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Old 02-24-2012, 02:00 PM   #16
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Why should you follow code?


This thread reminds me of something:

About ten years ago I worked as a helper for a few days on a house getting a basement suite done. I didn't know the details until after.

The home owner did not want to get any permits, and I guess the contractor just went along. They tore out the entire basement, put a window in the concrete foundation wall, dug a hole in the slab, redid all the plumbing in a new location, redid all the electrical, drywall, all the finishing stuff, the whole deal.

The owner posted an add in the local paper as a place to rent. The first person that showed up to have a look was the local building inspector. apparently the owner had to tear the entire place apart, now sure what the end result was. The liability for not having permits and inspections was on the property owner alone. He took a chance, and it cost him thousands.

Many codes are pretty important and something a lot of people would overlook otherwise-Fireblocking comes to mind, can be the difference of a family getting out of a burning house safely or not.

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Old 02-24-2012, 02:31 PM   #17
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Why should you follow code?


The Code is a minimum standard, NOT a best possible standard. So when someone says they build to Code, what they are essentially saying is that they build the crappiest construction allowable by local ordinance. Isn't that comforting?
Granted in many ways Code requirements are sufficient and need not be looked upon as being subpar. However, there are many construction components and methods that a contractor or owner can improve upon to provide a better, safer and longer lasting structure.
"The Code is not a ceiling to reach, but a floor to work up from" is my company tag line.
As far as permits it depends on the Muni. For some its just about revenue; for others there is actually some legitimate compliance inspection involved.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:50 PM   #18
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Why should you follow code?


A $500 permit or a $10K fine (plus rebuild, let's say another $10K) is a tossup if the chances of getting caught are 100 x 500/20,000 = ~3%.
What are the chances? What do they depend on?
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:12 PM   #19
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Why should you follow code?


we never just build things to code, we overbuild by this i mean.

if were installing a beam that calls for 3 ply we upgrade it to 4ply or to a 2ply LVL. by code squash blocks are only required under point loads up inside the floor system, we install squash blocks under every stud if its not sitting directly on top of a joist which will transfer the load

for siding, standard practice here is to simply install the window in the rough opening tape off the nailing flange with red tape and install a metal cap flashing.. we install sil pan made of peel and stick membrane, then set the window into a bead of caulking, from there the nailing flange gets taped with peel and stick along with metal cap flashing, even the cap flashing gets back caulked and a strip of peal and stick over the top edge of it.

the homeowner pays more in the short term but in the long run they dont have to worry about strucutral failure or leaks.. though 60 years from now when the next homeowner wants to renovate their gonna have a hell of a time pulling things apart
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:21 PM   #20
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Why should you follow code?


I'd like to know how the codes are modified or come to be as we move through life. Are there big conferences with 'gurus'? Because I work in the auto industry on the testing side of things, and if the way they come up with codes are anything like the auto industry, oh boy.

I love that codes exist for safety and so that pros cannot cheapen the job beyond a certain point legally. But certain things seem very questionable and still up for debate, still being reviewed.

One example that i can think of is the use of a vapor barrier in the basement. I recently sought help here for that question and many people suggested against typical code, in fact many suggested not even using a barrier at all. I believe one was a moderator in fact. So, while the way to build a structure is maybe obvious, not every code seems correct or seems accurate. It's just the law FOR NOW, but is always subject to change.

Based on new experience, new technology, new discoveries that the materials used cause cancer, etc, that's why you should always still be cautious about what you do and think it through, despite the codes. But yes in general, follow the codes .
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:30 PM   #21
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Why should you follow code?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
A $500 permit or a $10K fine (plus rebuild, let's say another $10K) is a tossup if the chances of getting caught are 100 x 500/20,000 = ~3%.
What are the chances? What do they depend on?
Neighbors calling, Police coming by and checking up the county assessors office driving buy and sees new construction meter reader reading the meters in the neighbor hood and see new construction chance of getting caught 100%. The guy lost 80,000 in materials and labor cost and to start over plus 10,000 dollar fine. Not only that the county had the government audit has taxes for the past five years and he got busted on taxes too. You cheat in one place your going to cheat some were else too. it is just not worth it.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:05 PM   #22
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Why should you follow code?


Looks like if you get caught then the fines can be pretty substantial, http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12055/1212336-53-2.stm
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:21 PM   #23
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Why should you follow code?


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hey jim what do you think the side effect of a permit is?
Permits have side effects? I'd love to answer the question but not sure what you are asking. All I'm saying is just the way it is around here. I live in a small town that has been hit hard by the recession and most of the professionals I meet circumvent the permit process and the officials by and large look the other way.
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:09 PM   #24
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Why should you follow code?


I bet that every trade can name a code that is not the best way to do things. I know in floor covering, there are no codes but there are standards. And some of them are totally wrong. The carpet installation standards are written by carpet cleaners, many of whom have never installed. I would imagine that some codes are written by engineers who have no practical experience.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:27 AM   #25
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Why should you follow code?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
. . .less and less convinced any of us would act individually toward any common good. . .
See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_trap


For post #10 'in the joint', if not getting a permit is considered fraud, out of 20,000 inmates in MD prisons only 40 are there for fraud.

Nailbags and VIPlumber, you are persuasive. On the other hand almost no one goes to jail for debt. I guess the courts can eventually put a lien on your stuff, at which time it's time to move!
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:53 AM   #26
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Why should you follow code?


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Originally Posted by Firehawk734 View Post
I'd like to know how the codes are modified or come to be as we move through life. Are there big conferences with 'gurus'? Because I work in the auto industry on the testing side of things, and if the way they come up with codes are anything like the auto industry, oh boy.

I love that codes exist for safety and so that pros cannot cheapen the job beyond a certain point legally. But certain things seem very questionable and still up for debate, still being reviewed.

One example that i can think of is the use of a vapor barrier in the basement. I recently sought help here for that question and many people suggested against typical code, in fact many suggested not even using a barrier at all. I believe one was a moderator in fact. So, while the way to build a structure is maybe obvious, not every code seems correct or seems accurate. It's just the law FOR NOW, but is always subject to change.

Based on new experience, new technology, new discoveries that the materials used cause cancer, etc, that's why you should always still be cautious about what you do and think it through, despite the codes. But yes in general, follow the codes .
get a copy of nec.read in the front.gives a list of the commities.also code makeing panels.there about 20 of them.with about 20 people on each panel.each panel a different code section.they are made up of tradesmen,enginners,insurance companies and fire prevention personel.they do this every three years.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:55 AM   #27
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Why should you follow code?


Jim F -

Make sure I do not buy a home in that community because you have no insurance the home is bult properly or as expected. Without a permit and inspection and having officials looking the other way, you really have not code or assurance, except "We always did this way" or "It wasn't worth the cost and trouble".

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Old 02-25-2012, 01:27 PM   #28
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Why should you follow code?


Firehawk -

The formal model codes (IBC, IRC, etc.) come from groups of people in the industry (suppliers, building officials, engineers, public officials, interested parties and "little old "ladies"). What it takes is to be an acceptable member, pay the dues (not much), prove yourself and participate for years to get be a voting member, and then spend the money for travel and hotels several times a year. Many code items are really taken from various industry standards and put into "code language" to make them clear for enforcement. Industry standards until they are adopted by reference or re-written into code - This requires many days and hours of reviewing annual changes at home/office.

The cost of participating in codes and standards (if you are accepted) can be substantial when you consider it usually 3 to 7 days of hotel ($200-$300/night) and meals several times a year plus any other meetings that are required. Normally, there no corporate memberships to buy votes. As an example, I have been a member of ASTM for about 35 years. ASTM write product standards for just about everything that is made (electrical wire, sand, cement clothing materials,nuts & bolts, steel, aluminum, materials for auto parts, etc.) plus they write the testing methods for these most materials and establish tesing and sample methods. Most members are on more than one committee and must be on a sub-committee to really have any input. Meetings are usually held twice a year (Dec. & June) and most people end up flying up to 3000 miles and spending a week in a hotel (not a cheap one because meeting rooms must be provided), so a week of meeting can be over $3000 plus time donated. I served on several committees and after about 10 years, I got to be a voting member, but if you miss 2 consecutive votes, you are out as a voting member. Corporations can join and support the organization at price, but still only have one vote, just as a ordinary member with a personal membership for less than $100/year that gets one of the 100 or so books of standards that are sold to others for over $100. Obviously, many of the costs for many members are paid by their employers (manufacturers, municipalities, universities, trade associations, unions, contractors, etc.), but some retired people do participate and pay out of their own pocket.


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Old 02-25-2012, 02:29 PM   #29
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Why should you follow code?


in canada the codes are written by the federal government, its a combination of engineers, fire officials and energy auditors. they analyze current codes and do studies on how different construction methods perform.. based on this they improve or modify the existing codes and put out a new code book every 4 years
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:23 PM   #30
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Why should you follow code?


woodwork -

In the U.S., the codes ultimately end up being written by a broad cross-section people and then states or municipalities may adopt the code as written. People adopting a code may make local changes by modifying the code for local conditions as long as any modification are stricter than the model codes that are the "national" MINIMUMS. Usually, the local authorities make modifications based on things like wind (hurricane prone areas within the jurisdiction), wind and snow (usually in mountainous areas of states) and seismic conditions for portions of states. States are not required to adopt a model code, but some are foolish (and learned better) by trying to write their own code.

Most states adopt ASTM product standards and engineering standards because they are not qualified to evaluate them. I assume the same thing is similar with specific performance codes like NEC (which may be influenced/controlled by local utilities).

Dick


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