Ontario Building code is changing as of January 1st 2012
To most people this is probably comes as a surprise, but to builders it is not. We have known that this was coming for about a year. What has caught everyone off guard is that as early as 6 months ago we were told that the government wasn’t ready to implement the new changes. So to everyone’s surprise the government announced that the new rules take effect on January 1st 2012. Like usual the Ontario government is so disorganized that they can’t even give there building inspectors literature on the new changes to the building code yet. As I write this it is the week of December 12th to the 23rd the inspectors just started receiving there literature. I talked to a local building inspector who said that they had just taken a course on it, but the government was so ill prepared that they couldn’t even give them any literature to take home with them.
The changes are all upgrades involving energy efficiency. The bottom line to people that want to build a new home or renovate one in Ontario is that it will cost you more across the board.
I am all for energy efficiency in new homes and I have long been a proponent in raising the new home standards, but to do it in such an unorganized way is ridicules. I personally attended a meeting put on by the local homebuilders association where a government employee presented some of the new code requirements. But she warned us that none of this was set in stone yet and could change. That was in May of this year.
At the moment we are pricing 3 different new home projects for the spring. We just got a look at some of the changes to the building code and have had to call these clients and warn them that we will have to re-estimate there projects because of the changes.
As a custom homebuilder we already do a lot of the new changes in the code as habit. But there are a lot of things that we don’t do because the client has not instructed us because of cost. Because of this we could end up having to raise our prices in some areas of the building as much as 20 percent.
I will give an example,
· New building codes state that a new house with an attic space must have a minimum of R50, the current standard is R40. That is a 20% increase in cost.
· New wall insulation is R24, the current code is R22. This means that you might have to install foam on the outside of the building to meet code.
· Basement insulation has gone up and now you will have to frame 2x6 walls, the old code was 2x4 walls, that’s a 30 percent increase in framing material and insulation.
These are just the tip of the iceberg with the new code changes. We are sitting around wondering how we are suppose to continue estimating if we don’t even know the rules that we are using.
So if you are thinking of building this spring be warned that your costs will be higher!
Village Builders Inc.