SFR: When is it considered a remodel vs. new construction (rebuild)?
The One Stop Shop frequently receives questions related to how the city differentiates between what is considered new construction and what is considered a remodel. Because the International Building Code does not include a definition for remodeling, each city must identify its own criteria.
The city of Scottsdale has idenfitied the following a list of factors that are considered when making this determination:
In order to remodel a building or structure it first needs to be in existence. If a building is torn down and reconstructed it is new construction. Leaving a small element of the existing structure does not reasonably constitute a remodeling project.
One should consider the following:
- If the structure is demolished and rebuilt on the existing foundation, it is considered new construction.
- Any additional area added to the original building is considered new construction.
- Any alterations to the interior is considered as remodeling as long as there is not a resulting increase in area.
- Adding a new structural element is considered new construction.
The application of these considerations is to be done on a case by case basis. The final determination is to be done by the plans examiner and may result in additional plan review fees.
- Alter: To make different without changing it into something else.
- ALTERATION: Any construction or renovation to an existing structure other than repair or addition.
- Alteration: Construction in a building which may change the structural parts, mechanical equipment, or location of openings, but does not increase the overall area of dimensions of the building.
- Alterations: 1. A construction project (or portion of a project) comprising revisions within or to prescribed elements of an existing structure as distinct from additions to an existing structure. 2. Remodeling.
- Remodel: To alter the structure of: Reconstruct <an old house>
- New: Having existed or having been made a short time.