New Home Inspections

David, I see a lot of wire bundling in certain jurisdictions around here, too. Apparently the local AHJ lets it pass, or it wouldn’t be so common. To me, it’s just a cheap *** way to save a little time and a few boxes of staples. Raised quite a ruckus among a certain group. Apparently, the local compliance inspector takes it personally. I just asked him which version of the NEC he uses. Of course, they can pretty much do as they want, but I’ll keep reporting it nontheless. It’s a great feeling knowing that most of my business is now from my website, and I could care less what ‘they’ think. And in counties that have NO oversight at all, man, watch out! They will get away with whatever they can, generally. And plumbers around here are expert notchers!:mrgreen:

I don’t see bundled wiring everyday, but when I do find it, it gets highlighted and circled on my report. Bundling more than three wires in a no-go in my book.

Points to remember:

  • With almost any system or component, a builder can build to ‘acceptable’ standards or to ‘best practice’ standards. If I see something that is ‘acceptable’ (and complient with local codes) but not ‘best practices’, I note that im my report and what its implications are.

  • Many local codes allow methods that are not ‘best practice’. Downspouts draining directly on lower roof surfaces, “Chicago Style” chimney flashing, 2 or even three roof layers, venting bathroom and laundry exhausts into an attic or out the perferated metal soffit vents, no flashing inder limestone parapet wall cap stones.

  • One local municipality, hungry for the tax revenue that would come from a recently built 500 unit townhouse development, granted the developer a variance that allowed the builder to not have to install AFCI or GFCI protection! Is this safe? NO! But it was “code”.

  • Local codes (at least around here) allow pull down attic steps to be secured with drywall screws. I have pointed this out, many times, to code inspectors. They just respond, “Hey, it’s code.” Yet the manufacturer clearly states that 16D nails must be used. I see sealed unit cat 4 furnaces with the combustion air taken from a solid door closet. OK with the codie, but the manufacturer says no and the installation causes problems and guess who the client will sue.

  • I call out lack of AFCI protection in older houses. Code says it is OK, but the state requires that I call things out against current standards. I always get blasted by the seller and their Realtor for that, but I am hired to protect my client regardless of what local codes allow people to get away with.

This is a situation that has been brought up, again and again, on this board. Yet, some people keep insisting that local codes are the only standard that HIs should use. If this was the case, then there would be no need for HIs since the local codies would have already called it out, which as we all know, is not the case.

Hope this clarifies. Call me (see below) if you have any more questions.

Well said Mr Decker.

I apologize if I conveyed that I IGNORE building codes. Codes are “minimal” requirements and in the case of one of the counties I work in, far behind the surrounding areas. I refer to codes within my findings, but stopping at “acceptable” practices and/or “built-to-code” in many cases is doing the client a disservice.