Bill to ban most Iowa building codes that restrict home siding options

DES MOINES — Republicans in the Iowa legislature have voted to prevent city and county building codes that restrict what kind of siding can be used on the outside of homes.

Senator Janice Weiner, a Democrat from Iowa City, said it’s a bill that benefits the vinyl siding industry. “I don’t understand why we are voting on a bill that supports one particular industry,” Weiner said. “…This takes away local control to regular local design standards. Vinyl also happens to be very flammable.”

Senator Mike Webster, a Republican from Bettendorf who works in construction, responded. “It’s not about vinyl siding because a city could easily tell you you can’t put brick in particular areas, you couldn’t use aluminum siding in particular areas, you’ve got to paint your house a certain color in certain areas,” Webster said. “This is telling cities and counties that the ultimate local control is the home buyer and the home owner.”

If the governor signs the bill into law, there could be exceptions for cities that have building code requirements for the outside of homes that are in historic districts or homes in special purpose zones.