Q: What new regulations are you dealing with right now?
A: The year of 2016 will be remembered by the building community as the year of impactful regulations. New rules for storm water and energy efficiency in new homes take top billing.
We have discussed storm water rules before. It is now mandated be the State of Washington to have storm water plans along with your building plans for every home. If subdivisions have a storm water plan then the homebuilder must follow it. No added expense to create a storm water plan for each home.
About half of our business is building new homes on acreage. When you include the roof water, all hard surface water like roads, driveways and patios we must be under 5000 square feet before the new rules trigger an engineered plan. Most often we are over 5000 square feet.
Unfortunately, our new home building practices will not change. We have been doing aggressive storm water management for years. Just the added expense of a storm water plan, time and a licensed engineer doing it (FYI there is not enough engineers out there that will do this on an individual home!).
Additionally, Clark County, WA has a charge for the review. The combined costs adds about $3500 to each new home. We are a big believer in managing storm water properly. I think maybe this has gone a bit far. I would suggest changing the square footage requirement to 7500 square feet.
As you know we are strong advocates for energy efficient custom homes. The adjustment to the State of Washington Energy Codes for new homes this year is significant. In 2007 I understood where these codes were going. You could call us an early adopter. Quail Homes will have minimal impact from the new adjustments to the building codes. Other custom home builders will be in for some big time changes.
Next week I will discuss in more detail about the Energy Code changes.
I hope this helps and thank you for reading Ask The Builder and making The Columbian of Vancouver, WA a part of your day.
Please submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800