Building Consistency Meeting

Building Consistency Meeting
Date: 8/6/2008 Recorder and minutes prepared by: Steve Kellen/Jeff Griffin
Staff present: Jeff Griffin, Andrew DeMaury, Michael Johnson, David Williams, Darrell
McAllister, Barry Human, Andy Herring, Jeff Vernon, Eric Moore, Tony Kiser, Tim
Taylor, Steve Kellen, Yates Smith.
Public present: Hans Kasak/Harold Ingram/Greg Sloan (Ryland Homes); Daniel
McBride (Cunnane Group); Jason Whitener (Dienst Custom Homes); Wayne Carter
(Evergreen Homebuilders); Bob Mckee (Ryan Homes); Chris Tucker (Southern
Staircase); Charlie Courter (CP Morgan); Paul Boucher/Brad Crysler (John Weiland
Homes); Rob Merrell (Griffin Masonry); John Meeks (Apple Blossom Insulators);
Dave Reynolds/Kasey Farr (Bldrs 1st Source); Terry Cleary (Meeting Street Homes);
Roger Mitchell (Davis Homes); Scott Dellinger (Drafting & Design); Lou
Salvador/Warren Lambert (DR Horton); David Litte (Banister Homes); Jason Whitener
(Dienst Custom Homes); Gerry Smith (Correct House Wrap); David Piddock/Chad
Hughes (Barefoot & Co); Marcel Papineau (Intelligent Design Eng).
anchor bolts
Bolt on Lintels
Issue came up concerning the use of anchor straps and the larger plate
washer requirement for townhouses in seismic design category C which
is Mecklenburg County. Because of the increase in the size of a washer
on the required anchor bolts to a ¼” 3x3 washer, anchor straps are not
allowed without engineering in townhouse in Mecklenburg. The
requirement for the larger washer is on all bolts this includes all exterior
walls and now interior load bearing walls per section R403.1.6,
R403.1.6.1 & R602.11.1
Question asked about what type of bolt on lintel is required to be
viewed at frame or the optional sheathing inspection. Only those
designed to be bolted to a header with through bolts or lag screws per an
engineering design. This typically is only a garage door opening over
10’ wide. Lintels running up roof lines and lag screwed to studs or wall
blocking is not required to be viewed.
Tempered glass
at tubsstanding/
Discussed the issue with the requirement to have tempered glass around
a tub area vs. a shower application. Some tubs are built with large
surrounds which can cause you to step up before stepping into the tub
area. This elevated surface or tub surround if more than a tread depth
will be the surface from which a measurement should be taken to
determine tempered glass placement around the tub in the walls. A
different issue has come up with several shower applications where a
seat is built into the rear of the shower compartment. This seat is not
needed to step up and access the shower area and is clear that it shall be
used as a seat only, not a required or potential standing/walking area.
Measurement in this application shall not be from the elevated seat.
Landings at
Location on
Lot vs.
property lines
Retaining wall
Question asked about a variation in the riser heights in a flight of stairs
broken up by landings. The code describes a flight of stairs as having a
landing at the top and bottom so if there is a landing in a mid height
between story levels then actually 2 flights of stairs have been created.
Stair flights don’t have to be uniformed with each other only the risers
and treads with a single flight. So if there was a variation between the
risers in the first flight and the risers in the second that would still be 2
legal flights of stairs.
Discussed the issue with townhouse, single family homes, decks and
other detached accessory buildings like garages. DOI’s interpretation is
that if a deck is built within 3’ of a property line then a solid 1 hour
rated wall will have to be built from ground up to guardrail height. The
other issue mentioned was a homeowner added to an older existing deck
by enclosing with a roof and screening. The deck was grandfathered but
because he added a roof and this screened porch was within 3’ of a
property line a 1hour wall would be required from ground to roof.
Follow up question asked about requirement for retaining walls to have
guards on them. DOI only requires a guard when there is a dedicated
walking surface adjacent to the retaining walls with more than a 30”
drop off. The dedicated walking surface can be pavers, a driveway or
sidewalk or even a gravel walkway or drive. Grass or yard adjacent to
the retaining walls does not constitute a requirement for guards unless
there is less than 36” between that retaining wall and walking surface.
Department interpretation is attached that addresses how close a
dedicated walking surface can be and a potential grade concern that
could also play into requirement.
DOI’s interpretation is listed below:
The 2006 NC Residential Code, Section R101.2 states; “Accessory structures are not required to
meet the provisions of this code except decks, gazebos and retaining walls as required by Section
R404.1.3.” The NC commentary for this code section states; “All decks and gazebos require
permits along with retaining walls per section R404.1.3.”
In accordance with the above, and R404.1.3, it is my opinion that the following residential retaining
walls require design and are therefore required to be permitted:
All retaining walls with an unbalanced condition exceeding 48 inches
All retaining walls that cross over property lines
All retaining walls that support buildings and their accessory structures
The NC Residential Code, Section R312.1 states; “Porches, balconies, or raised floor surfaces
located more than 30 inches (762 mm) above the floor or grade below shall have guards ...... in
height.” The NC commentary for this section states: “The guard provisions of this code address
the issue of providing protection for occupants from falling off of any elevated walking surface.”
It is my opinion that guards (complying with R312) must be included on any of the above
mentioned retaining walls when the finished area on the high side of the wall is more than 30
inches above the grade below and part of an egress route or other dedicated walking surface.
I hope this is of assistance to you.
David W. Conner, Sr., P.E.
Building Code Consultant
Office of State Fire Marshall
NC Department of Insurance
Appendix G
Pool Barrier
Brought up the issue with Pools related to permits. Any person who
pulls a permit for a new pool will also be responsible for the new barrier
requirements listed under this new section of the code. There are several
special technical requirements including the possibility of having to
install alarms on house doors leading to pool areas. Pool permits cannot
be passed unless there is a code compliant barrier in place at time of
egress from
Question asked about egress out of a basement area that only has
storage in it. Section R310.1 Emergency escape and rescue required
deals with basements that have habitable spaces and every sleeping
room. When you look at the definition of habitable space or room you
will see that storage is not considered habitable space. So if a basement
has only storage such as a wine cellar then the steps leading to the
basement area are sufficient to exit that space and no additional
requirements are needed as listed in R310.