Code Requirements for Residential Building Additions
Daniel F. Ardito, PE has completed this report to inform owners and builders of the permitting process for
building additions and/or alterations within the State of Florida. This report focuses on the requirements of
“Citrus County”. Other counties have similar requirements but may differ or have other specific requirements
not addressed in this report.
As of March-2002 all new Building Construction and Alterations within the State of Florida must be constructed
to be in compliance with the Florida Building Code (FBC). Each County also has a “Land Development
Code” (LDC) to mandate additional requirements for building construction. The Building Department, Health
Department, Fire Prevention, and possibly SWFWMD, DEP, FEMA, and FDOT will all be involved in the
review and approval process.
It has been my experience that most owner/builders are not aware of all requirements for the construction and
permitting process and will underestimate the costs to complete their project.
1) SCOPE OF WORK:
Daniel F. Ardito, PE as the Engineer/Architect does not include all items discussed within this report in my
quoted price. My price will only include the price of the “Construction Plans”. The following items are also
required and are usually not included in the contract price:
I can direct the client to the appropriate design professional, but no cost shall be accepted by my firm. All
additional work by my firm shall be invoiced in addition to contract price.
Listed below is a description of the most common code requirements. Great care has been taken to list all
requirements, but I in no way certify that all requirements have been listed.
2) EXISTING BUILDINGS ARE IN MOST CASES EXEMPT:
Much of the older buildings are exempt from the current building code requirements due to the fact that they
are “Existing”. Many wish to build similar to how they have seen their neighbor’s buildings. Florida Building
Code and the Building Departments in most cases do not require upgrading existing buildings to new code
Some of the existing buildings may have also been built without permits and were not designed by an
engineer or architect and were never reviewed or inspected by the building department.
In either case your new construction is subject to the Florida Building Code requirements.
3) THE DESIGN PROFESSIONAL’S RESPONSIBILITY:
Being a state licensed Professional Engineer it is my responsibility to ensure your building plans meet “all”
building code requirements. Most projects require an “Engineer of Record” or “Architect” to take responsibility
for the “entire” project. On occasion I get the luxury of being a “Subordinate Engineer” and can design and
certify specific elements for the Engineer of Record or Architect. But with most home additions I am the
Engineer of Record. I am usually responsible for the following items:
The days of using standard details and allowing the builder/contractor to figure out how to piece the structure
together are fading fast. Chapter 471 of the Florida Statues requires engineer certified plans to address “all”
details for construction. I have been called to many projects that have failed inspections due to the
owner/builder constructing with inadequate details within the engineered plans. Many engineers have been
disciplined, fined, licenses revoked, etc by the Florida Board of Professional Engineers for certifying
inadequate plans. It is not my intention to have this happen to me. Modern engineered plans are complex and
contain many structural and non-structural details for full compliance with the building codes. Please review my
website “Drawing” page www.danielarditope.net/SampleDrawings.html for many examples of complete
4) BUILDING PLAN AND PERMITTING REQUIREMENTS:
Every part of the “New” Structure (Addition) must be constructed in compliance with the Florida Building Code
(Current Addition). Citrus County currently requires a 140 mph design wind speed. Engineer or Architect
approved (signed & sealed) construction plans must be submitted to Building Department for review and
approval. In addition to structural details for the new structure, the complete existing structure must be drawn
to scale to show the required exit doors. (Some jurisdictions may require the entire interior floor plan be shown
as well for bedroom and bathroom locations) The HVAC contractor will also need the existing & proposed
structures dimensions to evaluate the existing HVAC system.
A site visit will be required by me to evaluate the existing building. I will not approve plans drawn by
owner/builder unless the plans are of professional quality and include all structural details and requirements of
the Florida Building Code. I will mark up professionally drawn plans to be corrected by owner’s draftsman.
5) FOUNDATION REQUIREMENTS:
The foundation system for the new structure must be of adequate size to resist all Downward, Lateral, and
Uplift forces due to Wind, Live, and Dead loadings. The use of existing slabs and/or foundations may not be
possible. I have encountered the following problems with using existing slabs.
6) FLORIDA PRODUCT APPROVAL:
As of July-2004 Building Components subject to wind loading such as: Steel Connectors, Windows, Doors,
Siding, Shingles, Lintels, Manufactured Beams, etc. must have a valid Florida Product Approval Number
which must be listed on the Building Department’s Product Approval Sheets to obtain a building permit.
7) FLORIDA EXISTING BUILDING CODE:
If any part of the new structure was to actually increase the loading or create new loading to any part of the
existing structure, that portion of the existing structure will need to be brought into full compliance with the FBC
(all the way to the foundation).
8) SEPTIC AND WELLS:
The Health Department will also be evaluating the existing Septic and Water Supply systems. A large
increase in floor area or the addition of a new bedroom may require a larger Septic and Well. Older structures
may not have adequate systems per current standards and may be required to install new systems. (This
becomes increasingly difficult if the subject property has a high water table) If Health Department does not
have records of the current systems, you may be required to have the existing systems measured by a
certified septic or well installer. At the very least the Health Department may require that the current septic
system be pumped.
Large building additions may require that your electrical system/panel be upgraded to handle the increased
electrical loads per National Electric Code (NEC). If the value of the proposed improvements exceeds 25% of
the value of the existing structure, GFI’s and smoke detectors will need to be installed within the existing
structure in required locations.
Residential and light commercial projects falling within specific parameters of size and cost may have the
electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems designed by a licensed contractor for each trade. If the owner/builder
chooses to install these items without a licensed contractor, the design details will need to be provided by the
engineer. Most engineering quotes do not include provisions for design of these items and extra costs can be
expected. It is also my experience that a licensed contractor will not design your system for you without
performing the work themselves.
10) FLORIDA ENERGY EFFICIENCY CODE:
All new enclosed additions will need to be constructed in compliance with the Florida Energy Efficiency Code.
This will require that Energy Sheets be completed by certified HVAC installer. The existing HVAC system will
also need to be evaluated and upgraded if necessary.
11) SITE PLAN:
A Site Plan is required for all new construction. Currently residential construction does not require
Engineer/Surveyor certification. Site Plan must be to scale and must locate existing structures, well, and
septic. Setbacks from property lines and ROW must also be shown. If you have a survey of the subject
property, this will be adequate for the Site Plan. Simply sketch in all items required (to scale).
Citrus County has a tree count requirement and may require you to plant trees.
Certain properties are also subject to Deed restrictions and may require approval from a Home Owners
12) FLOOD ZONES:
Structures located within Flood Zone “A” and “V” must also be constructed to FEMA regulations.
|Daniel F. Ardito, PE
5644 S Plantain Pt
Lecanto, FL 34461
|STRUCTURAL BUILDING DESIGNS
|Code Requirements - Building Additions
More Involved Than What Most People Expect
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