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Sweeney Law, PA Fort Lauderdale Business Lawyer
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Changes Are Coming To The Roof Replacement Rule


If you are in the construction industry, or you own any property that happens to have a roof on it, then a new law that goes into effect shortly should be of interest to you. It has to do with roof replacement, and how much of a roof needs to be replaced when there is damage to the roof.

The 25% Rule

Here in Florida, we get a lot of hurricanes. That requires that roofs of structures be up to Florida’s stringent building codes. But in many cases when roofs have damage that needs repair, the entire roof isn’t damaged, absent a catastrophic event.

Let’s say that part of the roof is damaged, and the other part is fine. You may think that you repair the damaged part of the roof, and that’s it. But to bring roofs up to code and up to date with ever changing roof building codes, the law requires that so long as more than 25% of a roof needs to be repaired, that the entire roof had to be replaced, and replaced up to whatever the current building code standards are.

That means that if 26% of the roof is damaged, 100% of it needs to be replaced. Many saw this as a benefit to Florida, as more up to date roofs means less hurricane damage in the event of a storm. On the other hand, construction companies saw it as an additional expense, and likely, some insurance companies didn’t appreciate having to potentially replace 74% of a perfectly good (albeit slightly outdated according to code) roof.

Changes to the Rule

But that law is now set to change, to require that only the damaged part of the roof be replaced or repaired, and that the repaired part be repaired up to the standards of the current building codes. This exception applies so long as the entire roof itself was originally constructed in compliance with 2007 building code (or any other later-passed) standards.

Since building codes are usually updated every three years, this practically means that any roof repaired or replaced after 2009, likely was repaired or replaced using the 2007 standards, thus qualifying it for the exception.

Roofs that were built or permitted before the 2009, and thus before the incorporation of the 2007 building code, may have some continuing issues or problems. Generally, building codes are baseline, minimum requirements, so it is possible to have a roof built before the 2007 building codes came into effect, which does in fact comply with the requirements of the 2007 code.

More Fighting?

The new law could create disputes. Because the percentage matters given only the damaged part of the roof will be repaired, expect disputes between property owners and insurance companies over the percentage of the roof that was damaged in a storm or other event.

Then, there are practical construction considerations of having part of the roof replaced up to current code, and meshing it with the rest of the roof that is not in compliance with current building codes.

Call our Fort Lauderdale construction law lawyers at Sweeney Law P.A. at 954 440-3993 today for help if you have a construction law or government compliance problem.


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