A building reconstruction that isn’t compliant with current codes can costs you significant time and money. H.W. Holmes, Inc. – a commercial construction contractor in Camarillo, CA – looks at how hiring a commercial contractor unfamiliar with current codes can… well, let just say it… Bite you in the ass.
Very seldom are commercial general contractors thought of for building reconstruction services in Los Angeles. Commercial construction companies are generally associated with new ground-up construction projects or an interior buildout that’s part of tenant improvement construction.
But there’s been a lot of demand for reconstruction services in Ventura and surrounding cities and counties these past few years. This is because the region has been ravaged by wildfires and mudslides in recent years.
This is why H.W. Holmes, Inc. – mostly known for tenant improvement projects in the region – has been called upon to rebuild and reconstruct many Southern California homes and businesses following natural disasters, acts of nature, fires, and flooding.
If we’ve learned anything while doing this, it’s the following:
New Building Codes Increase the Cost and Time of Reconstruction Projects
In most cases, the property damaged was constructed in accordance with older building codes. This means a new permit will require the completed work to adhere to current building codes. These codes are usually much more stringent than the older ones.
For instance, say a fire damages a structural support wall at a restaurant. This wall also supports a mezzanine between the ground and first floor. Part of the mezzanine is used as corridor area from the doorway into other rooms. Per the 2018 International Building Code, this requires a live load of 80 per square foot (psf). However, the building’s initial design used as a 50 psf live load. That’s clearly not going to cut it.
Structural enhancements will need to be made to the wall. The concrete slab’s footing will also need some reinforcement to be up to the new code’s standards. This adds both time and money and time to a building reconstruction project.
Needless to say, this requires the commercial contractor you select to have a complete and thorough understanding of building codes. Building codes are regulations governing building’s design, construction and maintenance. Most counties and cities in the United States are free to create their own building codes. However, most, including California, adopt the building code models maintained by the International Code Council. These include:
- International Building Code (IBC)
- International Plumbing Code (IPC)
- International Electrical Code (IEC)
- National Electrical Code (NEC)
- International Fire Code (IFC)
- International Mechanical Code (IMC)
- International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)
- NFPA Life Safety Code
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design
Don’t Forget Local Codes and Permits
All of the above may not be applicable in every situation but don’t forget that each regional jurisdiction again has its own specific codes. The following apply to Southern California:
At the end of reconstruction, the finished work must be in accordance to new code requirements. Otherwise, a considerable amount of time and money can be wasted on construction that doesn’t pass inspection and delays obtaining a certificate of occupancy.
Need Building Reconstruction in Ventura & Los Angeles Area?
Your home or business can be struck by a disaster at any time. If you’re in Santa Barbara, Ventura, or Los Angeles County, H.W. Holmes, Inc. is here to help when you need the most help. We offer comprehensive building reconstruction in the Los Angeles area and surrounding cities and counties. Our team works with both residential and commercial property owners to repair and rebuild your property after a major disaster. If you’d like a free quote, please contact us via the form on this website or call 805-383-9929 to schedule a walkthrough.