Storage sheds must adhere to new state building code

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- May 9, 2002 -- New homes aren't the only properties affected by Florida's statewide building code that went into effect on March 1. Everything from storage sheds to agricultural storage buildings must also follow the new rules.

And while some manufacturers of prefab sheds and buildings have changed their designs to adhere to the code, some have not.

Smaller preassembled sheds -- those under 720-square feet -- are addressed under their own rule in the building code, according to Rick Dixon, a spokesman for the Florida Building Commission.
Dixon says that the sheds must carry an insignia that certifies state approval; if they do not, local building departments can't permit them.

Do-it-yourself shed kits are the exception to the mandatory-sticker rule, and
Dixon adds that it can be difficult to tell if they adhere to the state building code or not.

"We have had discussions with one or two (manufacturers), who are in the process of getting that done, who were caught off guard in the change of the code,"
Dixon says.

For homeowners, this can make it more difficult -- and probably more expensive -- to add storage space by building a shed. In some areas, local building departments, using the building code as a weapon, now require a registered architect or engineer to sign off on new sheds before they'll even issue a permit.

The problem may ease after
Oct. 1, 2003, though it won't make sheds any less expensive. After that date, all preassembled sheds must be approved by the state, meaning they must meet wind speed requirements and, if applicable, electrical guidelines. The guidelines are a bit less rigid than those applied to a residential home, however, since no one lives inside a storage shed.

"You might wind up with a lot of stored materials blowing around in your yard, but typically it wouldn't pose the danger to people that there would be in a house," says

Glenn Caudill, chief executive officer of Ted's Sheds Inc., headquartered in
Fort Myers, says that his company's sheds now meet the new code thanks to about a year of testing and an eventual seal of approval from the Florida Department of Community Affairs. Now, the sheds can withstand wind speeds up to 150 miles per hour. To bring the sheds up to code, a fastening system uses galvanized hurricane clips to secure floor joists and the floor ties that connect to the floor joists. Corner posts, connected to the roof trusses with a steel strap, have 2-by-4-inch studs with 1/2-inch plywood spacers.


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Created: 12/21/01