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New Massachusetts Building Code Version Coming January 1

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Tue, Jul 18, 2017

The State of Massachusetts has confirmed that January 1, 2018 will be the definitive date for adoption of the 9th edition of the building code. This code update will consist of the 2015 versions of the International Code Council regulations, with some modifications specific to the State.

Here are some highlights of the major revisions:

Massachusetts 9th Edition Changes


Some of the major changes have to do with the wind loading requirements, which will basically eliminate the need for upgraded "hurricane windows" or other special high wind requirements except in areas of extreme exposure (oceanfront or waterfront homes). The 9th Version also provides additional guidance on flood zone construction, which could have significant impacts on projects within or near the Coastal "A" zones.


Here's a link to the latest press release from the Department of Public Safety outlining the release dates and new regulations that will be in effect as of January 1, 2018

9th Edition Building Code Release Dates


If you are thinking of building a new custom home on Cape Cod, or if you would like to remodel or renovate your existing Cape Cod home, these new regulations will definitely have an impact on your project!


If you want to know what your new home might cost - take a look our Construction Cost Guide

If you are considering building new or renovating a waterfront property - take a look at our Waterfront Property Guide

You've been visiting the Cape your whole life, isn't it time you stayed?





Tags: Construction Costs, massachusetts building code, waterfront property guide

Another Building Code Change for 2017? How will it impact your project?

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Thu, Oct 13, 2016

     The State of Massachusetts is going to adopt a new building code starting in January 2017.  Since 2010, the building code has changed several times and many of those changes were dramatic and have resulted in significant increases in the cost of new homes, remodeling and additions throughout the state.  Designing and building on Cape Cod was further impacted by the adoption of the "Windborne Debris Zone" which required the use of impact resistant windows  and doors or storm shutters for all homes within 1 mile of the shore.

   The changes that are forthcoming with the 9th Edition of the Massachusetts Building Code (780 CMR) in 2017 are not quite as dramatic for new custom homes, and some of the changes serve to reduce the cost of design and construction. For instance, the "Windborne Debris Zone" will now be eliminated, and the geographical areas requiring impact resistant windows and doors will be substantially reduced.

There are some things that will add costs.  The 9th Edition will require more stringent design and construction methods for homes located in flood zones.  The new mapping available, allows officials to clearly determine a "Coastal A" flood zone, which is subject to wave action of 1.5-3'.  The code will now require design and construction of homes resistant to wave action in this zone, which can dramatically increase engineering and construction costs.   The State is also slated to adopt the "Existing Building Code" which will have substantial impacts on the design and costs associated with renovation and remodeling projects, as it provides different thresholds which can trigger other improvements not required in the past, such as insulation, mechanical systems, or structural systems, which were previously considered "grandfathered" or "non-conforming conditions.  2017 is the first year this Existing Buildng Code will come into play and we will wait and see where the true impacts are of these new regulations.

If you are considering designing or building a custom home on Cape Cod, this code change is something you will want to pay attention to these code changes as they will definitely impact the final cost and design of your new Cape Cod Home!


Here's a good summary of the pending code changes from the Board of Building Regulations and Standards: Summary of 9th Edition Building Code



Tags: Construction Costs, building code, massachusetts building code

Light Bulbs that last for 20 Years?

Posted by Matthew Teague on Tue, May 08, 2012

   The building and remodeling industry is constantly changing.  Whether building codes, new products, materials, or techniques, something new is always around the corner.   Massachusetts is going to adopt a new building code in July 2012 that will raise the bar on energy efficiency.  This new code covers not only insulation, windows, and HVAC systems, but also energy efficient lighting.  Under this new code, at least 75% of the lighting in your new home will have to be high efficiency.   The cost of high efficiency lighting in a new home or renovation can be expensive.  But as custom builders, who struggle with controlling costs on a daily basis, we were happy to see this new bulb from Phillips.  This light has a working life of at least 20 years!! So for a reasonable additional cost, you can almost guarantee worry free lighting for the lifespan of the new home.


Here is the full article on this new light: 20 Year Light Bulb


If you are thinking of a new home, renovation, or remodeling project on Cape Cod this year, you should definitely contact us to see how this new code may impact your project.  Click below to talk to one of our experts!

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Tags: new homes, energy efficiency, massachusetts building code

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