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Building Codes were put in place by government in reaction to citizen demand. This demand arose from a number of building disasters which have occurred over the years. The codes are “prescriptive” in that they provide written instructions for safe building construction. This eliminates the need for engineering and architectural fees for home construction. The prescriptive design standards account for earthquake damage, wind loads, snow loads, climate and soil factors. The code standards also provide for protection against decay and provide minimum standards for human habitation. For additional information, see below.
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AWC DCA6-09 “Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Co
The analysis of the factors involved in these problems, as well as the design of cost effective solutions, is complex. The analysis involves considering the specifics of the soil on site, depth and width of footing and foundation wall, material of construction, structural damage, surveys of actual structure movement, grading and drainage around the perimeter of the house, condition of structural elements within crawl space, evidence of cracking or deflection of basement walls, evidence of water in basement, and possible other considerations.
There are a wide variety of remedies which are in part dependent upon proper analysis of the problems. These could include grading around the house and re-directing downspouts or roof drainage away from the foundation. It is possible to jack up a structure and remove and reconstruct footings and foundation walls to bring them into code compliance. This is very costly, and it is common to provide additional support to the house foundation in lieu of complete reconstruction. This option requires a Kansas Professional Engineer stamp of the drawings for the foundation repair.
All footing and foundation repair work, with limited exceptions such as tuck-pointing of block walls, will require a licensed contractor, a permit, City inspections, and engineered plans. It is up to the homeowner to perform due diligence in selecting the contractor and engineer to perform the work. Homeowner choices include:a. Retain a Kansas Professional Engineer to evaluate the site and footing-foundation problems, then design a solution. The homeowner may then solicit bids from various contractors to perform the specified work.b. Seek proposals from various contractors, who will retain an engineer as needed.
Contracting practices which protect homeowners include the following:a. Solicit multiple proposals b. Check contractor referencesc. Verify that the contractor is licensed, pulls the required permits, and obtains inspectionsd. Ask the contractor for verification that he is addressing all code deficiencies, including site drainage, attachment of structure to foundation, etc.e. Do not agree to pay until the work is completed satisfactorily