The Florida Building Code

“Building it right is much cheaper than building it twice!”

What does “designed to code”  mean?

The code referred to is the Florida Building Code (FBC).  This document sets the performance standards for use when designing buildings and other structures.  For screen enclosures in the majority of Palm Beach and Martin Counties, the FBC currently specifies that the enclosure should be designed to withstand 150 MPH winds. Thus, this statement implies that the design will not fail in winds up to 150 MPH.

What about “designed better than code”?

Those making these claims may be doing nothing more than adding a few more screws than specified in a prescriptive design manual (see engineering methods). It might mean that the contractor chose to use slightly larger pieces of metal in certain places. What it usually doesn’t mean is that proper engineering has verified the benefits of doing this.

What is a “code change” and how does it affect price?

The code change is reference to the periodic updates to the Florida Building Code which occurs every 3 years. The previous version was known as Florida Building Code 2007, the currently active version is Florida Building Code 2010.

Changes from one version to the next are typically subtle. On occassion the changes are significant. If you are told by a contractor that a “code change” has made the price of your enclosure to up, you should check the validity of this with an independent licensed engineer .

“Building it right is much cheaper than building it twice!”

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