Houses-up-to-code

5 Common Building Code Violations that You Should Avoid

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To many homeowners, whether or not your home is ’to code” remains a mystery. In the US, almost all municipalities have embraced a set of building codes which establish proper standards for homes. These set codes come in handy at ensuring the safety, health and general welfare of residents. At Arnold Investigative Engineering, we offer certified building inspection services according to the set building codes.

Even though building codes often follow similar standards, they can vary from one city to another depending on differences in climate and geography. Despite being an imperative part of every building process, these codes are every so often not well understood by homeowners. Here are some of the common building code violations that you should avoid:

  1. Ducking permits 

If you are deliberating on skipping permits because you think it saves on cost and evades the bureaucratic processes, well you are wrong! Ducking permits means that a building inspector will not inspect your home and ensure that is in compliance with all the building codes. A building inspection will most certainly guarantee you safety.

  1. Improper bathroom venting

The exhaust fans of your bathrooms should vent outside, either to the side of your house or through the roof; but never into the attic. Check your attic to see how your bathroom exhaust fans are vented. If they are vented into the attic, the warm moist air will definitely cause rotting in the roof framing and sheathing. Improper venting may also lead to dampness which encourages the growth of mold and mildew.

  1. Handrails without returns

If your handrail does not come to a 90-degree dead-end turn to your wall, then you are absolutely in violation of building codes. Open rails are dangerous because they can easily snag loose clothing or a purse strap. These, combined with a flight stairs are a perfect recipe for disaster.

  1. Missing deck flashing

Deck flashing should be installed between the house and the deck ledger, and the ledger must be firmly attached. Improperly placed ledgers are the root cause of problems in DIY decks since the ledger might pull loose from the house. These decks will eventually collapse, especially when loaded.

The deck-house joint is also considered a common area for rot. Apart from just weakening your deck, the rot can also weaken other structural members in your home which will require costly repairs.

  1. Misplaced smoke alarms

Building codes require that a smoke alarm is installed on each floor of the house and outside each bedroom. The smoke alarms should be interconnected so that if one is activated, the rest automatically go off. The alarm system should also be hard-wired with a backup battery. Moreover, for ceiling-mounted alarms, it is recommended that they are installed 4 inches away from the walls. On the other hand, wall-mounted alarms should be 4 to 12 inches down from the ceiling.

At Arnold Investigative Engineering, we do understand that you home is your safe haven. To ensure that your home is “to code”, let our expert and certified home inspectors examine your home. With our extensive experience, we know what is expected of your house. Contact us today for a thorough inspection.

Better safe than sorry!

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