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Residential exterior construction standards

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
5,435
Points
25
I'm doing research on building materials allowed on Residential Single-Family (including duplex and townhomes) dwellings. Specifically, I'm looking at the minimum percentage requirement that must be masonry. I also am looking into what is defined/listed as a masonry product (think Hardiboard and Hardiplank). Some cities don't have a list - I guess I'm supposed to know what masonry means and not question it - so I'm stuck putting an asterick *** in that column.

Most places have this information as part of the zoning code. A couple have them in other places, like the Building Code.

Where do you put your Building Material Standards? And do you even have requirements for Single Family Dwelling Units?
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
30
Foundations and curtain walls for manufactured housing are the only building materials I have ever regulated through zoning. And even then I would have preferred amending the building code to get it done. Leave it to the building inspector if you can.
 

Streck

Cyburbian
Messages
601
Points
18
I don't think Planning departments should be dictating percentages of materials.

Leave material types up to the Building Code for strength and fire resistance determinations.

Leave material selection and percentages and design up to the architects and home designers.

Planning Departments should be concerned with allowed site use types, areas, and setbacks.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Moderator
Messages
7,278
Points
28
I'm sending you a very detailed masonry definition from our code, even though it is tailored to commercial/multifamily.

I've stayed away from regulating materials on single-family homes. To me, it just isn't worth it. Around here, the market is doing a reasonably good job with exterior materials. Also, it can lead to a bit of monotony if you aren't careful. Finally, masonry standards can cause headaches for modern-style architecture, which often integrates various types of decorative metal, wood, etc. that looks perfectly nice. I'm honestly beginning to rethink my masonry standards for non-residential based on some issues we've had with architectural styles that tend to use other materials like wood & decorative metal.

If you do go down that road, you need to have reasonable alternative compliance options built in so you have some design flexibility and allow creativity.

Also, do not refer to it as "hardi______." Use "cement fiber board" instead. For the record, I do not consider it masonry.

Personally, I think your time is better spent dealing with garage size/placement and porch standards to improve neighborhood aesthetics. Slapping masonry on it really won't improve much.
 

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
5,435
Points
25
Personally, I think your time is better spent dealing with garage size/placement and porch standards to improve neighborhood aesthetics. Slapping masonry on it really won't improve much.
I'm doing this as directed by my supervisor's boss. He comes from a place with masonry requirements in SF development, and is SHOCKED that we don't have it here. Thus, the research. Not fun, but I can see where this is heading. This will be in the next UDC update, for sure. Personally, I think it's not required, and if imposed should be in the building code.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
26
From a previous community, we dictated garage placement, porches, and four-sided architecture which ended up looking much better (even being nearly 100% stucco) that the requirement of a 100% brick/masonry box. The newer developments are getting specific requirements for materials and the end result is each planner is having to review the elevations on each permit. So much fun. :not:
 

Tay-j

Cyburbian
Messages
45
Points
2
As specific as my fine municipality gets

C. Masonry Materials. Use of masonry material on building exteriors shall make a project eligible for an additional one unit per acre bonus density entitlement increase.

1. Description and Purpose. Masonry materials include rock, stucco, and brick, and are intended to add an upgraded architectural feature to buildings within the project.

2. Improvements. To qualify for masonry materials bonus density, 75 percent of the exterior materials for residential structures shall be masonry materials, including accessory buildings such as garages. For the purposes of this section, masonry materials are rock, stucco, fiber-cement siding and brick.
 

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
5,435
Points
25
New city, same research request.

But given the size of this place, I can understand how they don't have any regulations on the books.

The last city dropped the code change in favor of some other, more important issues. I've brought my previous research with me, so we will start discussions soon. I'm hoping that we can incorporate some standards that are less material oriented and also contains some options on siting, garage and porch setbacks, and elevations. We shall see. Or should I say we will see?
 

Ringo

Cyburbian
Messages
44
Points
2
I'm doing this as directed by my supervisor's boss. He comes from a place with masonry requirements in SF development, and is SHOCKED that we don't have it here. Thus, the research. Not fun, but I can see where this is heading. This will be in the next UDC update, for sure. Personally, I think it's not required, and if imposed should be in the building code.
I would like to ask if the town or area you are from historically used masonry product as the main source of building materials? Your supervisors boss may come from an area where historically, all buildings are brick and require that building regulation. I see this being more important for an area like the St. Louis where almost every building in the city is constructed of brick, or the Cream City Milwaukee- its the character of the city. Also, as a disclosure I have never worked anywhere which has this requirement.
 
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