How to Avoid Building Code Violations
Don’t rush over your next DIY project. Your eagle-eyed neighbor might report you for building code violations. Failure to conform with the building codes could cost you eye-watering fines or even your precious home.
What are Building Codes?
The California Building Standards Code, is the basis for design and construction for residential and commercial buildings throughout California. It aims for improved safety and reliability, energy conservation, and new applied technologies among others.
5 Most Common Building Code Violations
1. No building permits
A contractor’s license is unnecessary for minor alterations. As a homeowner, you have the right to execute DIY improvements for your abode.
However, it is imperative that you obtain the right permits for major renovations, home additions, or any remodeling project.
There’s no shortcut. Skip your permits and you’ll find your local building inspector on your doorstep.
SP Drafting can help you create plans on those code violations to get the proper permits in place and resolve the code violations.
2. Botched Electrical Work
Wrong size circuit, missing GFCIs, splicing wires --- you get the gist. Even if you know a thing or two about electrical wiring, don’t do them yourself unless you’re a licensed electrical technician.
Likewise, you also need an approved junction box to wire up a new outlet in your office or home. Code-approved junction boxes guarantee safety from fires.
If there’s one thing you should skip, it’s the life-threatening electrical wiring and repairs.
3. Improper bathroom venting
Venting a bath fan into an enclosed attic space is a common code violation. Dumping plenty of humid air into your attic leads to mold growth and rotten wood.
4. Toxic materials
Lead and asbestos are among the most common health hazards that lurk in a majority of old homes and buildings built in the 60’s - 70’s. This health hazard can be found in paint, popcorn ceiling textures, vinyl tiles, hot-water pipes, duct insulations, and cement shingle sidings.
5. Bad Ledgering
A majority of deck failures are caused by improper or obsolete construction techniques. Ledgers should be screwed to the house framing and should be protected with flashing so moisture won’t rot out the wood.
6. Smoke Detection
A smoke detector is your best protection in the event of a fire. Smoke alarms should be hard wired and feature battery backup. Multiple alarms in office buildings should be wired together so that all alarms go on or off simultaneously. You need to keep up with the current requirements if your units are obsolete.
7. Wrong Fence Height
Don’t make a mistake of erecting a fence that is higher than 6 ft. in height. Fences that are built too high is a common complaint to local building and planning departments.
Depending on your fence’s location, you may need to obtain a permit from the Department of Regional Planning before you can construct one.
Work that’s not up to code may be discovered by an inspector when you try and sell, putting a big damper on your plans. You may be required to fix and pay for any problems before a home buyer will consider making an offer. And if your buyer should later discover fixes that aren’t up to code, you could be sued for repairs and damages.
These are just seven of the most common building code violations. While you don’t need encyclopedic knowledge about these codes, it is of paramount importance to ensure your current and future projects are in compliance. You can inquire with and we’ll discuss your project in detail, so you can play it straight and to keep your project compliant.
Consequences of Building Code Violations
Every citizen has an obligation to care for their fellow citizens by behaving in a manner that won’t bring them harm. As a homeowner, you must keep your home safe. If you fail to exercise reasonable care, you are liable for any harm or loss caused by your negligence.
Criminal charges, such as involuntary manslaughter, can be filed against you if a death of a civilian or emergency responder is caused by unsafe structure and other code violations.
Building codes shouldn’t feel like the bane of your ambitious DIY projects. Code violations actually serve as a huge stumbling block for future plans. If you need to fix any current code violations give SP Drafting.
Here at SP Drafting, we’ll help you comply with the latest measures for a safer and happier home, as well as a secure and sustainable office environment. Rest assured you'll save a lot of money in the long run, and it’ll make your property marketable when you decide to sell it in the future.
Call us at 909-257-7547 or fill out the form below for more information.