Very interesting discussion....

…to continue, here. Are we really better off with building codes?

I think that building codes represent a somewhat “ethical” standard for builders and, without them, people could die resulting from the greed of others. Not everyone agrees.

James, once you have codes you have a bare minimum standard.

Which is like going to school and receiving a D.

But you have to start somewhere. Some of the worst houses I see have been built to code in the last several years

within a 1/4" in 4 feet of level, plumb, and square. thats not very close… just sayin


Codes result from something going wrong and trying to prevent it in the future.

Most overused line among some home inspectors.:roll:

Good point

As we gain more codes and regulations, the number of builders who are truly a master of their trade decreases. It seems that codes could be promoting mediocrity and prohibiting the market from weeding out the average and below-average builders.

Licensing of home inspectors would be a good comparison, in my opinion…

But some may disagree;-).

All current codes exist because of prior failures and catastrophes (both natural and man-made)," writes Andy Ault. "Codes don’t cause the substandard results, they exist because of them. And with the adoption of new requirements into some of the upcoming 2012 codes (such as air leak testing in the IECC) they are finally moving past simple life safety and actually getting into VERIFIED building performance."

I thik that most of us who have been around for any length of time have heard a builder at a 1 year warranty inspection or at at new home inspection say when we’ve pointed out something “It met the code when the county insected it, I ain’t changing it”.

Most builders build to code, and nothing more.

I agree…but only in states that have codes in effect. Without a common standard by which to identify a “defect” there is no way to write an SOP that could be implemented statewide.

Some might be surprised this year by my support for a licensing bill that would, in effect, become a “back door” statewide building code that would virtually empower Missouri home inspectors as AHJs to report to lenders and insurance companies on the quality of new construction.

Marcel…it looks like the similarities between codes and HI licensing laws are even more than you thought.:wink:

The code is indeed a minimum standard, but in this case the standard is rigid and the bar is reasonably high. Where codes exist, what distinguishes one home’s construction from another is not that someone exceeded the code but that one builder used a higher quality of materials and skilled craftsman.

Most builders just meet the building code. (Do you expect to see tempered glass in every window?) Some put in conditioned crawl spaces, and some do not–they both meet code. Some put in basements made of poured concrete walls or Superior Walls and others use CMUs…they both meet code. Some install roll roofing and others Spanish tile–both “just met the minimum standard”. See what I mean?

Laws are one thing. Enforcement is another. Rarely is anything enforced in the home industry as a whole, unless it goes to court.

in which case it costs more to fight for what is right than it does to just fix the problem

My comment was based not only as a home inspector but as a contractor who repairs most of this sh!t and as an expert whitness who has testified in court against builders who did everything to code.

Gary makes a good point as far as enforcement. Most states who accepted ARRA money need to be 90% compliant with enforcement by 2017… Time will tell

Perhaps you could cite some examples of built to code sh!t you had to “repair”

I’m sure we all could benefit from your experience.

My comment on code still stands.

They are a response to something going terribly wrong and as more things happen the code will reflect that.

Describing codes as “minimum” just doesn’t fit.

They are largely political documents and rely on enforcement.

Mike, I do agree with you to a certain point. Maybe the bigger issue is enforcement or lack there of.

Here are some examples, I am on the forth house in this neighborhood. Every house is leaking, 50 of them, only 10 years old and yes all built to code.

No kick out flashing for the roofs, joist hangers with improper nailing, decks not properly supported.

In NH we adopted the IRC code as the state code but education and enforcement is a problem

It’s difficult to explain to a home owner that after only owning a brand new home for 10 years it need 10K worth of repairs, especially when they say… “But it was inspected by the code enforcement officer”.

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Does you code call for kick out flashings?

Yes, it does.

R703.8, where exterior porches, decks or stairs attach to a wall or floor assembly of wood framed construction.

:wink: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Ditto :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Then it wasn’t built to code after all.