Building Codes are your friend in that if you do not comply with them you're asking for trouble. Code compliant construction keeps you in good relations with the building official.
Merely following code requirements does not necessarily mean satisfactory construction. For example the deflection limits for floor joists is L/360, where L is the length of the joist in inches. Therefore a 14' floor joists (14' x 12"/ft = 168") would be allowed to deflect (168"/360 = 0.47"). If one were installing marble flooring the Marble Institute of America recommends a deflection limit of L/720 or 1/2 the deflection allowed by code. You have to look at the overall construction, not merely code requirements.
"You get what you pay for, and sometimes free costs more!"
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