Construction Guidelines

Residential Design Criteria

Information regarding the currently adopted building code can be found in our Municipal Code.

Ceiling Height

Minimum height: Habitable rooms, hallways, corridors, bathrooms, toilet rooms, laundry rooms and basements shall have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet. The required height shall be measured from the finish floor to the lowest projection from the ceiling.

Climatic & Geographic Design Criteria

  • Wind Speed (mph) - 100 mph, Exposure C - Three Second Gust
  • Seismic Design Category - B
  • Frost Depth - 36"

Emergency Escape & Rescue Openings

Required for new construction, remodels and basement finish.

  • Minimum opening area: All emergency escape and rescue openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet (5 square feet for windows at grade level) with a maximum sill height of 44 inches
  • Minimum opening height: The minimum net clear opening height shall be 24 inches
  • Minimum opening width: The minimum net clear opening width shall be 20 inches
  • Window wells: The minimum horizontal area of the window well shall be 9 square feet, with a minimum horizontal projection and width of 36 inches. The area of the window well shall allow the emergency escape and rescue opening to be fully opened. Window wells with a vertical depth greater than 44 inches shall be equipped with a permanently affixed ladder or steps usable with the window in the fully open position


  • Factory-built fireplaces must be approved units with testing lab approval numbers. Clearances, hearth size, chimney height must be installed per manufacturer instructions. NOTE: the City requires that a gas line sizing isometric must be submitted for approval for new gas log installations.
  • Wood-burning fireplaces must be approved devices by the E.P.A. Regulations and a list of approved devices can be found on the State of Colorado website

Garages & Carports

Opening protection: Openings from a private garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted. Other openings between the garage and residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not less than 1 3/8 inches in thickness, solid or honeycomb core steel doors not less than 1 3/8 inches thick, or 20-minute fire-rated doors.


  • Height: Porches, balconies or raised floor surfaces located more than 30 inches above the floor or grade below shall have guards not less than 36 inches in height
  • Spacing: Required guards on open sides of stairways, raised floor areas, balconies and porches shall have intermediate rails or ornamental closures that do not allow passage of a sphere 4 inches in diameter


Height: Handrail height, measured vertically from the sloped plane adjoining the tread nosing, or finish surface of the ramp slope, shall not be less than 34 inches and not more than 38 inches. Handrails are required for stairs with a continuous run of four or more risers.


Materials: New roofing products must be a listed product by the International Code Council’s Evaluation Services. The contractor or homeowner should also contact the Homeowners’ Association for guidelines on allowed roofing materials in the neighborhood.

Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Sensors

Smoke alarms shall be installed in each sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms and on each additional story of the dwelling, including basements. When more than one smoke alarm is required to be installed within an individual dwelling unit the alarm devices shall be interconnected in such a manner that the actuation of one alarm will activate all of the alarms in the individual unit. The alarm shall be clearly audible in all bedrooms over background noise levels with all intervening doors closed.

Carbon monoxide alarm shall be installed outside of each sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms in dwelling units within which fuel-fired appliances are installed and in dwelling units that have attached garages.


  • Width: Stairways shall not be less than 36 inches in clear width at all points above the permitted handrail height and below the required headroom height. Handrails shall not project more than 4.5 inches on either side of the stairway and the minimum clear width of the stairway at and below the handrail height, including treads and landings, shall not be less then 31.5 inches where a handrail is installed on one side and 27 where handrails are provided on both sides
  • Rise / Run: The maximum riser height shall be 7 3/4 inches and the minimum tread depth shall be 10 inches.
  • Headroom: The minimum headroom in all parts of the stairway shall not be less than 6 feet, 8 inches measured vertically from the sloped plane adjoining the tread nosing or from the floor surface of the landing or platform