A new statewide building code is now in effect and could boost the cost of a new home by 12% in some areas of Florida, according to published reports.

The code calls for higher efficiency heating and cooling equipment, but is also expected to cut energy costs by 4% in the north and 15% in central Florida. Leak-free ductwork is also a necessity in some cases, along with shingles able to withstand 110-mph winds. Some of the changes were mandated because of extensive property damage by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, according to the report.

Some insurance discounts may apply under the stricter code, partially offsetting the higher costs.

Members of the Union-Affiliated Contractors held a meeting in the spring to discuss the situation as well as other matters. Seminars dealt with influencing codes, getting started in residential construction, and the latest in estimating and United Association (UA) educational initiatives.

Publication date: 06/17/2002