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Quarterly News for California Building Departments

Focus on the 2013 Codes

In this Issue

Focus on the 2013 Codes, compiled

A New Tool for Your Tool Box

code books

By Dan Chudy, Ph.D., CBO, LEED AP, CASp
Principal Project Manager – Willdan Engineering

architectural house drawing

The code section references in this article are based on the 2013 California Codes.  In 2017 editions of this Newsletter, we are publishing an updated version with code references based on the 2016 California Codes (compiled here).

After a full 360 days of retirement, I decided to get back to work. I had spent 24 years as a Building Official and 6 years as a Building Inspector/Plans Examiner and came to the realization that I needed some brushing-up on the codes if I was going to get back into the inspection business. As a Building Inspector, back in the 1980’s, I had learned the value of having a certain inspection routine and the challenges of trying to memorize all of the codes. Those same challenges are experienced by Plans Examiners as they thumb through hundreds of pages of code to find that certain code section which is applicable to the scenario drawn on the plans. After dusting off my code books and beginning to study, I realized that there was a more logical way (at least for me) to organize and consolidate the most common residential code requirements by segregating them according to which room in the house they applied. The result was an abbreviated listing of hundreds of code provisions grouped according to the room or area in a dwelling to which they related.

This page consolidates all parts one through four of the four-part series.

Please understand that this effort is a work in progress and I make no claim that the list is all inclusive nor that it is without error. If any errors or omissions are found, please email me at so that the list can be improved.

CODE PROVISIONS SEGREGATED ALPHABETICALLY BY SPECIFIC ROOMS IN DWELLINGS

Click the + next to each title to view its description, or click the "Show All" button.

ATTIC

  1. CRC R202 – Habitable attic not considered a story. 70 S.F. min. and compliant w/R304 & R305
  2. CRC R310 – Egress window in habitable attic: 44” sill, 5.7 S.F., 20” wide, 24” tall
  3. CRC R313.3.1.1 Exception 1– AFES NOT required in unoccupied attic – except one head above fuel fired equipment
  4. CRC R314.3 – Smoke alarms required in habitable attics
  5. CRC R807.1 – Attic access required if 30 S.F. or more AND 30” or more vertical height (22”X30” min rough-in)
  1. CPC 507.4 – Drainage pan under water heater if: in attic, on floor/ceiling, floor/subfloor where damage results from leakage. ¾” minimum drainage line to approved location
  2. CPC 507.5 – T & P prohibited from discharging into drainage pan.
  1. NEC 210.8(A) and 210.12(A) – receptacle outlets in attic do NOT require AFCI or GFCI protection (including the FAU circuit) and are not require to be Tamper-Resistant (NEC 406.12)
  2. NEC 314.29 – Junction boxes in attic to be accessible
  3. NEC 334.23 & 320.23 – All electrical wiring within 6’ of attic access opening must be secured and protected by a guard strip
  4. NEC 334.23 & 320.23 – Romex (NMC) wire within 6’ of attic access opening and NOT installed along the face of a rafter or joist shall be protected by a guard strip (aka: running board – see 334.15(A))
  5. NEC 690.31(D) & (E) – PV DC conductors inside the building to be in metallic conduit or MC cable and 10” below the roof deck (unless below the PV panels) (Also CRC R331.3 Conduit in attic to be run along bottom of load bearing members)
  6. CRC R331.3 – Photovoltaic DC conductors in the attic shall be in metallic conduit and run along the bottom of load bearing members and labeled every 10’.
  1. CMC 802.6.1 – Horizontal vent run limited to 75% of vertical run
  2. CMC 802..7.3 – Single wall vent pipe shall NOT originate or pass thru an attic space or concealed space (Amerivent flex vent single wall no good in attic but Duravent double wall flex vent is OK)
  3. CMC 904.10 – min. attic access = 22”X30” (also CRC R807.1)
  4. CMC 904.10 1 & 2 – Access walkway 24” wide solid flooring with 30”X30” min. clear passageway and 20’ max from attic access opening.
  5. CMC 904.10.3 – Level working platform not less than 30”X30” at service side of unit
  6. CMC 904.11.5 – Light and receptacle at mechanical unit with switch at attic access opening. Duplex receptacle NOT to be mounted in upward facing position.
  7. CMC 1312.4 - Gas shut-off within 6’ of mechanical unit
  1. CEC 110.8(d) & (e) and 150.0(a) & (b) – R-30 (or higher) ceiling insulation (depending on the climate zone and compliance approach used - some exceptions may apply).
  2. CEC 150.1(c)2 – Radiant barrier at roof required IF prescriptive approach used

BASEMENT

  1. CRC R305.1 – min. ceiling height 7’-0” in habitable space, hallways, bathrooms, toilet rooms, and laundry rooms
  2. CRC R305.1.1 – 6’-8” min. ceiling height in basement areas that ARE NOT habitable space, hallways, bathrooms, toilet rooms, and laundry rooms
  3. CRC R310 – Egress windows: 44” sill, 5.7 S.F., 20” wide, 24” tall. Window well per R310.2
  4. CRC R310 Exception – basements used only for mechanical equipment and not more than 200 S.F. don’t require egress windows
  5. CRC R310.2 – Window well min. size: min. 36” wide and min. 36” deep (from window) and 9 S.F. min. area
  6. CRC R310.2.1 – Window well ladder required if deeper than 44”
  7. CRC R310.2.2 – Window wells to be designed to drain
  8. CRC R314.3.4 (9) – Smoke alarms required on the basement ceiling near the entry to the stairs
  9. CRC R315.1.4 (6) – Carbon monoxide alarms required in basements
  10. CRC R501.3 – underside of floors requires a minimum ½” gypsum board or 5/8” plywood covering if less than 2X10 joists. Except if space above is fire sprinklered or if it is an underfloor crawl space with no fuel-fired appliances or storage. Also 80 S.F. per story may be unprotected
  1. NEC 210.12 – Arc-fault circuit interrupter required for outlets in all rooms of house that are not protected by GFCI (with a few exceptions for dedicated circuits)
  2. NEC 210.52 (G) – Basements and garages to have at least (1) receptacle outlet
  3. NEC 210.70 (A) – at least (1) wall switched light outlet required in every habitable room and bathroom and hallway, stairway, garage, exterior side of outdoor grade level entrances (garage vehicle doors are exempt)
  4. NEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 & 20 Amp outlets unless for dedicated appliance or luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor.
  1. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – All other rooms (excluding kitchen, laundry, garage, utility, bathroom) to have either high-efficacy light fixtures OR controlled by a dimmer or vacancy sensor

BATHROOM

  1. CRC R303.3 – 3 sq. ft. minimum glazing or 50 cfm exhaust (w/humidistat if tub or shower)(see other more restrictive regulations in the Energy code and Mechanical code)
  2. CRC R305.1 Ex #2 – 6’-8” min. head clearance at center front of fixtures
  3. CRC R305.1 Ex #2 – 6’-8” min. head clearance at shower above 30”X30” area
  4. CRC R305.1 – min. ceiling height 7’-0”
  5. CRC R306.4 – hot and cold water required to lavatories, bath tubs, showers
  6. CRC R307.2 – nonabsorbent wall finish to a height of 6’ above floor at shower or tub with shower head
  7. CRC R308.4.5 – Glazing less than 60” above the standing surface of the tub or shower to be safety glass
  8. CRC R313.3.1.1 Exception 3 – AFES not required in bathrooms of 55 sf or less in area
  9. CRC R314.3.4 (5) – Smoke alarms required to be at least 3’ from bathroom (with tub or shower) doors unless it can’t be reasonably located elsewhere 
  10. CBC 1013.8 – Window guard requirements apply if window sill is 36” or less above floor and fall would be more than 72”
  1. CGC 4.303.1 – Toilets: 1.28 gal., Urinals: 0.5 gal., Shower heads: 2.0 gal., Lavatory: 1.5 gal. max – 0.8 gal. min. (Note: California Civil Code 1101 requires some additions and alterations to retrofit existing noncompliant water fixtures to meet current water saving standards. Noncompliant is defined as fixtures exceeding the following ratings: Toilets – 1.6 gal, Urinals – 1 gal, Shower heads = 2.5 gal, Lavs = 2.2 gal, Kitchen faucet = 2.2 gal)
  2. CGC 4.506 (&CBC R303.3.1) – Bathrooms with tubs or showers to have Energy Star exhaust fans vented to outside the building and controlled by a humidistat (also 50 CFM min. per CMC T403.7 and 3 sone max per T-24 150.0(a) & 150.2(a))
  1. CPC 402.5 – Water closet to be set at least 15” from center to side wall or side obstructions and 24” min. clear space in front of toilet.
  2. CPC 402.5 - Urinals to be set at least 12” from center to side wall or side obstructions
  3. CPC 408.6 – Shower compartments shall have a minimum finished interior space of 1024 square inches and capable of encompassing a 30” diameter circle to a height of 70” above the drain.
  4. CPC 504.1 – Water heaters in bathrooms or bedrooms can’t take combustion air from those rooms and must have gasketed self-closing doors
  1. NEC 210.8 – GFCI outlets required in bathrooms
  2. NEC 210.12(C)(3) – At least (1) 20 amp branch circuit is required in bathroom – no other outlets allowed on this circuit.
  3. NEC 210.52(A) – General convenience receptacle outlet requirements (12’ spacing) NOT applicable in bathrooms.
  4. NEC 210.52 (D) – outlet to be within 3’ of basin rim
  5. NEC 210.70 (A) – at least (1) wall switched light outlet required in every bathroom
  6. NEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 & 20 Amp outlets unless for dedicated appliance or luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor.
  7. NEC 410.10(D) – Lights over tub/shower can’t be pendant type or hanging or ceiling fan and must be 3’ horizontally and 8’ vertically from tub or shower overflow rim. Fixed type light fixtures that are 8’ or less above the tub or shower overflow rim and within the tub or shower area must be listed for use in damp location or wet location if subject to shower spray
  8. NEC 690.14(C)(1) – PV disconnect shall not be installed in bathrooms.
  1. CMC 314.3 – Return air shall not be taken from bathrooms, kitchens, closets
  2. CMC T403.7 – 50 CFM min. ventilation required in all bathrooms (rooms with tub, shower, spa, etc.)
  3. CPC 303.3 – All bathrooms, water closet compartments, and similar rooms require 3 sq. ft. min window (1/2 openable) OR mechanical ventilation (Green Code and T-24 are more restrictive and require ventilation even if there is a window: 50 CFM min and 3 sone max per T-24 150.0(a) & 150.2(a))
  4. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – Exhaust fans to be switched separately from lights
  5. CMC 902.2 – Fuel burning appliances shall not be installed in bedroom or bathroom unless room size is at least 50 cubic feet of area for every 1000 BTU/h of the name plate rating of the dryer OR combustion air must be provided to the space from other areas.
  6. CMC 908.1 – Vented gas fireplaces shall not be installed in bedrooms or bathrooms unless listed and the room has adequate volume (see CMC 701.4 and 902.2)
  1. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – Bathrooms to have at least (1) high-efficacy light fixture AND all other bathroom lights to be high-efficacy or controlled by a vacancy sensor
  2. CEC Pipe Insulation Mandatory Measure (150.0(j)2)) – R4 (1”) pipe insulation required on all HOT water pipes ¾” or larger to point of use and all HOT water pipes (regardless of size) to kitchen fixtures. Also first 5’ of hot and cold water pipes at the water heater. Pipe insulation NOT required at framing penetrations. Pipe in insulated wall cavity is acceptable ONLY if Quality Insulation Installation standards (HERS verification) are met. Pipe in attic is exempt IF buried by at least 4” blown insulation. Insulation to be 4” min from water heater flue. Hot and cold water lines should be at least 2” apart.
  3. CEC 150.0(a) & 150.2(a) – (ASHRAE 62.2) – Exhaust fans: 50 cfm min and 3 sone max sound level

BEDROOM

  1. CRC R304.2 and .3– minimum room area 70 sq. ft. and minimum dimension of 7’
  2. CRC R308.4.3 – Window glass less than 18” above floor MAY be required to be safety glass (see code)
  3. CRC R310 – Egress windows: 44” sill, 5.0 sq. ft. (first floor) or 5.7 sq. ft. (above first floor), 20” wide, 24” tall. For openings into patios, see R303.8.1, R303.1 Ex#3, R303.2
  4. CRC R310.4 – Bars over egress windows allowed IF they don’t obstruct required opening size and openable from the inside without key or special knowledge or greater force than window (the Fire dept can (may) require approved exterior release for their use in emergencies)
  5. CBC 1013.8 – Window guard requirements apply if window sill is 36” or less above floor and fall would be more than 72”
  1. CRC R314.3 – Smoke alarms required in bedrooms (see also H & S Code 13113.7)
  2. CRC R314.3.4 (4) - Smoke alarm required to be at least 20’ horizontally from cooking appliances (unless Ionization or Photoelectric type alarm – which is 10’ min.)
  3. CRC R314.3.4 (5) - Smoke alarm required to be at least 3’ horizontally from bathroom doors
  4. CRC R314.3.4 (6) – Smoke alarms required to be at least 3’ from supply registers
  5. CRC R314.3.4 (7) – Smoke alarms required to be at least 3’ from tip of ceiling fan blades
  6. CRC R314.3.3 – 10 year battery only required on smoke alarms if they are the battery only type (not hard wired)
  7. CRC R314.5 – Smoke alarms to be interconnected
  8. CRC R315.1 – CO alarms NOT required if no fuel-burning appliance and no attached garage
  9. CRC R315.1.2 – CO alarms to be hard wired with battery backup.
  10. CRC R315.1.3 – CO alarms to be interconnected when more than 1 unit installed
  11. CRC R315.1.4 (6) – Carbon monoxide alarms required to be outside each sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms and on every level of the dwelling (see also H & S Code 17926)
  12. CRC R315.2.4 – In existing dwellings where alteration do not result in the removal of wall or ceiling finishes a battery only or plug-in CO alarm may be used
  1. CPC 504.1 – Water heaters in bathrooms or bedrooms can’t take combustion air from those rooms and must have gasketed self-closing doors
  1. NEC – 210.12 – Arc-fault circuit interrupter required for outlets in all rooms of house that are not protected by GFCI (with a few exceptions for dedicated circuits)
  2. NEC 210.70 (A) – at least (1) wall switched light outlet required in every habitable room (i.e. bedrooms)
  3. NEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 & 20 Amp outlets unless for dedicated appliance or luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor.
  1. CMC 902.2 and 701.4.1 – Fuel burning appliances shall not be installed in bedroom or bathroom unless room size is at least 50 cubic feet of area for every 1000 BTU/h of the name plate rating of the dryer OR combustion air must be provided to the space from other areas.
  2. CMC 908.1 – Vented gas fireplaces shall not be installed in bedrooms or bathrooms unless listed and the room has adequate volume (see CMC 701.4.1 and 902.2). Except direct vent gas fireplaces.
  1. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – All rooms (excluding kitchen, laundry, garage, utility, bathroom) to have either high-efficacy light fixtures OR controlled by a dimmer or vacancy sensor

CARPORT

  1. CRC R309.2 –asphalt floor OK, floor to be sloped to a drain or toward vehicle doorway
  2. CRC R309.2 – minimum 2 sides open
  3. CRC 309.2 – carport NOT open on 2 or more sides is considered a garage
  4. CRC R302.6 – no separation required between carport and house
  5. CRC Table R302.6 –5/8” on ceiling if habitable space above
  6. CRC R309.6 – AFES required in attached garages, and carports with habitable space above
  7. CRC R313.3.1.1 Exception 4 – AFES not required in detached garages, and carports with no habitable space above
  1. NEC 210.8 – GFCI outlets required in carport and similar areas
  2. NEC 210.70 (A) – at least (1) wall switched light outlet required in every habitable room and bathroom and hallway, stairway, garage, exterior side of outdoor grade level entrances (garage vehicle doors are exempt)
  3. NEC 406.9 (A) & (B) – Outdoor receptacle outlets to be weatherproof covered with the chord/plug in if in wet location (w/o plug in if in damp location). Damp location is protected from rain by roof (i.e. under patio cover)
  4. NEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 & 20 Amp outlets unless for dedicated appliance or luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor.
  5. NEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 & 20 Amp outlets unless for dedicated appliance or luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor.
  1. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – Outdoor lighting must be high-efficacy OR have motion sensor plus photocontrol or astronomical time clock AND a manual On/Off switch that does not override the automatic controls.

CLOSET

  1. CRC R313.3.1.1 Exception 2 – AFES not required in closets, pantries, etc. which do not exceed 24 sq. ft. in area, with the smallest dimension not greater than 3’
  1. NEC – 210.12 – Arc-fault circuit interrupter required for outlets in all rooms of house that are not protected by GFCI (with a few exceptions for dedicated circuits)
  2. NEC 210.52 – closets are exempt from the general convenience outlet requirements (12’ spacing)
  3. NEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 & 20 Amp outlets unless for dedicated appliance or luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor.
  4. NEC 410.16 – Lights in closets: fluorescent = 6” from shelf, LED or incandescent = 12” from shelf with some exceptions for LED (see Energy Code requirement for High Efficacy lighting)
  1. CMC 314.3 – Return air shall not be taken from bathrooms, kitchens, closets
  2. CMC 701.6 – Mechanical closet outdoor combustion air opening requirements
  1. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – All rooms (excluding kitchen, laundry, garage, utility, bathroom) to have either high-efficacy light fixtures OR controlled by a dimmer or vacancy sensor

DECK / BALCONY

  1. CRC R105.1 #10 – Exempt from Permit if less than or equal to 200 sf and 30” or less above grade and not attached to a dwelling and don’t serve exit door
  2. CRC R303.8 Ex #3 – If required glazed openings is under a deck, it requires 3’ min vertical clear opening
  3. CRC R311.5 – positive anchorage to primary structure (NO toe nails or nails in withdrawal)
  4. CRC R507.1 – Decks cannot use nails in withdrawal or toenails for the attachment to the house
  1. NEC 210.8 – GFCI outlets required outdoors
  2. NEC 210.52 (E)(3) – Balconies, decks and porches to have at least one receptacle outlet
  3. NEC 210.70 (A) – at least (1) wall switched light outlet required in every habitable room and bathroom and hallway, stairway, garage, exterior side of outdoor grade level entrances (garage vehicle doors are exempt)
  4. NEC 406.9 (A) & (B) – Outdoor receptacle outlets to be weatherproof covered with the chord/plug in if in wet location (w/o plug in if in damp location). Damp location is protected from rain by roof (i.e. under patio cover)
  5. NEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 & 20 Amp outlets unless for dedicated appliance or luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor.
  1. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – Outdoor lighting must be high-efficacy OR have motion sensor plus photocontrol or astronomical time clock AND a manual On/Off switch that does not override the automatic controls.

ENTRY & FOYER (including Exit Doors)

  1. CRC R308.4.3 – Window glass with bottom edge less than 18” above floor and top edge more than 36” above floor and more than 9 sq. ft. in area required to be safety glass
  2. CRC R311.2 – Every dwelling shall have at least (1) side-hinged exit door with a minimum 32” clear width by 78” clear height opening (measured with door open 90 degrees)
  3. CRC R311.3 – Landings at exterior doors to be 36” deep in direction of exit travel, the width of the door served, 7.75” max step down (from top of threshold to landing) provided that the door does NOT swing over the landing. Otherwise, 1.5” max from top of threshold when door swings over landing.
  4. CRC R312.2.1 – When fall from window would be more that 72” to surface below, window sill to be 24” min. above floor OR, if less than 24” above floor, window opening shall not allow the passage of a 4” diameter sphere.
  5. CRC R313.3.1.1 Exception 4 – AFES not required in unheated entry areas adjacent to an exterior door
  1. NEC – 210.12 – Arc-fault circuit interrupter required for outlets in all rooms of house that are not protected by GFCI (with a few exceptions for dedicated circuits)
  2. NEC 210.52(H) – Hallways 10’ long or more shall have at least (1) receptacle outlet.
  3. NEC 210.52(I) – Foyers which are NOT a part of a hallway and more than 60 square feet in area shall have at least (1) receptacle on each wall that is more than 3’ long.
  4. NEC 210.70 (A) – at least (1) wall switched light outlet required in every habitable room and bathroom and hallway, stairway, garage, exterior side of outdoor grade level entrances (garage vehicle doors are exempt)
  5. NEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 & 20 Amp outlets unless for dedicated appliance or luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor.
  6. NEC 210.52(E)(1) – at least 1 exterior receptacle outlet required at front and 1 at rear of house
  7. NEC 406.9 (A) & (B) – Outdoor receptacle outlets to be weatherproof covered with the chord/plug in if in wet location (w/o plug in if in damp location). Damp location is protected from rain by roof (i.e. under patio cover)
  1. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – All other rooms (excluding kitchen, laundry, garage, utility, bathroom) to have either high-efficacy light fixtures OR controlled by a dimmer or vacancy sensor

FRONT ROOM OR LIVING ROOM

  1. SCAQMD Rule 445 – Applicable to portions of Southern California. Wood burning fireplaces NOT permitted in new construction (except if above 3,000 in elevation or no infrastructure for natural gas service within 150’ of property). Rule applies to all permanently installed indoor and outdoor wood burning fireplaces or fire pits.
  2. CRC R303.1 - All habitable rooms shall have an aggregate glazing area of not less than 8 percent of the floor area, and an openable window area to the outdoors of at least 4 percent for ventilation
  3. CRC R308.4.3 – Window glass less than 18” above floor MAY be required to be safety glass (see code)
  4. CRC R312.2.1 – When fall from window would be more that 72” to surface below, window sill to be 24” min. above floor OR, if less than 24” above floor, window opening shall not allow the passage of a 4” diameter sphere.
  1. NEC – 210.12 – Arc-fault circuit interrupter required for outlets in all rooms of house that are not protected by GFCI (with a few exceptions for dedicated circuits)
  2. NEC 210.70 (A) – at least (1) wall switched light outlet required in every habitable room and bathroom and hallway, stairway, garage, exterior side of outdoor grade level entrances (garage vehicle doors are exempt)
  3. NEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 & 20 Amp outlets unless for dedicated appliance or luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor.
  1. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – All other rooms (excluding kitchen, laundry, garage, utility, bathroom) to have either high-efficacy light fixtures OR controlled by a dimmer or vacancy sensor

GARAGE

  1. CRC R302.1 #4 – Detached garages w/in 2’ of PL are limited to 4” max eave projections
  2. CRC R302.5 – openings and penetration protection between garage and house
  3. CRC R302.5.2 - Ducts in the garage and ducts penetrating the walls or ceilings separating the dwelling from the garage shall be constructed of a minimum No. 26 gage (0.48mm) sheet steel or other approved material and shall have no openings into the garage
  4. CRC R302.5.3 – pipe, vent, duct and wire penetrations of the garage firewall need not be sealed with a listed firestop CRC R302.5.1 – no openings into sleeping rooms
  5. CRC R309.1 – floor to slope to a drain or toward vehicle doorway, noncombustible floor required
  6. CRC R302.5.1 – requirements for doors between house and garage:
  7. w/o AFES w/AFES
    Solid wood or steel or 20 minute rated 1‑3/8” No specified type or thickness
    Self-closing & self-latching Self-closing & self-latching
  8. CRC Table R302.6 – ½” gyp board between house and garage – 5/8” on ceiling if habitable space above, ½” on exterior wall (detached garage) when less than 3’ to dwelling. See also R302.1 #2
  9. CRC R309.5 – Zero lot line subdivision garages to be provided with quick-response AFES
  10. CRC R309.5 – garage door NOT considered an obstruction to AFES sprinkler heads
  11. CRC R309.6 – AFES required in attached garages and carports with habitable space above
  12. CRC R311.1 – Required exit can NOT pass through the garage
  13. CRC R311.3.1 Exception - landing or floor on the exterior side shall not be more than 7-3/4 inches below the top of the threshold provided the door does not swing over the landing or floor.
  14. CRC R311.7.6 Exception – landing not required at top of stairs from garage to house provided door does not swing over stairs.
  15. CBC 1607.1, footnote a - Structural members of garage/carport floor system shall be design to support a 3,000 lbs. point load.
  1. CPC 507.13 - Water heater burner element to be 18” above garage floor
  2. CPC 507.13.1 – Water heater or other appliance to be protected from physical damage if in path of vehicle
  1. CMC 308.1.1 - Water heater / furnace in garage will be protected from automobile damage by being installed behind protective barriers or by being elevated or located out of the normal path of vehicles.
  1. NEC 210.8 – GFCI outlets required in garages (ALL receptacle outlets in garage – including garage door opener –changed in 2008)
  2. NEC 210.52 (G) – Basements and attached garages to have at least (1) receptacle outlet (detached garages and accessory building without electrical power are exempt)
  3. NEC 210.70 (A) – at least (1) wall switched light outlet required in every habitable room and bathroom and hallway, stairway, garage, exterior side of outdoor grade level entrances (garage vehicle doors are exempt)
  4. NEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 & 20 Amp outlets unless for dedicated appliance or luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor.
  5. NEC 334.15(B) – Any exposed romex that is subject to physical damage must be in conduit (AHJ to determine if romex above 8’ is subject to physical damage in garage)
  6. Cal Green Code 4.106.4.1 – 1” conduit from main electrical panel to a box or enclosure in the garage for future electric vehicle charger circuit. (NO wiring or overcurrent device is required to be installed until the charger unit is installed)
  7. Cal Green Code 4.106.4.1.1 – Electrical service or subpanel to be labeled “EV Capable” at the reserved 40 amp circuit. Also required to label the termination box or enclosure as “EV Capable”.
  1. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – Garage, Laundry, and Utility Rooms to have high-efficacy light fixtures AND controlled by a vacancy sensor (Detached garage or storage buildings less than 1000 sq. ft. are EXEMPT)\
  2. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – Outdoor lighting must be high-efficacy OR have motion sensor plus photocontrol or astronomical time clock AND a manual On/Off switch that does not override the automatic controls.

HABITABLE SPACE

  1. CRC R202 – bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets, halls, storage, utility spaces NOT considered habitable.
  2. CRC R303.1 - All habitable rooms shall have an aggregate glazing area of not less than 8 percent of the floor area, and an openable window area to the outdoors of at least 4 percent for ventilation
  3. CRC R305.1 – minimum ceiling height 7’-0”
  4. CRC R308.4.3 – Window glass less than 18” above floor MAY be required to be safety glass (see code)
  5. CRC R312.2.1 – When fall from window would be more that 72” to surface below, window sill to be 24” min. above floor OR, if less than 24” above floor, window opening shall not allow the passage of a 4” diameter sphere.
  1. NEC – 210.12 – Arc-fault circuit interrupter required for outlets in all rooms of house that are not protected by GFCI (with a few exceptions for dedicated circuits)
  2. NEC 210.70 (A) – at least (1) wall switched light outlet required in every habitable room and bathroom and hallway, stairway, garage, exterior side of outdoor grade level entrances (garage vehicle doors are exempt)
  3. NEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 & 20 Amp outlets unless for dedicated appliance or luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor.
  1. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – All other rooms (excluding kitchen, laundry, garage, utility, bathroom) to have either high-efficacy light fixtures OR controlled by a dimmer or vacancy sensor

HALLWAY

  1. CRC R305.1 – minimum ceiling height 7’-0”
  2. CRC R311.6 – minimum width 36” CRC R312.2.1 – When fall from window would be more that 72” to surface below, window sill to be 24” min. above floor OR, if less than 24” above floor, window opening shall not allow the passage of a 4” diameter sphere.
  3. CRC R314.3 – Smoke alarms required outside bedrooms (in the immediate vicinity)
  4. CRC R314.3.4 (6) – Smoke alarms required to be at least 3’ from supply registers
  5. CRC R315.1.4 – Carbon monoxide alarms required to be at outside each sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms and one on every level, including basements.
  1. NEC – 210.12 – Arc-fault circuit interrupter required for outlets in all rooms of house that are not protected by GFCI (with a few exceptions for dedicated circuits)
  2. NEC 210.52 (H) – hallways more than 10’ long require at least (1) receptacle outlet (the general rule of 12’ spacing is not applicable to hallways)
  3. NEC 210.70 (A) – at least (1) wall switched light outlet required in every habitable room and bathroom and hallway, stairway, garage, exterior side of outdoor grade level entrances (garage vehicle doors are exempt)
  4. NEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 & 20 Amp outlets unless for dedicated appliance or luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor.
  1. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – All other rooms (excluding kitchen, laundry, garage, utility, bathroom) to have either high-efficacy light fixtures OR controlled by a dimmer or vacancy sensor

KITCHEN

  1. CRC R303.1 - All habitable rooms shall have an aggregate glazing area of not less than 8 percent of the floor area, and an openable window area to the outdoors of at least 4 percent for ventilation
  2. CRC R304.2 – Kitchens are exempt from minimum floor area and minimum dimension requirements.
  3. CRC R306.4 – hot and cold water required to sink
  4. CRC R312.2.1 – When fall from window would be more that 72” to surface below, window sill to be 24” min. above floor OR, if less than 24” above floor, window opening shall not allow the passage of a 4” diameter sphere.
  5. CRC R314.3.4 – Smoke alarms required to be minimum 20’ from permanent cooking equipment (10’ if ionization type alarm equipped with silencing switch or photoelectric type alarm)
  1. CGC 4.303.1 – Kitchen faucets: 1.8 gal (SB 407:2.2 gal max) (Note: SB 407, aka: California Civil Code 1101, requires some additions and alterations to retrofit existing noncompliant water fixtures to meet current water saving standards. Noncompliant is defined as a Kitchen faucet greater than 2.2 gal/min flow rate
  1. NEC 210.8 – GFCI outlets required for all counter top outlets and within 6’ of sinks not in kitchens
  2. NEC 210.8(A) & 210.12(A) – Dish washer and garbage disposal circuits do NOT require AFCI or GFCI protection or Tamper Resistant plugs
  3. NEC 210.11 (C) – Two 20 amp small appliance branch circuits required for kitchens and dining rooms
  4. NEC 210.52 (B) – countertop spacing: 12” or wider countertop to be at least (1), no more than 24” from any point along the countertop wall to an outlet (i.e. 4’ between), islands or peninsular countertops more than 24” to have (1),
  5. NEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 & 20 Amp outlets unless for dedicated appliance or luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor.
  1. CMC 314.3 – Return air shall not be taken from bathrooms, kitchens, closets
  2. CMC T403.7 – Kitchen fan required: 100 cfm if intermittent or 50 cfm if continuous and 3 sone max sound level
  3. CMC 504.2 - Domestic kitchen downdraft grill-range ventilation installed under a concrete slab floor may be of approved Schedule 40 PVC
  1. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – Kitchen to have at least 50% high-efficacy lighting (Exhaust hood lights and lights inside cabinets are EXEMPT)
  2. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – Recessed can lights insulation contact (IC) listed and certified air tight (AT) (IC/AT)
  3. CEC Pipe Insulation Mandatory Measure (150.0(j)2)) – R4 (1”) pipe insulation required on all HOT water pipes ¾” or larger to point of use and all HOT water pipes (regardless of size) to kitchen fixtures.

LAUNDRY AREA

  1. CRC R105.1 – Clothes dryers are exempt from permits
  2. CRC R306.4 – Hot and cold water required to washing machine outlets
  3. CRC R312.2.1 – When fall from window would be more that 72” to surface below, window sill to be 24” min. above floor OR, if less than 24” above floor, window opening shall not allow the passage of a 4” diameter sphere.
  1. NEC 210.11 (C) – At least (1) 20 amp branch circuit required for laundry receptacle outlet – no other outlets allowed on this circuit.
  2. NEC – 210.12 – Arc-fault circuit interrupter required for outlets in all rooms of house that are not protected by GFCI (Laundry room NOT specifically mentioned in code but could be considered to be covered under “and similar areas”).
  3. NEC 210.52(A) – General convenience receptacle outlet requirements (12’ spacing) NOT applicable in bathrooms (UNLESS you consider the “or similar room or area” to apply).
  4. CEC 210.52(F) - Provide at least one accessible receptacle outlet for the laundry room area.
  5. NEC 210.70 (A) – at least (1) wall switched light outlet required in every habitable room and bathroom and hallway, stairway, garage, exterior side of outdoor grade level entrances (garage vehicle doors are exempt)
  6. NEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 & 20 amp outlets unless for dedicated appliance or luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor.
  1. CPC 507.4 – Drainage pan under water heater if: in attic, on floor/ceiling, floor/subfloor where damage results from leakage.  ¾” minimum drainage line from pan to approved location
  2. CPC 507.5 – Temperature & Pressure relief valve prohibited from discharging into drainage pan.
  3. CPC 804.1 – Clothes washer stand pipe limited to between 18” – 30” above trap.  Trap to be between 6” – 18” above floor.
  1. CMC 504.2 - Domestic kitchen downdraft grill-range ventilation ducts installed under a concrete slab floor may be of approved Schedule 40 PVC when certain conditions are met.
  2. CMC 504.3 – Clothes dryer ducts shall NOT be connected with screws
  3. CMC 504.3 – Clothes dryer ducts shall NOT extend through plenums or ducts
  4. CMC 504.3.1 - Ducts for dryer vents shall be a minimum of 4” in diameter.  The exhaust duct shall not exceed a total combined horizontal and vertical length of 14 feet, including two 90 degree elbows.  Two feet shall be deducted for each 90 degree elbow in excess of two.
  5. CMC Section 504.3.1 - Where a closet is designed for the installation of a clothes dryer, an opening of not less than 100 square inches for makeup air shall be provided in the door or by other approved means. 
  6. CMC 701.4.1 – Indoor combustion air for a clothes dryer in confined space is to be at least 50 cubic feet of area for every 1000 BTU/h of the name plate rating of the dryer OR combustion air must be provided to the space from other areas.
  7. CMC 902.2 – Fuel burning appliances shall not be installed in bedroom or bathroom unless room size is at least 50 cubic feet of area for every 1000 BTU/h of the name plate rating of the dryer OR combustion air must be provided to the space from other areas.
  8. CMC 905.3 – Clothes dryer to be provided with make-up air in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications.
  1. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – Garage, Laundry, and Utility Rooms to have high-efficacy light fixtures AND controlled by a vacancy sensor
  2. CEC Pipe Insulation Mandatory Measure (150.0(j)2)) – R4 (1”) pipe insulation required on all water pipes (hot and cold) ¾” or larger to point of use and all pipes (regardless of size) to kitchen faucet
  3. CEC 150.0(a) & 150.2(a) – ASHRAE 62.2 – Laundry rooms must be built with a duct to the outdoors, to be connected to the clothes dryer.  Warm moist air from clothes dryer is prohibited from being used in the home for heating purposes (some cold climates like this warm/moist air to be used in the home – but it is prohibited by the ASHRAE standards because of the dust in the exhaust air)

LIVING ROOM (see FRONT ROOM)

MUD ROOM (aka: UTILITY ROOM, MECHANICAL CLOSET)

  1. CRC R313.3.1.1 Exception 4 – Fire sprinklers not required in unheated mud rooms adjacent to an exterior door.
  2. CRC R305.1 – minimum ceiling height 7’-0”
  3. CRC R306.4 – hot and cold water required to washing machine outlets
  4. CRC R312.2.1 – When fall from window would be more that 72” to surface below, window sill to be 24” min. above floor OR, if less than 24” above floor, window opening shall not allow the passage of a 4” diameter sphere.
  1. NEC – 210.12 – Arc-fault circuit interrupter required for outlets in all rooms of house that are not protected by GFCI (with a few exceptions for dedicated circuits)
  2. NEC 210.70 (A) – at least (1) wall switched light outlet required in every habitable room and bathroom and hallway, stairway, garage, exterior side of outdoor grade level entrances (garage vehicle doors are exempt)
  3. NEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 & 20 amp outlets unless for dedicated appliance or luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor.

Mechanical and Plumbing: See FAU and Water heater requirements

  1. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – Garage, Laundry, and Utility Rooms to have high-efficacy light fixtures AND controlled by a vacancy sensor

PATIO, PATIO ENCLOSURE, SUNROOM, PORCH

  1. CRC R303.1 Ex #3 – Natural ventilation from patio can be used in adjoining rooms (see R303.2 for limits).
  2. CRC R303.2 Exception – Opening for Light and ventilation from patio to be 20 Sq. Ft. min (openable) or 10% (openable) of floor area of room.
  3. CRC R303.8 Ex #1 – Required windows may open onto porch as long as ceiling is at least 7’ tall and longer side of porch is 65% open.
  4. CRC R303.8.1 - Required windows may open onto patio or sunroom as long as ceiling is at least 7’ tall and 40% min. of sunroom walls are open (or insect screening).
  5. CRC R312.2.1 – When fall from window would be more that 72” to surface below, window sill to be 24” min. above floor OR, if less than 24” above floor, window opening shall not allow the passage of a 4” diameter sphere.
  6. CRC R313.3.1.1 Exception 4 – Fire Sprinklers not required in open attached porches
  7. CRC R327.7.6 - The exposed underside of exterior porch ceilings in designated Fire Hazard Severity Zones shall be protected by specified noncombustible or ignition resistant materials. 
  8. CRC Appendix H – Patio Enclosures - AH103.1 – Longer wall plus one additional wall to be 65% open or glazed below 6’-8” (Glass, insect screen, translucent plastic are OK)
  9. CRC Appendix H – Patio Enclosures - AH103.2 – Bedroom windows – Patio covers over bedroom egress windows to be unenclosed.
  10. CRC Appendix H (AH103.1)– Patio enclosure glass (in enclosure walls) to be tempered per CRC R308
  1. NEC 210.8 – GFCI outlets required outdoors (some jurisdictions consider a Patio Enclosure to be similar to a Patio Cover and thereby require GFCI protected outlets in Patio Enclosures)
  2. NEC – 210.12 – Arc-fault circuit interrupter required for outlets in all rooms of house that are not protected by GFCI (with a few exceptions for dedicated circuits)
  3. NEC 210.52(E)(1) – at least (1) receptacle outlet required at front and (1) at rear of house
  4. NEC 210.52 (E)(3) – Balconies, decks and porches to have at least one receptacle outlet
  5. NEC 210.70 (A) – at least (1) wall switched light outlet required in every habitable room and bathroom and hallway, stairway, garage, exterior side of outdoor grade level entrances (garage vehicle doors are exempt)
  6. NEC 406.9 (A) & (B) – Outdoor receptacle outlets to be weatherproof covered with the chord/plug in if in wet location (w/o plug in if in damp location).  Damp location is protected from rain by roof (i.e. under patio cover)
  7. NEC 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 & 20 Amp outlets unless for dedicated appliance or luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor.
  8. 406.12 – Tamper resistant receptacle outlets for all non-locking 120V/15 & 20 amp outlets unless for dedicated appliance or luminaries or over 5.5’ above floor.
  1. CPC 507.4 – Drainage pan under water heater if: in attic, on floor/ceiling, floor/subfloor where damage results from leakage.  ¾” minimum drainage line from pan to approved location
  2. CPC 507.5 – Temperature & Pressure relief valve prohibited from discharging into drainage pan.
  3. CPC 804.1 – Clothes washer stand pipe limited to between 18” – 30” above trap.  Trap to be between 6” – 18” above floor.
  1. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – All other rooms (excluding kitchen, laundry, garage, utility, bathroom) to have either high-efficacy light fixtures OR controlled by a dimmer or vacancy sensor
  2. CEC Lighting Mandatory Measures (150.0(k)) – Outdoor lighting must be high-efficacy OR have motion sensor plus photocontrol or astronomical time clock AND a manual On/Off switch that does not override the automatic controls.

UTILITY ROOM (see MUD ROOM)

LEGISLATIVE REVIEW

For a list of legislative actions which may have an impact on local building departments, visit the CALBO Legislative Watch page.