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Old 02-23-2012, 11:33 PM   #1
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Why should you follow code?


At times we've praised it, and other times we've cursed it, given it the finger, and gone our own way..
I have my own feelings and theories on the matter but I'm interested in hearing all of yours! Care to weigh in? What is your code philosophy?

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Old 02-24-2012, 01:07 AM   #2
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Why should you follow code?


because although all of us think we know better sometimes, the bigger picture is there are a lot of people out there who will just try and "make it work" and will attempt things without really knowing what they are doing..

Overall there has to be a minimum standard set for building and the systems in a building, otherwise you risk unsafe buildings due to improper structure, wiring, plumbing, railings, etc etc.

There will always be someone wanting to do something cheap, for example not put in the extra work to compact under footings, or build footings to the proper size, or have junction boxes not accessible, or have no railings on a deck, whatever. This puts whoever visits, stays in, or buys that building at risk. Therefore the governing body has to have some regulation to ensure buildings and homes are at a first world standard, not a third world.

Look at third world housing and what happens in an earthquake, and you know why codes exist.


Last edited by chrisBC; 02-24-2012 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:13 AM   #3
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Why should you follow code?


Now me personally:

I follow code because generally it is a good idea and makes sense to do it that way, as well I can't do things on peoples homes that is against code. I'm liable, it wouldn't pass inspection if there are any, and they will run into problems when selling their home.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:00 AM   #4
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Why should you follow code?


I follow the code because it is a uniform code. It keeps thing in line. Also what if you bought a home that was built sub standard and caught fire and killed your kid? It is the safe gaurd we have. And just try and build a home with out the permit you will get red tagged and pay the fine the and that is the cost of the permit then have to buy the permit. Not worth the hassle I just pull the permit. I get along with all the inspectors and The have helped me many times.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:59 AM   #5
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Why should you follow code?


It's the law.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:35 AM   #6
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Why should you follow code?


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Originally Posted by chrisBC View Post

Look at third world housing and what happens in an earthquake, and you know why codes exist.
Belize would be a good place to start. And not with subsistence housing for the natives. Take a look at what Americans will try to get away with in luxury homes unbridled by any strict building codes. And to heck with sewer codes. Frightening. We almost ruined the Southern Coast and the reef.

I suppose if everybody did things right and did not try to skimp on one end of the spectrum or overstep on the other, code enforcement might not be so Draconian but most codes make sense. Sadly as I age, I am less and less convinced any of us would act individually toward any common good without some nudging now and then. So what if your wiring is sub-standard and sets your living space on fire? Your problem? It becomes mine when the fire department I help pay for has to respond and the blowing embers from your place start my place on fire.

And we all tend to think we know more than we do. Add to that internet expertise (you can find whatever you want to support your position on things) everybody is an architect, structural engineer and skilled tradesperson. Why use 2x6? From what I can see the 2x4s seems to be holding things up just fine? And we haven't had a real snow load in ages so why have to pay for such in framing? Sometimes lessons learned and that are common knowledge really do serve a purpose. And has been pointed out on this site many times, codes (save for cosmetic ones) usually represent the bare minimum of acceptable practice and frankly, common sense. Without them there would be no standard industry specs anybody followed.

Joke when I worked for the Space Division of General Electric and common in the defense industry: "It is good enough for milspec!" Back in the day when everybody was jumping in to to make LED digital watches, the major supplier of chips for missile tip guidance wanted a piece of the action too. We got a great discount on the things but you had to buy five or six in hopes of getting the one with a chip that worked. Chips were made in the same place as those for the missile systems. I found it perplexing and scary. Construction would be no different without codes as a quality control and safety measure.

Are they silly in places and at times? You bet and especially when your way of doing things is superior to the way the code demands things be done. Do I comply and not argue much anymore? You bet.

Permits and inspections---not inspectors---are another issue and get my blood boiling at times. Municipalities hungry for money, keep jacking up permit and inspection fees. Last place I lived, it was $30 an outlet to have the electrical inspector plug an outlet tester in. A certified electrician had to sign off in the first place! They knew it was nonsense and those of us doing projects certainly did.

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Old 02-24-2012, 10:29 AM   #7
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Why should you follow code?


Following code is a wondrous way for building safely without having to understand all the physics behind each system. I mean, I am interested in electricity and I enjoy reading about it and learning about it, and have a fairly good grasp on the basic principles. But there are still aspects I find confusing about how or why they work. The electrical code makes it so I don't have to understand every last thing about electricity as a physical phenomenon in order to determine for myself what is safe and what isn't.

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Old 02-24-2012, 10:46 AM   #8
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Why should you follow code?


The code is a lot like traffic laws.....if no one was getting hurt or killed.....we would have traffic laws....but for every traffic law created....there was someone hurt or killed.....

Same with building codes.....

I'm in the middle of a 2-story addition right now.....the way I'm building it today vs 55 years ago when my house was first built.....big difference...old house....no ground in the wiring....only 3 anchor bolts/side.....my addition? I'll be ready for the 9.5 quake.....my family knows where to go when the big one hits....can't put a price on that.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:03 PM   #9
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Why should you follow code?


The code is just the minimal way to build and design and still be predictable for the future owners or modifications. It is the worst you can do based on past history.

Since it the model codes (IBC, IRC, UBC, etc.) are absolute minimums, local codes can modify them (never decrease, but only increase the requirements) based on local conditions such as wind, snow, seismic history and they are done to make a project safe resalable.

Building permits, inspections and occupancy permits are also valuable to gain "grandfather rights" when it comes time to sell and avoid the last minute price renegotiations. The building inspector is actually working for you unless you try to skimp and make his job more difficult and time consuming. He can also offer some good suggestions along the way if you are sensible, especially when it comes to gray areas such a making something work like access, clearances, egress and interpretation and his word is "golden" and can be worth gold.

How many people have cursed when they found out they bought a home that was a "hack-job" and few things were right when it came to modifications, but seemed to be good enough for the previous owner? Sort of like a "buyer beware" or "now your problem" situation.

Dick

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Old 02-24-2012, 12:22 PM   #10
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Why should you follow code?


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It's the law.

I wonder how many times this heard in the joint when asked, what are you in for? Allegedly code violation.

Writer’s information is for discussion purpose only and should be confirmed by an independent source.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:27 PM   #11
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Why should you follow code?


Following a/the Code shows Due Diligence and Duty of Care.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:16 PM   #12
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Why should you follow code?


Still, I have met a lot of professionals in my area that circumvent the permit process. I believe most of them follow the codes in their practice but find the permit process cumbersome. They would rather tear out an old kitchen without considering the possibility of asbestos for example because they know a homeowner could not afford to hire them if they were to do it right.

The house next door had an addition put on without a permit or inspection of any kind by a carpenter friend of the homeowner. When the code enforcement officer found out about it, the only consequence was that he charged them after the fact for the permit and granted them the permit. I know the code enforcement officer so I asked him about it and he told me that had he known about the addition before it was built, he would have stopped the work until they got the permit but after it was built, he had to let them keep it. They were also planning to put in a basement entry and the he told them they needed a permit to start that work. I see that they still have not done that project and the cinder blocks are still sitting there.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:20 PM   #13
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Why should you follow code?


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Still, I have met a lot of professionals in my area that circumvent the permit process. I believe most of them follow the codes in their practice but find the permit process cumbersome. They would rather tear out an old kitchen without considering the possibility of asbestos for example because they know a homeowner could not afford to hire them if they were to do it right.

The house next door had an addition put on without a permit or inspection of any kind by a carpenter friend of the homeowner. When the code enforcement officer found out about it, the only consequence was that he charged them after the fact for the permit and granted them the permit. I know the code enforcement officer so I asked him about it and he told me that had he known about the addition before it was built, he would have stopped the work until they got the permit but after it was built, he had to let them keep it. They were also planning to put in a basement entry and the he told them they needed a permit to start that work. I see that they still have not done that project and the cinder blocks are still sitting there.

hey jim what do you think the side effect of a permit is?
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:23 PM   #14
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Why should you follow code?


Here is what can and will most likely happen to you if you don't pull a permit and follow code. The permit and inspection is for making sure code is followed.
I know of a anti government guy who wanted to build his own home never got the permit never went through the proper channels. He called me to do his sub floor and framing. I was out there laying down the sub floor and doing my take off's for the wall's and do the lay out for that. I got the walls up and top plates on when and set the trusses and just almost finished with the sheathing. I call the county for a framing and sheathing inspection OOPS! The county said where is this place? and i give them the address they tell me there is no permit for that property. I was OH S! They came out and red tagged the home no roofing on the Raining season Just about to roll in. This was the end out come the county condemned the house had it torn down and foundation removed. He was fined 10,000 dollars. All because he felt the government had no right to tell him how to build a home. The permit would have been 500 dollars.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:45 PM   #15
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Why should you follow code?


I pay attention to the code, then try to surpass it. Just like the code saying to tape windows and call it flashing. Like the code saying channel flashing is sufficient on roofs instead of step flashing. More than one BI has stated that 'You didn't have to do all that!" , or "Code only called for a 2x8. You didn't need to step up and waste money on a 2x10". Et al.
I think everybody knows that neither tape nor caulk will last any lenght of time around windows. Metal is the only thing with a long term track record.
It's the minimum you can 'get by' with. Pure and simple. Built to code should make your house last at least until the mortgage is paid off. Nothing more.

BTW, I'm all for having the code!


Last edited by tinner666; 02-24-2012 at 04:30 PM. Reason: typo and omission
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