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Protect Millwork Shops in BC

New windows and doors regulations and a recent ruling by the Building Code Appeal Board have combined to create serious unintended consequences for small millwork shops in British Columbia.

Pre-testing requirements for factory-made doors and windows are impractical for custom products made by small shops. A BC govt bulletin says,

It is often impractical to pretest these products because they are custom-made for a specific building and often use non-standard materials and components or are of non-standard sizes or geometric shapes that cannot be factory built.”

Custom “site-built” products have an alternate energy efficiency compliance path for this very reason.

However, the Building Code Appeal Board has determined custom doors and windows made by skilled trades in small shops do not meet the definition of “site-built” and therefore require expensive and impractical pre-testing.

This decision will create financial hardship for local trades selling custom products to builders and consumers.

One solution is for the BC govt to issue a directive saying custom doors and windows are exempt from pre-testing, and allow alternate compliance paths similar to “site-built.”

In addition, builders should be represented on the BC Building Code Appeal Board which interprets the regulations.

This would help avoid future unintended consequences and costs for industry and consumers.

This column appears in Wednesday’s Times Colonist.


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