Building codes and requirements
by Paul Schmidt
My local building department requires that the plans be approved by a structural engineer and be stamped, are your plans stamped?
Also, they require fire resistant materials on the siding. Do you have any recommendations?
No, our plans are not stamped by an engineer, even if they were they would likely need to be re-stamped by an engineer that is local to you.
For most places this is not a problem because most areas do not require an engineer stamp. The closer you get to city's especially those that have lots of regulations the more likely your area will have requirements like these.
Our plans are very basic and follow some basic structural guidelines and principles that have been tried and tested for thousands of years. They do not require an Engineer's evaluation. It is like asking a Nasa rocket scientist to make sure your new bicycle will work. You will end up spending thousands of dollars and in the end be afraid to ride it.
So, what do you do then?
Well, the best thing I can suggest is to take your plans to your local building inspector, have them look at them. Once he or she sees them and sees how simple they are they will most likely allow you to build it without the engineer stamp.
If not, then I'm sorry you have no freedom left in your area.
As far as fire resistant siding, of course the best is brick, but there is also a cement fiber board that looks like wood and can be painted. You should be able to find it at your local lumber yard.
I'm surprised they require fire resistant siding, are there a lot of wild fires in Reno?