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Deciphering local laws and building codes can be a tough job. Seeking advice from a contractor or professional will go a long way to helping you ask the right questions and submit a plan that will be approved. Finding local building codes typically starts online or at your local building permit office. Most cities have online resources and documentation that will help you create a plan that you can submit for approval. Also, keep in mind that building codes usually represent the minimum requirements for safety or aesthetics, including color choice, material of manufacture, safety factors, and even periodic inspection of work being performed. In addition to these factors, local building codes may be further mandated based upon the zoning of the property – commercial or residential. If your first submission gets rejected, resolve the concerns listed and resubmit your plan for approval.
When searching for code regulations, a great place to start is your local county or city office. This is often the same place you pay your water bill or where city council meetings are held. Many communities have the needed information available online. Once you locate the documents, you need a listing of the local, state, and any other codes they have available. It’s also helpful to grab a copy of a building permit that most closely applies to your project. You are specifically looking for limitations of materials, colors, and inspection requirements. Make a list of the requirements and limitations you find.
Homeowner’s associations provide details for HOA requirements on home improvements or new construction. A copy should have been provided to you by your builder, real estate agent, or is available online at the HOA’s website. If you have trouble finding one, your real estate agent is a great resource for this kind of information. Limitations and requirements of these organizations vary greatly from no construction related limitations to very strict. You should have a recent copy of these guidelines or can find one online. If you don’t remember the organization name, you have likely written a check to them once a year or can call your real estate agent for their contact information. Use this document to compile a list of HOA requirements.
At this point, you have some general knowledge of the various limitations. Keep these in mind while you develop and review your natural stone veneer plan. The most important part when dealing with either organization is to submit a detailed plan and wait for written approval before making material purchases or starting your project. It’s not uncommon for your first plan to be rejected. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The people within these organizations can often make suggestions to help you make your plan be approved.