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Section 26a of the TVA Act

Water-use Facility Dimensions and Roof Overhangs

1. Purpose

To provide guidance regarding the inclusion of roof overhangs in the dimensions of water-use facilities and the calculation of the facility footprint.

2. Scope

This guidance applies to private water use facilities subject to the size restrictions of §§1304.204 and 1304.212.  These generally include private residential water use facilities (individual and community facilities and private waterfront clubs) located on public land managed by TVA (fee land), subject to TVA flowage easement, or on private shoreland subject to the jurisdiction of Section 26a of the TVA Act.   Requests for facilities at commercial marinas are not limited to a maximum allowable footprint; but rather, are generally issued harbor limits based on §1304.404, and are not subject to this guidance.

3. Background

The size of water-use facilities on TVA-owned residential access shoreland are governed by subpart C of the Section 26a regulations, specifically §§1304.204 Docks, piers and boathouses, 1304.206 Requirements for community docks, piers, boathouses, or other water-use facilities, and 1304.212 Waivers.  Further guidance regarding the implementation of §1304.206 and §1304.212 is found in Community Water Use Facilities and Shoreline Management Policy Waivers, respectively.  In general, water-use facilities are limited to a total footprint of 1000 square feet unless a waiver is approved in accordance with §1304.212.

Section 26a regulations do not specifically require roof overhangs to be included or excluded in the calculation of a water-use facility footprint; 1304.204 (b) and (g) pertain to this issue.  As described in 1304.204(b), the 1000 sq ft box begins at the end of the access walkway; this implies the box would begin at the base of the dock (post to post measurement) and would not include the depth of the roof overhang.   Consistent with this interpretation, standard practice has been not to include standard roof overhangs in the calculation of the facility footprint and standard drawings posted on TVA’s external website do not include the roof overhangs in the facility dimensions.  Situations occur, however, where a non-standard overhang or a cantilevered cover has been incorporated into the design of a facility in a way that merits the inclusion of the overhang’s dimensions in the determination of the facility footprint.  Guidance is needed for determining when to include the overhang in the overall dimensions of the facility.

Roof overhangs serve two main functions: to protect the structure from exposure to solar radiation and precipitation and to minimize the damage associated with such exposure.  Standard recommended overhang depths are region specific and are a function of the climate.  According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Policy Development and Research and the Partnership for Advanced Technology in Housing (PATH) overhang widths should be 12 to 24 inches in moist, humid climates and more if practicable (HUD, 2000).  Guidance published by (PATH, 2005) recommends minimum roof overhangs in the Tennessee Valley region up to 24 inches. 

TVA will apply these recommendations for the Valley and consider a standard roof overhang as one that extends no more than 24 inches. This measurement does not include gutters.

4. Instructions

When determining the facility dimensions and footprint, staff shall use the guidance outlined below and seek input from the 26a Policy Specialist if needed.

  • Standard roof overhangs (≤ 24 inches) will not be included in the dimensional analysis of a facility for the purpose of calculating the facility footprint. 
  • Project Leads can exclude roof overhangs from the dimensions of a water use facility that are up to 24 inches in horizontal depth (the lookout dimension in Figure 1).  Gutters up to 6 inches are allowed in addition to the 24 inch overhang.
  • When an overhang or cantilevered cover exceeds 24 inches, it will be included in the dimensions of the facility and the calculation of the facility footprint.  In these cases, the Project Lead will inform the applicant that the overhang will be included in the facility footprint calculation and present them the opportunity to modify their proposed plans.   Approved project plans and drawings will contain the roof overhang dimension.


Requests to modify existing, approved facilities will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if the modification requires compliance with this guidance


Figure 1.  Roof Overhang Dimension


5. References

HUD, Residential Structural Design Guide 2000 Edition. A State-of-the-Art Review and Application of Engineering Information for Light-Frame Homes, Apartments, and Townhouses.  Prepared by NAHB Research Center, for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC, 2000

PATH, Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing . "Roof Overhangs." Pathnet. 7 December 2005.  Retrieved 18 October 2011.

Note: Site specific conditions may impact the review and approval of your application. Applying does not guarantee approval. Contact your local regional watershed office for more information and clarification.


Quick Index to Regulations


Subpart A: Procedures for Approval

Subpart B: Nonnavigable Houseboats

Subpart C: TVA Residential Shoreland

Subpart D: Flowage Easement Shoreland

Subpart E: Miscellaneous



Main Index


Index to additional guidance for implementing TVA's Section 26a Regulations

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