A sprinkle of good news for Pennsylvania residents…
“… we encourage those considering managing their own projects to initiate a dialogue with their local building inspectors sooner than later…. TFU has no problem calling your municipality on your behalf…we don’t charge for this. We are here to help.” ~Drew & Jessica Skelton, Field Managers, TFU~
As a DIYer, designing, managing and building your project is hard enough, let alone keeping up with ever-changing regulations and building codes. Up until recent times, Pennsylvania builders and future homeowners alike were fretting over a mandate for the installation of sprinkler systems in new residential dwellings. Well, I have great news and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. The requirement is no more in Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Builders Association issued the following statement in March after the House voted (154-39) to eliminate the sprinkler mandate in new one and two family homes through House Bill 377. The legislation was sent to the Senate for a concurrence vote. The bill amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act passed in November 1999.
The five key points of HB 377 are:
1.) The sprinkler mandate is removed from new one and two family homes (townhouse requirement remains intact).
2.) Increased fire protection is provided for lightweight floor assemblies,
3.) Builders are required to offer sprinkler systems to buyers at point of sale.
4.) Energy efficiency trade-offs for log home manufacturers and builders (NOT timber framers since our buildings are super-efficient already!) are provided to help them meet today’s energy requirements, and
5.) HB 377 provides retroactivity for those homes where permits have already been issued so that they may build to the provisions found within the legislation.
As always, we here at Timber Frames Unlimited encourage those considering managing their own projects to initiate a dialogue with their local building inspectors sooner than later. If unclear what questions to ask, your TFU rep has no problem with calling your municipality on your behalf to ensure our design meets or exceeds local building codes. Conversely, we can be contacted directly by local officials to ensure a smooth and timely flow of information. We don’t charge for this time. We are here to help.