'08 marks changes in building code; Revisions affect contractors statewide.


Byline: Gail Stanton

WINCHENDON - As the year draws to a close, so does the time frame in which contractors can work under the sixth edition of the state Building Code.

"If they have a permit in hand or have applied for one, they'll fall under the old code. But if they haven't, they'll have to follow the new code," said Building Inspector Paul Blanchard.

The seventh edition of the code takes effect Jan 1.

The new regulations will affect contractors across the state, as they are applicable to every town and city in Massachusetts, Mr. Blanchard said.

While the new code brings with it many changes, that shouldn't be news to area contractors. The code actually went into effect in April, but had a six-month overlap attached to it.

"It was at the choice of the contractor," Mr. Blanchard said, as to whether contractors adopted the new code sooner rather than later.

The code was slated to officially be put into place Oct. 1.

"Then the state had some issues with the wording of the code, so an extension was given until Jan. 1," he said.

Changes in the code center on wind and uplift.

"Things have to be secure," the inspector said.

To help achieve that security, the new code includes more regulations concerning the number of brackets, hangers and bolts that must be used in building construction. As a result, greater detail must be put into the building plans.

The state's seventh code is built upon the code produced by the International Code...

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