Louisiana: Ivan Shows Signs of Weakness in Building Codes.

Originally Posted By: gromicko
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



(September 29, 2004) – A close brush with Hurricane Ivan has officials in many Louisiana parishes rethinking local building codes. Since parishes are responsible for their own construction standards, only some of the state’s dwellings are strong enough to survive hurricane-force winds.


The regulations adopted by Plaquemines Parish call for structures that can hold up in 110-mile-per-hour winds, while Jefferson Parish's required wind tolerance is just 88 mph. Now that Orleans Parish has implemented the International Building Code and the International Residential Code, homes built there must be able to withstand 130-mph winds. The code might soon be adopted by Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes as well. Meanwhile, officials in St. Charles soon may enact the parish's first building code.

However, tough rules translate into higher home prices, sometimes boosting costs by as much as $7,000.

Source: New Orleans CityBusiness (09/27/04); Roberts, Deon


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Nick Gromicko
Founder
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Originally Posted By: jpeck
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Quote:
However, tough rules translate into higher home prices, sometimes boosting costs by as much as $7,000.


This has been the argument that builder always use when fighting tougher building code.

The fallacy of that argument is two-fold.

1) When the disaster does happen, the costs of the individual losses typically far exceed that one-time $7,000 cost. This makes that $7,000 cost, spread out over a typical 30 year mortgage, is one of the best buys out there.

2) Following that disaster, insurance rates will skyrocket, raising the cost to insure that home probably about $1,500-2,000 more PER YEAR. You can quickly calculate that one large disaster related increase will eat that $7,000 "savings" in 3-5 years, causing home buyers to pay an *additional* (over and above that $7,000 "savings") $38,000 to $53,000.

Thus, the true cost of "saving" $7,000 is costing every home buyer $40,000 to $50,000. That is some "savings".

And the above costs do NOT include the extra cost to all the local services which will be overtaxed during and after the disaster, resulting in much out-of-pocket expenses, not to mention the cost of re-establishing those services afterward and the cost of future taxes for recovery.

All in all, that $7,000 is a "terrific savings", don't cha think? ![icon_cry.gif](upload://r83gSGUzNOacIqpjVReDwcR83xZ.gif)


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Jerry Peck
South Florida