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Old 02-25-2012, 05:41 PM   #31
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Why should you follow code?


You also have situations like here in Missouri. Our counties ae not zoned in the rural areas, so there are no codes in those areas. You can build a house without anything being checked. Anyone can install the plumbing, electrical, etc. The only exception is a septic tank.

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Old 02-25-2012, 06:47 PM   #32
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Why should you follow code?


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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.
In a past life I once got Congress to hold a special hearing on earthquake issues in conjunction with a conference of the American Geophysical Union (earth science people), in San Francisco, right after the last major earthquake. At that time, and I suspect still, the goal of earthquake codes was not necessarily to make building earthquake proof but rather earthquake safe enough people could get out of them.

The epicenter was actually a fair distance South of San Francisco. Ironically most of the residential type structure damage to SF homes in that quake was to those built on fill from the big one in the 1900s. The USGS had warned homeowners and much of that damage could have been prevented if people had invested a relatively small amount of money to strap and anchor their homes to their foundations. A small minority did and their homes sailed through with the usual wall cracks and broken glassware. Many others, in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area had to be demolished. They simply rattled and slid off their footings! I don't know if strapping to the foundation is required to this day or not.

Strapping roofs to the structure is relatively inexpensive also but I don't think code in tornado country. Obviously an airborne roof does no good to its structure but can also damage those around its ultimate landing.

Anyhow, the engineering side at the conference suggested it took at least a decade for engineering, regulations and codes to catch up with seismic science. I don't think building codes or changes are arrived at casually or quickly.

Last edited by user1007; 02-25-2012 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:18 PM   #33
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Why should you follow code?


not only is it the law to be obeyed....its costly not to.....and you could loose your license......here in pittsburgh there tough...as vi plumbers link shows..I remember that in our local news,,

Last edited by ben's plumbing; 02-25-2012 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:35 PM   #34
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Why should you follow code?


hey cm, its similar here with the codes, for residential almost everyone across the country follows section 9 of the n.b.c. for commercial and industrial construction things can vary from region to region based on a number of things

i understand that in the u.s on the west coast there are codes pertaining to earthquake zones and down around florida hurricane related codes must be followed.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:46 PM   #35
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Why should you follow code?


sdsester -

You are right about U.S. codes are there to get people out alive and not to guarantee the building will survive for reconstruction or stand forever. It is a minimum standard. One term used for the concept is that it is a "life safety code" and not a code that prohibits construction, but is certainly cheaper and adequate for many people.

In Europe and in other countries, buildings are intended to last almost forever as evidenced by the current level of design and construction. An example is Russia where a residential brick cavity wall is about 22" of two 8" walls of masonry tied together (one is the load-bearing portion and one is the veneer) and there is a 4" to 6" layer of polystyrene foam between them. The espect the building to last for centuries and have a hard time understanding the U.S. residential concept of construction.

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Old 02-25-2012, 10:53 PM   #36
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Why should you follow code?


other than the obvious laws, fines..... here's my perspective...

1) as a DIY'er with limited-moderate experience, the people designing the codes know better than me. I must adhere to them and then exceed them if I want my house to last.
2) It's great to have the security of an inspector double checking work before its burried behind drywall. (very much appreciated that as we built an accessory apartment in our home!!!)
3) Do you actually ever want to sell your home? better have those permits in place!
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:02 PM   #37
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Why should you follow code?


interesting dick. good bit of information

similarly though one thing that others should realize is that in many areas of europe they dont have lumber at their disposal for construction thus concrete and masonry being the material of choice. lumber construction still does go on, when it does as to the best of my knowledge its typically through by north american tradesman that are sent over to erect the buildings
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:32 PM   #38
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Why should you follow code?


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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".

Dick
Trust me, I wish they were stricter with codes around here. I don't know if it is just because it is outside of a big city. from the posts here it looks like they are stricter in larger cities. Now with the banks getting stricter with loan approvals, I wonder if some of these people will have difficulty getting loans approved to get their homes sold.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:50 PM   #39
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Why should you follow code?


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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.
Sometimes code requires that you produce something subpar. An example is the still-common requirement to ventilate crawlspaces. This has been proven to be incorrect in most cases, actually causing moisture to build up with impermeable floorings and result in mold, but they won't let you seal the crawlspace and keep in inside the building envelope.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:42 PM   #40
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Why should you follow code?


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It's the law.

That's the only reason that carries no weight with me.

I used to volunteer for a state agency and too many things were passed not because it was right but the manufacturer had enough money to "convince" lawmakers their product was better.

Last edited by The Hammer; 03-04-2012 at 12:42 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:13 PM   #41
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Why should you follow code?


Hammer -

Since you did not post where you are hiding or what state your cave is in, it is hard to be specific.

That is an interesting comment and possibly is why the U.S. residential construction is so inferior and building do not last as long as elsewhere. I have contractors (from Russia, Germany, Hungary, Poland and China) in the country looking at residential and light commercial construction and they were polite on the job, but voiced their opinions later when they got out of hearing range and stopped laughing.

Just for your information, even as a "volunteer", you should know a "lawmaker" does not have the authority since the decisions are made elsewhere by different people and very often the state codes are just adopted "Model codes" or standards (like ASTM, etc) that are still minimal performance standards and localities have the right to make stricter requirements, but not for specific products or processes. The "lawmaker" just votes yes or no on a specific legislative item that has been written by committees with more professional qualifications and experience. The typical committee process works well and usually the voting system is one vote per member and not more than one vote per company/employer if there are more than 1 persons from the company on the committee. Unfortunately the process requires a year or two make a modification to a code, which can be frustrating.

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Old 03-04-2012, 07:21 PM   #42
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Why should you follow code?


I assume that the codes have been decided based on lot of studies and tests, at least I would hope so. For example the code that states you must use a certain size wire for certain amperage probably undergone some tests.

Though there are some codes that are silly. For example some citys will require you to use a certain lumber size for a deck. If you go bigger, it's actually wrong. My grandpa built this huge deck and had used 2x8 instead of 2x6 (if I recall) and it failed inspection. He actually had to either replace the 2x8 or trim them. What's the point in THAT code? He went beyond what they asked, yet they still think it's wrong.

But if there were no codes at all, then people would do what they want, and cause dangerous situations. So I do believe there needs to be codes, but I also think they need to be strictly safety related, and it should be a minimum requirement, not a dead set requirement.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:30 PM   #43
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Why should you follow code?


Red Squirrel -

The deck example is probably a prescriptive standard (exactly what to do) in an attempt to push people into a decent deck by providing all information (and probably drawings). It also makes inspection more consistant and cheaper. It is surprising that he had to do a remedy.

In southern California, most cities provide typical plans and specifications to push toward more consistent and better construction and make it easier. It all started quiet a few years ago when a lot of the 5' or 6' concrete privacy walls ended up being sidewalks after a shake or the Santa Ana winds. the sheets are also distributed by many suppliers.

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Old 03-04-2012, 09:32 PM   #44
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Why should you follow code?


[quote=concretemasonry;870231]Hammer -

Since you did not post where you are hiding or what state your cave is in, it is hard to be specific.


Just for your information, even as a "volunteer", you should know a "lawmaker" does not have the authority since the decisions are made elsewhere by different people and very often the state codes are just adopted "Model codes" or standards (like ASTM, etc) that are still minimal performance standards and localities have the right to make stricter requirements, but not for specific products or processes. The "lawmaker" just votes yes or no on a specific legislative item that has been written by committees with more professional qualifications and experience. The typical committee process works well and usually the voting system is one vote per member and not more than one vote per company/employer if there are more than 1 persons from the company on the committee. Unfortunately the process requires a year or two make a modification to a code, which can be frustrating.

The experiences I'm refering to works this way. Hypothetically Plumbing co A just patented a unique backflow preventer so he wines and dines and make campaign contributions through family members and employees to legislators on specific committees. His company then makes presentations to show how these will prevent graywater from siphoning back into the public water system thereby stopping bacteria movement and keeping the population safer and healthier. At this point the lawmakers, convinced that they're doing something for the public good pressure is exerted on the folks who decide on and write the codes, half? of them owing their jobs to the same legislators, to legalize this company's product and it's specific uniqueness. The patent prevents another company from duplicating for enough years as to bring millions into their coffers.

This actually happened in my state by a company producing Low-E windows which are now code in my state even though the gas leaks out in a year.

I'm sure every place isn't like this, but in this state and my town corruption rules.

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