The California Building Code governs any roofing work carried out in California. The code is list of rules that ensures safe building practice within the state, which all builders and contractors must adhere to. The roofer doing the work must hold a valid license, and most larger-scale roofing work undertaken in California will require a permit.
The rules governing roofing permits vary between districts. For example, the Department of Economic and Community Development in Daly City requires a permit application to be submitted for any roofing work covering more than 100 square feet, whereas in San Ramon, a permit is required when the work exceeds 25 percent of the building's total roof area. The district of Palm Desert requires a permit for any roofing work or repairs.
In addition to a permit, the roofer carrying out the work must hold a valid California contractor license and a current certificate of workers' compensation insurance. Many districts also require a business license valid in that particular district.
As of 2008, air-conditioned buildings in California require "cool roofs" in compliance with the state's Energy Efficiency Standards. According The Consumer Energy Center, cool roofs are "roofs consisting of materials that very effectively reflect the sun's energy from the roof surface." They reduce the need for air conditioning by naturally cooling the property and, in turn, reduce electricity bills and carbon emissions. The 2008 amendment to the building code stated that the owner of any air-conditioned property where 50 percent of the roof is being re-roofed must install a cool roof as part of that work. The amendment also said that any non-residential property with a roof area of more than 2,000 square feet or a residential property with a roof area of more than 1,000 square feet must install a cool roof if the property owner is to use air-conditioning.
Roofing within Fire Protection Districts
Due to California's climate, many areas of the state are at high risk of fire. This means that building within designated fire-hazard severity zones is greatly restricted. The building code of California states that any property within a Very High Fire-Hazard Severity Zone will require a Class A fire-retardant roof covering. Buildings within down-graded State Responsibility Areas will require a Class B roof covering. Installation of these roof coverings is mandatory when any roofing work is carried out on 50 percent or more of the total roof area of the property.