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Studying the code
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Studying the code

Off to library

Stanley A. Milner Library

Almost all evenings I spent in Stanley A. Milner library conveniently located near my place of work in downtown Edmonton studying Alberta Building Code 1997. At that time it had already been available on a CD but I decided to save some money and visit the library instead.

Of course, I hadn't known in advance that Alberta Building Code was the book I should have started with.

I defined our search area for a vacant lot in Parkland, Sturgeon and Lac St. Anne Counties. Browsing Internet I found the Sturgeon County web site that helped me find the right place to start. In particular, I refer to:

The above document cites the Alberta Building Code in the first paragraph.

Alberta Building Code 1997

Alberta Building Code is a reference material and therefore you can't take it home. It took me a few months to go over hundreds of pages that cover everything from fire safety to nailing tables.

I meticulously copied all span tables for all grades (Select, 1, 2, 3) of lumber (Douglas Fir - Larch, Hem - Fir, Spruce-Pine-Fir, Northern Species) and all allowed spacing (300mm, 400mm, 600mm).

Even though Home Depot or Rona gained the status of a grocery store in my life, I hadn't paid much attention to very details of their products. Therefore, I didn't know that the only lumber freely available was Spruce-Pine-Fir 2 or SPF-2, for short.

The biggest problem of interpreting the Building Code was, as you might guess, vocabulary. Lots of new terms and no pictures! To overcome my ignorance, I had to borrow other, much better illustrated books on the subject.