Until all states adapt standard building codes in every city and county, this will happen; especially when they have home inspection laws. It is hard for us to really determine what a defect is a defect, when we have nothing to really go by.
As we all know (and the public is only beginning to discover) many municipal and county inspections are made in the same manner as appraisals…from a passing car.
When homes were still increasing in value as they deteriorated from shoddy building, nobody seemed to care. They simply sold it for a profit to the next sucker.
Times have changed and people/lenders are getting stuck with these properties. AHJs are only protected from lawsuits by what they actually inspect…not what they pass over. I would suspect that there are some pretty sweaty palms and rapid heart beats…not only among AHJs as they reflect upon their “inspections” over the last five to ten years…but also those of builders who will slowly but surely be seeing their work more closely scrutinized.
This was on TV last night. The home inspector hired (a friend of mine) is working for the home owner’s attorney as an expert witness. He told me that the builder downloaded a sketch of the house off the internet but never bought the detailed plans. The county issued a building permit without seeing any plans. The inspector didn’t really know what to look for when it came to the load bearing part of the structure, because no plans were available.
The pretty columns blew off in a wind storm because they were not secured. The porch was not bolted to the house. The windows were not flashed and were leaking. The 2nd story load was transferred to an OSB floor. Lots of other issues. An engineer from the NC Office of the State Fire Marshall confirmed the things the inspector wrote up. I think the County is in pretty hot water right now.
Unfortunately, James, municipalities and agglomeration bodies around here in Quebec Canada also refuse to hire enough code inspectors which means that most constructions are completed without a visit from a code inspector.
When they go by coincides with the time they send the tax bill out!
**These few code inspectors never see as much of a construction as we do. **
**We come in after much **unqualified work has been performed, many DIY’s without permits, no wonder why the public is weary when they hear of inspections.
The official tax seal of approval is for the code inspector to give.