Cabin Living - - Editor’s View -

If you plan to hire a builder or ar­chi­tect, a lot of code dis­cus­sion may be ex­tra­ne­ous. After all, you will be pay­ing th­ese pro­fes­sion­als to deal with th­ese mat­ters. How­ever, if you will be in charge of your own project, you will need a good un­der­stand­ing of what is ex­pected of you. Visit your lo­cal build­ing au­thor­ity to in­quire about the fol­low­ing: What codes are cur­rently be­ing en­forced? Are any changes in the pre­vail­ing code ver­sion an­tic­i­pated any­time soon? Are sum­maries or fact sheets avail­able that ex­plain ma­jor code re­quire­ments and in­spec­tion pro­ce­dures? Do lo­cal codes treat recre­ational cab­ins dif­fer­ently than res­i­dences? Are there spe­cial code con­cerns for off-grid (no mu­nic­i­pal util­i­ties like wa­ter, sewer or elec­tric) prop­er­ties? If you are us­ing re­new­able en­ergy sys­tems, such as wind or so­lar, or un­con­ven­tional build­ing meth­ods, such as straw-bale con­struc­tion, how will th­ese as­pects be treated? Does the lo­cal build­ing au­thor­ity have ex­pe­ri­ence in th­ese ar­eas? (If your project will serve as ed­u­ca­tion for lo­cal of­fi­cials, be pre­pared for things to take longer.)

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