Understanding Building Codes for Home Remodeling

When it comes to remodeling a home, it is important to understand the building codes that must be followed. Building codes are a collection of regulations related to the construction of buildings that aim to ensure public safety. Even if your Homeowners Association doesn't require it, it's still a good idea to make plans with your HOA before applying for building permits. Arie Van Tuijl, founder of Home Inspector Secrets, recommends visiting the local construction department to ask questions about the inspections and permits needed for your project.To obtain a building permit, contact your local building department or permit office.

Many cities and towns allow you to apply for permits online, by mail, or in person. If you are doing minor work, such as building a fence, you can usually “obtain” or obtain a permit by showing a basic sketch of the work. Large projects often require detailed construction plans.It is important to know when inspections are required. For example, some cities require that the holes in the bases of roofs be inspected before concrete is poured, while pipes and electrical work inside the walls must be inspected before being covered with drywall.

All outdoor outlets and those in bathrooms, kitchens, bars and garages must be GFCI (circuit breaker with ground failure) outlets. At various stages of the project, an inspector must come to the site to verify that the work follows the plans and complies with the codes.When building a new home, architects must follow strict building codes to ensure that everything is built in accordance with safety regulations. Electrical codes The electrical code is a discipline in and of itself and, again, varies considerably from one jurisdiction to another. Fire codes are also often long and complicated, as they specify the use of non-combustible materials in the roof, the furnace area, and the dividing walls between an attached garage and the house.

You will also ensure that your improvements comply with energy conservation measures and with any building codes that may have changed since you purchased your home.Unfortunately, code violations are common when remodeling and can result in costly fines or unreliable construction. It is important for homeowners to know and understand the main building codes before modifying the structure or design of the house. A good job is worth fighting for if there isn't a safety issue, but simply the building code officer's desire to enforce the building code.If you get stuck during the research, contact a professional to help you better understand the building code and what that means for you. Completing home improvement projects that comply with the code (and that can pass local building authority inspections) is the path to a safe and happy home, and to well-done DIY projects.

The letter and spirit of the law The elements of old houses often do not meet the requirements of the current code, since they were built before the code was written or applied.

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