International Residential Code: Everything You Should Know about International Residential Code

Are you looking to construct or renovate a residential property?

Maybe you have gone ahead and selected an incredible design from your favorite Truoba Mid-century house plans, done your budget, and you are good to start your construction. But before starting, you are advised to ensure to comply with the International Residential Code. That hits you hard as you do not know what exactly the code requires to comply with. 

That’s another hassle, right?

Don’t worry. This article will help you understand everything you should know about the International Residential Code. We recommend reading through till the end to ensure you do not play against the code.

Let’s get started.

What is International Residential Code (IRC)?

The international residential code is one of the building codes by the United State’s international code council (ICC). This committee regulates residential construction by setting minimum standards of buildings and other structures. The IRC is a set of rules that regulate the construction of residential or family houses – specifying minimum domestic house standards. The IRC code controls single and double-family homes and other townhouse buildings with less than three stories.

The code is also known as the complete residential construction cookbook. This is because it provides a comprehensive guide to the entire building process, from planning to construction, plumbing, gas installation, and electric installation. 

Usually, ICC updates the code to fit current changes in the jurisdictions where it applies (the 2018th edition is the latest version). The International Residential Code applies in 49 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. As a model, the code is amended in different countries to correspond with local governmental law and procedures. 

What is in the International Residential Code?

The International Residential Code (IRC) consists of rules and procedures that regulate the construction of residential and townhouse units that do not exceed three stories. It states the minimum requirements that structures should meet. 

It is divided into chapters, each chapter containing specific compliance guidelines. For example, chapter 1 (Scope and Administration) includes applying and administering subsequent requirements of the code. For instance, anyone intending to construct, alter or renovate, or demolish a building should obtain a permit from the necessary bodies in the states where it is in use. The chapter also identifies buildings and structures under their range. Also, each chapter explains the intended purpose of the parameters provided in it.

Why is International Residential Code Important?

The IRC code is beneficial to people and the environment in various ways, including;

  • It promotes public health, safety, and welfare – while safety is the primary principle of the international residential code, it ensures favorable living conditions.
    • It enhances improvement – the current code edition allows amendments and welcomes new ideas and designs, therefore, improving living standards.
  • The IRC code enhances sustainability – it encourages new technology and available resources that meet minimum qualifications.
  • Facilitates environmental protection as it emphasizes reducing natural disasters.

What are the Principles of IRC?

The principles of the international residential code revolve around public health, safety, and people’s welfare.  Providing prescriptive requirements, tracking, and ensuring standard and safe construction and installation of necessary elements such as fuel gas minimize the risks of damages and leakages that can harm the environment and human health.

The other principles of the IRC code include efficiency, sustainability, and affordability. The latest edition emphasizes the use of modern, efficient technology and materials. As model code, it allows amendments and welcomes new designs to ensure sustainable development in the concerned areas. It also emphasizes the reduction of natural disasters. 

Who enforces the International Residential Code?

The safety inspectors, environmental scientists, real estate developers, and other relevant bodies must inspect and ensure that the building materials and architects, engineers, interior designers, constructors, and other professionals involved in construction comply with the guidelines.

Additionally, constructors should abide by the guidelines and acquire all the necessary permits before, during, and after construction.

What is the Difference Between IRC and IBC?

The International Residential Code (IRC) and International Building Code (IBC) are both primary regulators by the International Code Council (ICC). The codes are used to regulate buildings’ remodeling and construction from different perspectives.

IRC code regulates the construction of residential and townhouse units only – townhouses not tall than three stories. 

The  IBC code controls the construction of commercial buildings and structures.

The International Code Council also supervises other regulatory codes such as International Fire Code (IFC), International Mechanical Code (IMC), and International Plumbing Code (IPC).


Although selecting and buying your Truoba house plans is hassle-free, legal procedures can be a real hassle. It is recommendable to have the necessary knowledge of the legal requirement to avoid wasting your hard-earned money and time pursuing the unfamiliar procedure. Always refer to this article or consult a professional for assistance.

Also Read: How to Get College Scholarships to Study during COVID-19


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