Building codes are a set of rules that contractors follow, as non-compliance is unlawful and it benefits no one. The top two reasons a few builders ignore these codes are due to cost-cutting (using low-quality materials) and carelessness. As with most construction projects, everyone wants it completed immediately and as cheaply as possible. While this might inspire contractors to cut corners and ignore building codes, it will eventually lead to a variety of problems that will affect both the clients and their contractors. The building codes exists for a reason and should not be taken for granted.
Though building inspectors exist to make sure everything is in order, it pays to be aware of any shortcomings a project has. Here are some of the most common building violations to look out for. The earlier these are alleviated, the less likely it is for project delays.
Most buildings’ safety features blend in well with their environments. Many of these features are often connected to fire-related safety measures and should, therefore, be implemented correctly. Common ones for commercial buildings include:
- Alarm Systems
- Sprinkler Systems
- Smoke Exhaust
- Emergency Lighting
Other safety features such as surveillance and intrusion systems are optional and at the property owner’s discretion. On the topic of alarm systems, it is vital that smoke detectors be placed 4 inches away from the walls, and should not be near possible heat sources like high-power lights and vents.
The importance of building permits is often taken for granted these days due to how easy it is to skip over, especially for DIY home builders. However, for the sake of the clients and their contractors’ reputations, acquiring a building permit should not be neglected for the sake of dodging the extra fees. Building permits give owners access to building inspectors, who will ensure that the building is in good shape and that everything is set up well. Permits also act as a legal record for any business that may involve the project, particularly in related legal troubles. Whether it’s a home remodel or an office renovation, the importance of permits should be made clear.
Some materials that were once widely accepted and used in the construction industry were actually dangerous to use and are now either tightly regulated or banned for health and safety reasons. A known example is asbestos, which was once known for providing several benefits such as increasing an area’s durability, along with having fire-resistant properties. Unfortunately, asbestos dust has long been proven to be toxic and is known to cause severe ailments. Lead coating and mercury likewise offers similar dangers and are just as hazardous to use. It would be better for the project to be free of these materials overall.
Improper Bathroom Venting
Bathroom ventilation is crucial for moisture control, and without it, it would be a precursor for future humidity and mold problems. For example, if your vents decide to pump the steam upwards, the attic will rot due to the constant exposure.
Inadequate Deck Ledger Fastening
It is crucial to have a deck installation done properly because problematic ledgers will lead to accidents. The most common deck issue relates to inadequate deck fastening, either due to ineffective fastening methods. The techniques and quality of the materials used should also be taken into consideration.
Building code violations are serious business and should not be taken lightly. Your safety depends on the professionalism of your contractor. Without the building code, structures would be inefficient at best and dangerous at worst.