Construction Laws’ Updates You Need to Know Before Building a House in California

If you are planning to build your own house in California, there are some construction laws you need to be aware.

The state of California has its own set of rules and regulations for contractors, building owners, and occupants, all of these housing laws are aimed at protecting the public from being harmed by unsafe homes as well for ensuring the safety of those building the house and the environment.

Construction Laws’ Updates

Some of the laws may not apply to the homeowner directly and are mainly for contractors. However, knowledge of these laws is useful for homeowners as well. Here are a few of the construction housing laws’ updates that you should know before you begin constructing your home:

1. AB 685

The latest provision to this law pertains to COVID-19. It requires employers to give employees a written notice (containing the same information as a CalOSHA compliant incident report). The provision also gives power to CalOSHA to place restrictions on access to site or apparatus, if the body deems it unsafe. This provision to AB 685 is to be repealed on January 1, 2023.

2. SB 1159

This is another COVID-19 related law. The law originally talks about eligible compensation terms for employees who injure themselves at the worksite. According to SB 1159 now, contracting COVID-19 (or dying of it) during the course of employment warrants the employer to compensate the worker with a compensation claim.

3. SB 1189

This particular bill pertaining to residential property especially defines activities involved in home improvement projects. According to this bill, the definition of ‘home improvement’ has been broadened and includes ‘the reconstruction, restoration, or rebuilding of residential property that is damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster’.

For a project to be deemed as one under ‘home improvement’, a single contract for the same should include three or more building trades (all these trades need to be unrelated). Any project undertaken needs to be done by a licensed contractor. You might be interested in knowing about Home Improvement Contract Law.

4. AB 1551

Known as the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, this law is especially important for those wanting to install any kind of renewable energy systems or any systems to improve the efficiency of other resources, like systems for water conservation, or seismic retrofits.

It was put in place in 2010 to help homeowners finance the installation of renewable energy technology, in a bid to encourage more and more people to adopt clean energy in their homes. The latest changes to the law include the provision of offering the PACE Financing Estimate and Disclosure as hard copy to the property owner (unless they opt for soft copy only).

Permits to Consider while Building a Home

Here are some other legalities you may want to know if you plan to build a home:

Whether you’re tearing down an old house, building a new one, or renovating, you will need to make sure that you have all the appropriate permits. This is not something to be taken lightly. The last thing you want is for your renovation project to be halted because you didn’t complete all of your necessary research and paperwork.

Before planning any changes, always check your city and county ordinances, as well as your state’s laws, for permit requirements. For example, as per California Law, construction permits are required for projects with potential impacts on public health or safety.

If property improvements could disturb soil contamination (which can be difficult to detect), asbestos (in building materials), or lead paint (in painted surfaces), you might also require an environmental assessment under CalOSHA regulations before moving forward.

Not just for construction, there are similar housing laws set in place for even renovations. By far, structural changes are one of the most expensive types of renovations you can make. In most cases, your home must be up to date with current California Housing Code, and these codes continue to change.

To make sure you don’t violate them while working on your project, make sure you contact a professional licensed contractor in California who has access to updated legal information about building permits and are aware of California Law. This is important because structural changes can add up over time and lead to safety issues—or even legal situations.

Read More: How to Reduce your Cost of Building a Home in California

Working with a construction service provider with extensive experience in the field and a strong knowledge of the local construction laws can make the process easier. These laws may vary from state to state and even county/town-wise.

Design Everest’s team has been helping clients create their dream homes for over 15 years and is a trusted name when it comes to offering affordable and reliable construction services and can help with obtaining the necessary permits for building a house.

Certificate of Occupancy

A Certificate of Occupancy (CoO) is a document issued by your city or county’s building department. The CoO certifies that a building or structure has been constructed in accordance with local building codes and zoning ordinances and that it is fit for its intended use.

If you’re opening a business in California, having one might be necessary; if you’re renovating an existing structure, it may be required as well. When obtaining one, check with your local government bodies to make sure you meet all their requirements.

For example, some cities require you to submit blueprints with your CoO application; others may require an inspection before issuing one; others might not offer them at all. Your city hall should be able to tell you what’s required

How can Design Everest Help?

Working with an experienced construction service provider can help you make sure that things go smoothly. The team of structural engineers at Design Everest can help you in understanding what permits you need and how to get them. They aim to minimize any sort of delay or financial loss due to improper documentation or permits. Get your dream home built by Design Everest for a hassle-free experience. Contact us today for a free quote and consultation.

Building permits play a vital role in ensuring the safety, compliance, and quality of construction projects in California. At Design Everest, we understand
California’s affordable housing crisis has worsened in recent years, most notably in high-priced coastal cities. Recently, there has been buzz about SB
As a homeowner or a person interested in building their new home in California, you may be unaware of how much effort needs to go into the permitting
California, the most populated state in the US, has new laws in place intended to improve its housing crisis. On September 16, Governor Gavin Newsom


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