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Information and resources about building regulations, codes, and standards for residential construction.

Design & Construction Guides [Back to Top]

Guides for designing and building various types of construction

Guide for the Implementation of PL 102-522 for Fire Alarm and Automatic Sprinkler Installations
Guideline on Fire Ratings of Archaic Materials and Assemblies
Prevent Electrocutions: Install Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Pools, Spas, and Hot Tubs
Best Practices [Back to Top]

General recommendations and accepted practices

A Survey of Public Officials and Developers in the Nation's Fastest Growing Single Family Housing Markets
Electronic Permitting Systems and How to Implement Them
Getting Building Technology Accepted
Residential Building Diagnostic Tools
Wire Slab Reinforcement

Performance Reports & Case Studies [Back to Top]

Evaluation of how products and systems perform in real life applications

Barriers to the Installation of Residential Fire Sprinklers Project Report and Case Studies This project identified and evaluated barriers to the installation of residential fire sprinklers, including both cost and acceptance issues.
Fire-Safe Adaptable Demonstration House Case Study This report describes the results of a case study involving the construction and evaluation of a fire-safe adaptable demonstration house in the NAHB National Research Home Park in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Sound Transmission Class (STC) or Impact Insulation Class (IIC) rating This document is a catalog of sound-rated wall and floor/ceiling assemblies.
Stair Safety: A Review of the Literature and Data Concerning Stair Geometry and Other Characteristics This report assesses stair safety, specifically the role of riser and tread dimensions in accidental falls on residential stairways.

Questions & Answers [Back to Top]

Frequently asked questions, answered by home building professionals

Are there any standards for low-voltage wiring, such as structured wiring, security, central vacuum, audio, and video?
Are there federal tax credits available to home builders for energy efficient homes?
As a code official, where can I get trained on the design and inspection of steel homes? Are there any inspection checklists that I can use?
Can 2x8 floor joists spaced at 16 inches span 16 feet?
Can I-joists be notched?
Does the new energy code allow for insulated crawlspaces?
How are stairs to an unfinished basement calculated in the square footage of a house?
How do I know if the structure of a one-story home is adequate to support an additional story?
How do I know which code is enforced in my area?
How large should the water supply line be to a house with 3½ baths and an outdoor sprinkler system?
How much can a wall support if it’s framed with 2x4 wood studs spaced at 16 inches on center?
I am building in an area in which there are no housing inspectors. Should I follow a building code? If so, why?
I want to build a home with a loft with a 12/12 pitch roof on it, but am unsure of the roof-ceiling detail. It is about 30 ft. wide by 60 ft. long with 12-ft. 2x6 stud walls. I also want to maximize the headroom upstairs and put a flat ceiling across the entire length of the room. What material do I need to use for the rafters?
I would like some information on building with plywood box beams. Are they accepted by the building code? What is the load-bearing capability of box beams?
In which regions of the United States are houses required to be designed for earthquake loads?
In which regions of the United States are houses required to be engineered to resist high wind loads?
Is it possible to use the same set of plans that were used for a home in North Carolina, to design and build a home in Oregon?
Is there a code regarding how far a permanent structure must be from the property line?
The inspector told me that CSST pipe must be electrically grounded. Since it's coated, I don't know how you can do that. Is the inspector right?
We are remodeling a house with two 4x4 posts that extend through the deck to the roof. We are planning to remove the deck and need someone who can analyze the trusses to determine if the posts are required to hold the roof or only the deck. Do you have any contact information for someone who can help me do this?
We’ve been hearing about the importance of crawlspace encapsulation systems and customers are asking about it. It is against code to cover vents in our region. Is it necessary to vent crawlspaces in the Pacific Northwest and if so, why?
What are the Sound Transmission Class (STC) ratings for concrete and masonry walls?
What is an acceptable deviation tolerance of levelness of a floor?
What is the HUD Code?
What is the maximum hole that can be drilled in 2x4 studs in load bearing walls for wiring or plumbing?
What is the purpose of lateral wall bracing and what is the minimum width of braced wall panels?
What kind of permits or inspections, if any, do I need if I'm interesting in building a free-standing deck on the rear of my property approximately 40 yards from my home? The deck will be approximately 120 sq. ft., single level, and 24 to 36 inches high. The property is in Wake County, NC, but outside any town or city limits.
What type of fastener should I use when connecting metal fasteners to the new ACQ lumber?
Where can I find standards for construction?
Where can I get the most recent set of seismic building codes for residential construction?

Web Links [Back to Top]

Recommended Web resources for additional information