Construction 01

Construction 01

When a Custom home is built it should adhere to strict building codes.  Do you know if your home follows very precise and exact building codes?  Within one home there are building codes, electrical codes, and plumbing codes.  All of these various codes must be followed when a home is built.  Generically this is always referred to as The National Building Code.  Typically each of the fifty states then add to the National Building Code their own specific requirements that deal with things of particular interest to them.

For example many southern states will have rigid codes dealing with Hurricane situations.  Fortunately here in Northern New England we do not have to concern ourselves with frequent and violent Hurricanes.

Today I want to focus on snow.  Ok, I know it's the middle of July and today the temperatures are predicted rise into the mid 80's over the weekend.  Perhaps snow isn't exactly on our mind however, when a home is being built one of the most significant factors to consider is snow.

For example, we currently have on order a nice size two-story colonial that will be delivered to southern Vermont.  The total square footage of the roof for this home is 1,405 SF.  That number is only for just the roof, not the living space.  The square footage of living space is slightly less than 2,300 SF.

But back to the roof, if it snows and one foot of snow collects on that roof the total weight of that snow can easily be 28,100 pounds or 14 tons of snow.  Yes!  You read that correctly' fourteen tons of snow on the roof of the house.  Honestly, is this feasible?  Does this scenario actually happen?  Yes and it is actually very common.

A typical situation would be something like this - consider a heavy snow storm in March, the wet heavy snow that is a killer for the snow blower.  All that snow sticks to the roof and does not blow off.  Then the very next day it starts to rain; not a down pour but rather a steady gentle rain that melts all the snow on the sidewalk.  All that rain is absorbed by the snow on your roof that is now acting exactly like a sponge and the sponge continues to get heavier and heavier until the 14 tons can easily happen.

So, what if your new home is not built to proper building code specifications?  That answer is ugly and can be very dangerous when a roof collapse under the weight of all that snow.

When you have your home built by Vermont Modular Homes we carefully calculate the snow loads for your exact location.  For example our office is here in Shelburne next to Lake Champlain, if your home were going to Jeffersonville in Washington County the actual construction of your home would be different than the same home located in Shelburne.  The difference is in the Snow Load.

A home being delivered to The Champlain Valley of Vermont typically has a 40 pound snow rating.  That means the roof can carry the weight of 40 pounds of snow per square foot.  If the same house is going to Jeffersonville it would have a rating of a 70 pound roof.  The actual construction of the home is significantly different.

The home we mentioned earlier that is going to Southern Vermont in Bennington County will have a 70 pound roof because it is in an area of significant snow fall.  Building a new home may not be rocket science but there is a lot of science that goes into the actual design, calculations, and construction.  We build with science on our side.  

Which would you rather have - "it's always been done that way"  or  Engineered and calculated to be correct.  The choice is yours.

Now, back to enjoying summer.

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