $100 (+ or - $20) for each.

Since the codes do not contain too many radical changes from revision to revision, one generation old code versions as cheaper and they can be helpful if you check locally for the current local details.
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:15 AM   #6
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Depending upon your location, some are available online at http://www.municode.com


It takes less time to do a thing right than it does to explain why you did it wrong.
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