333 West Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach CA 90802
Phone: (562) 570-LBDS (5237)
Fax: (562) 570-6753
Single Family Dwelling Questions

1. What is the minimum clear width of bathroom doors in single-family dwellings?
The minimum clear width of bathroom doors in single-family dwellings is not defined.  However, at least one egress door with a minimum clear width of 32 inches shall be provided. The clear door width is measured between the face of the door and the stop with the door open 90 degrees. The minimum clear height of the door opening shall not be less than 78 inches in height measured from the top of the threshold to the bottom of the stop. (CRC R311.2)

2. Do I need to provide a handrail for a stairway with three risers in my house?
NO. Handrails shall be provided on at least one side of each continuous run of treads or flight with four or more risers in single-family dwellings. (CRC R311.7.7)

3. What is the requirement for the fire separation between a house and a garage and/or carport?
The garage/carport shall be separated with not less than 1/2-inch gypsum board or equivalent applied to the garage/carport side. If there is habitable rooms above the garage/carport, not less than 5/8-inch Type X gypsum board or equivalent. (CRC Table R302.6)

4. What are the requirements for handrails?
Handrail height shall not be less than 34 inches and not more than 38 inches measured vertically from the slope plain adjoining the tread nosing. Handrails with a circular cross section shall have an outside diameter of at least 1-1/4 inches and not greater than 2 inches. If the handrail is not circular, it shall have a perimeter dimension of at least 4 inches and not greater than 6-1/4 inches with a maximum cross section of dimension of 2-1/4 inches. Edges shall have a minimum radius of 0.01 inch. (CRC  R311.7.7.1, &  R311.7.7.3)

5. How can I “legalize” a non-permitted addition or alteration?
Legalization of a non-permitted addition or alteration is obtained through the issuance of a building permit.  Existing, non-permitted construction is not “grandfathered” in any way, and a permit will be issued only if the addition or alteration can be shown to meet the requirements of the current codes (2013 California Building Code (CBC), California Residential Code, California Energy Code, California Green Standards Code, and 2014 Long Beach Municipal Code-expired on December 31, 2015).  The process for obtaining the permit is the same process as would be required for a new project.  In this case, however, since the construction is already completed, building inspections will be completed to verify that the existing, non-permitted construction is compliant with the current codes.  Where existing conditions are unable to be inspected due to drywall, insulation, or other obstructions, partial removal (e.g. selective demolition) of these items will be required in order for inspections to be performed.  Additionally, if special inspections for epoxy anchors, concrete, and reinforcement per CBC 1704 were not performed and documented as part of the original construction, additional testing will be required to show that these items are in compliance with the current CBC.  Where deficiencies are noted, the non-compliant items will need to be modified to meet the current codes before final sign-off and approval by a City inspector.

6. What is the required separation distance between a SFD/duplex addition and a detached garage?
For a non-sprinklered structure, the required minimum separation distance is five (5) feet.  This can be reduced to three (3) feet if a one-hour rated exterior wall assembly is provided on the addition and openings are limited per California Residential Code Section 302.1.   Alternately, the addition and the garage may be connected (zero separation), as long as a ½” gypsum board is provided between the two structures (on the garage side); doors shall be 20-minute rated; self-closing doors, and the construction documents shall clearly detail how the two structures are to be interconnected.

7. Is a radiant barrier required when reroofing?
Yes.  Unless a Title 24 energy analysis utilizing the performance compliance method is performed, a radiant barrier is required in both climate zones 6 and 8 under the current California Energy Code.

8. What are the requirements for reroofing?

Refer to Information Bulletin BU-014 for Asphalt Shingles Roof Coverings and Reroofing.

Where damage requires more than 10% of the existing sheathing be replaced, all existing sheathing shall be removed and replaced with new plywood sheathing.  A radiant barrier shall be provided when occurring over conditioned spaces, unless justification can be provided by a Title 24 energy analysis utilizing the performance compliance method.

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