The Louisiana Senate has approved minor changes to the statewide building codes that were enacted soon after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, an attempt to ease complaints about how the codes are enforced.
Under current law, construction of a new home or renovations of existing homes requires certification from a licensed inspector that the structure conforms with the uniform building codes. Based on international standards, the codes were enacted in hopes that building more wind-resistant homes would reduce damage in future storms and lower property insurance rates.
The Senate approved legislation by Rep. Gil Pinac, D-Crowley, that would loosen code enforcement on simple renovations to existing homes. Builders doing a renovation would only have to perform their work according to the code if the renovation covers more than 50 percent of a home.
The measure would also make administrative changes to the state body that oversees the code and the inspection process and loosen requirements regarding the installation of insulation.
The bill returns to the House for approval of an amendment made on the Senate floor.
House Bill 704 is posted at http://legis.state.la.us/.
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