2012 Building Codes Adopted for Larimer County

The County Commissioners unanimously adopted the 2012 International Residential Code on Oct. 14. It will become law on Jan. 1, 2014. Like Loveland and Longmont, the requirement to add sprinklers to new single-family or multi-family homes was not included in the update.

In addition, the County did not include new energy efficiency requirements that would add the most significant increase to the initial cost of a new home. Research by several different professional groups shows the energy efficiency changes would increase the cost of the average home between $1,412 to $4,653. Some of the highest incremental costs would arise from increasing prescriptive basement/crawl space wall and ceiling insulation requirements. Instead, staff proposed local code amendments to keep the energy efficiency requirements at current (2009) levels.

In adopting the 2012 codes, the County didn’t raise building permit fees other than to add a 1.94 percent CPI (consumer price index) increase to cover inflation, but did clarify the cost of several existing fees. Traditionally the County has charged a $50 fee for inspecting remote locations but this was never stipulated in the Code. So the Commissioners opted to include language listing this additional fee for mountain areas. In order to simplify the inspection fee table, the smallest fee for any type of residential or commercial permit was set at $43 to cover the cost for the inspection and plan review.

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