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I read your article on sprinkler systems for 2-family homes. I am doing a renovation on a 2-family townhome, which includes a slightly below grade basement level and two above-ground floors. I've been told I need to install sprinklers on every floor (as I'm renovating every floor) to meet current code, since the cost of the job is over 30% of the assessed home value. Is there any way around this?

As stated in a previous article, sprinkler requirements under the 2014 Code are not retroactive for any existing building, except for those classified as high-rise office buildings. But major alterations, such as the one you have described, and building use changes can trigger a sprinkler requirement in altered areas.

Without knowing all the specific details of your project, one possible exception that could apply to your case is under BC 903.2.8:

"An automatic sprinkler system shall not be required in detached one- and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses), provided that such structures are not more than three stories above grade plane in height and have separate means of egress."

"Grade plane" here refers to a reference plane representing the level of the curb measured at the center of the front of the building. Because you say your home is only two above-ground floors, it may fall under this exception.

For a more comprehensive review of your specific case, feel free to contact the experts at Outsource Consultants for direct consultation



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