Image of a work van at a worksite and text: How Are Building Regulations Going to Impact My Home Roof Replacement?

How Are Building Regulations Going to Impact My Home Roof Replacement?

Residential roofing/building codes operate as a set of construction guidelines and building regulations that set forth the design and construction of roofs on homes. Local authorities adopt these codes into law from authoritative sources to ensure the safety and stability of roofs and protect the occupants from potential hazards.

Consider that building codes vary from city to city. While building code violations are serious infractions, in many cases, homeowners are not aware of the nuances within a particular regulation. Working closely with a knowledgeable roofing professional on a home roof replacement project reduces the likelihood of a code violation.

What Residential Roofing/Building Codes Exist

Most jurisdictions enact laws based on a universally accepted set of building and construction regulations, the International Residential Code (IRC). The International Building Code (IBC) also provides authoritative language for many jurisdictions when creating laws to regulate the construction of residential roofing systems.

Ultimately, the building code applicable in your municipality ensures that every residential building meets a set of minimum standards to provide safety and comfort to that building’s occupants. A uniform set of construction rules and regulations for every structure offers peace of mind that the building is generally safe to enter.

S&S workers tearing off a roof.

How Building Regulations Impact Your Roof Replacement

Depending on your local municipality’s authoritative standard (IRC, IBC, or otherwise), your roof replacement project is subject to that building code. Within those statutory regulations, a process of strict adherence mandates that the homeowner:

  1. Secure the appropriate building permit.
  2. Follow a specific construction process.
  3. Receive final approvals from the proper authority.

Within the scope of a building code, requirements for the construction of your roof include exacting standards for the roofing material, roof deck, underlayment, flashing, soffit, fascia, and any roofing components (skylights, chimneys, venting, etc.). Additionally, the newly built roof must meet specific structural performance criteria. These requirements help protect the homeowner’s best interest.

Non-Compliance With Roofing/Building Codes Yields Adverse Consequences

Because building codes continually change, think of them as a fluid set of rules. A municipality’s ability to adopt new statutory language or alter existing regulations allows that governing body to:

  1. Remain current with changing technology.
  2. Respond to new safety threats.
  3. Reconsider the impact of outdated construction processes.

Intentional non-compliance, however, can yield serious consequences.

Expensive Fines

Most jurisdictions levy a fine and mandate a court hearing if the homeowner fails to follow the local building code. Municipalities arrange this fine-based system as an effective deterrent. In many cases, the court appearance requirement may necessitate the homeowner to retain an attorney – an additional expense. Ultimately, non-compliance with the applicable building code carries a heavy financial burden. 

Moisture Intrusion

A roof serves many purposes. Perhaps its most important contribution is to prevent leaks. Building codes provide statutory guidance to ensure best practices are followed when constructing or repairing a roof. Society is well served when an authoritative standard exists to protect the common interest. This statutory process minimizes or eliminates far costlier problems that could have been easily avoided.

Safety Issues

Even if a homeowner manages to avoid getting caught for not complying with roofing regulations in their jurisdiction, no one can ignore the potential safety problems that may arise. These laws exist to protect the well-being of individuals and their property. Failing to adhere to authoritative building codes often means that essential safety considerations are not addressed correctly or ignored entirely.

Ways To Adhere To Roofing/Building Codes

Identify And Review Your Municipality’s Building Code

Each jurisdiction offers the public the ability to access the applicable building code. Generally, municipalities have a website containing important information about rules and regulations for homeowners to know before beginning construction. In most instances, a municipality uploads the building code to their website.

Select a roofing contractor possessing a license to facilitate your roof replacement. Many roofers do not secure a permit but still offer their services to homeowners. Require that any roofer provide evidence of appropriate licensing. A licensed roofing contractor increases the likelihood that they follow state building code requirements.

Inspectors looking at roof.

Require That The Roofing Contractor Adhere To The Building Code

Unquestionably, roofers (even licensed ones) cut corners if given the opportunity and the belief that they will get away with it. When considering a roofing contractor, ask questions about the process of compliance they use. Only work with a trustworthy roofer who guarantees they will follow the building code throughout the project.

In the Pacific Northwest, no roofing company works harder to ensure full compliance with the applicable building code in your area than S&S Roofing. We take pride in guaranteeing your roof replacement meets every regulatory standard. Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation estimate for your next roofing project.