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Adoption of the 2006 International Residential Code


Rutherford County will adopt the 2006 edition of the (I-Codes) including the International Building, Gas, Plumbing, Mechanical, Property Maintenance and Residential Code with appendix  D,G,H,J,M.  This adoption shall be effective November 1, 2007.  A transition period will be in place until January 1, 2008.

Issuance of permits on January 1, 2008 and after shall meet the minimum regulations of the 2006 Code editions.

Key elements of changes are listed below for the Residential Codes. This is not a complete listing of all changes. Significant Code changes and commentaries are for viewing at the codes department or see your building inspector.


2006 International Residential Code Update

The following is a brief synopsis of significant changes in the 2006 IRC that will affect local residential building inspections. This document is not intended as a complete listing of changes in the 2006 IRC; please refer to the 2006 IRC for all changes. 

Exterior Walls (R302 and table R302.1)
Where an exterior wall is separated by less than 5 feet from property line, a minimum 1-hour fire resistance rating is mandated (see table 302.1). 

Minimum Height of Sloped Ceilings (R305.1)
Rooms with sloped ceilings at least 50% of the required floor area of the room must have a ceiling height of 7’ and no portion of the required area less than 5’.

Safety Glazing in Hazardous Locations (R308.4, R308.4.10, R308.4.11 and fig. R308.4(9))
New exceptions and stairway requirements for glazing adjacent to stairways.

Garage Separation Requirements (R309.2 & R302)
Garage shall be separated from the residence and its attic area by not less than ½” gypsum board applied to the garage side. Garages beneath habitable rooms shall be separated from all habitable rooms above by not less than 5/8” type X gypsum board or equivalent. A detached garage less than 3 feet in distance from the residence requires not less than ½” type X gypsum board or equivalent applied to the garage side.

Emergency Escape and Rescue Openings (R310.1)
Emergency escape and rescue openings are now mandated in all basements unless the area is no more than 200 sq. feet and used exclusively for mechanical equipment areas.

Windows (R310.1.1, R613.2)
The minimum net clear opening of windows shall be determined without tilting out window sash. 
Windows adjacent to exterior with more than 72 inch difference in elevation from the window opening must have sills at least 24 inches above the floor of the room where the window is located or the window opening must be protected with devices similar to a guardrail that will prevent the passage of a 4-inch sphere. 

Landings at Exterior Doors & Garage Stairways (R311.4.3)
A floor or landing is required on each side of all exterior doors. The floor or landing shall not be more than 1.5” lower than the top of the threshold. 

Exception: Where a stair of two or fewer risers is located on the exterior side of a door and the door does not swing over the risers, other than the required exit door, a landing is not required.

Exception: The exterior landing at an exterior doorway shall not be more than 7 ¾” below the top of the threshold.

Stairs Riser Height and Run (R311.5.3.1) (All Stairs)
The maximum riser height shall be 7 ¾”.  The minimum run is 10” nose to nose on stairs

Handrails (R311.5.6)
Handrails shall be provided on one side of each continuous run of treads or flights with four or more risers.

Retaining Walls (R404.5)
Non-laterally supported retaining walls that retain in excess of 24” of unbalanced fill shall be designed for a safety factor of 1.5 against lateral sliding and overturning.

Dampproofing (R406.1)
Foundation walls (including crawl spaces) below finished outside-ground level shall be dampproofed.

Reinforced Support (R506.2.4)
Where provided in slabs on ground, reinforcement shall be supported to remain in place between the center and upper 1/3 of the slab during the entire concrete placement operation.

Metal Ties and Shield Plates (R602.6.1, G2415.5, G2426.7, & P2603.2.1)
Plates shall cover the area of the pipe where the member is notched or bored and shall extend a minimum of 2” for plumbing and 4” for all other piping above sole plates, below top plates and to each side of a stud joist or rafter.

Fireblocking (R602.8)
Fireblocking is required around vent pipes, ducts, and wires at ceiling and floor levels.

Braced Wall Lines/Alternate Braced Wall Panels (R502.2.1, R602.10.6.1–R602.10.6)
{small garage walls}
  This section requires blocking of the floor framing at braced wall lines. New alternate width and height options for braced wall panels next to wide doors have been added. Also a new section for Alternate Bracing Wall Panel Adjacent to a Door or Window Opening has been added.

Cement, Fiber-Cement, and Glass Mat Gypsum Backers (R702.4.2)
This addition will prohibit “green gypsum board” to be used as a backer behind tiled tub and shower walls.

Exterior Wall Assemblies (R703.2 & table, R703.6.3)(Includes Vinyl Siding)
A water-resistive barrier is now required under all exterior siding. The felt paper required to be applied over exterior wall studs or sheathing must be continuous to the top of the walls. Also, water-resistive vapor permeable barrier at least equal to two layers of Grade D paper are required under exterior plaster and stucco systems. Any water entering the exterior wall assembly must be drained to the exterior. 

Ceiling Joist and Rafter Connections (R802.3.1)
Prescriptive provision for the connection of ceiling joists to rafter ties and a modification table has been added to increase the number of connectors when the ties are located higher than the top plate of the wall. The ceiling joists that are connected to the rafters or the rafter ties are no longer allowed to be placed higher than the lower one-third of the attic height.

Outdoor Discharge and Recirculation of Air (M1501.1)
Discharge air (from mechanical exhaust systems: i.e. dryers, bathroom/toilet room vents, etc) must be vented directly outside and in a location where it cannot be drawn back into the house. Air cannot be exhausted into attic, soffit, ridge vent, or crawl space.  

Prohibited Locations for Gas Piping (G2415.1)
The installation of gas piping through adjacent townhouse units is prohibited.

Thermal Expansion Control (P2903.4)
Thermal expansion tanks must be installed and located in close proximity to the water heater.

Pressure Reducing Valve (2903.3.1)
Pressure reducing valves are required on water service lines at more than 80 psi. The pressure reducing valve must be installed at an accessible location

Supply lines (2903.7)
No less than a minimum 1” supply line from the meter set to the first water heater will be accepted.