Being a homeowner means protecting your investment and making sure repairs and remodeling to your property are done correctly. More than just permits, inspections and fees, building codes are the building blocks of the construction industry and impact us in many ways. To understand them better, let’s take a look at what they are, why they are so important and their impact on you as a homeowner.
What Are Building Codes?
Building codes are the legal regulations that govern the design, construction, alteration and maintenance of a structure or dwelling—including residential, commercial and agricultural, as well as schools, churches and garages. These building regulations safeguard the health, safety and welfare of building occupants and visitors.
They have been shaped by years of input from architects, engineers, builders and policymakers. They affect safety inspectors, real estate developers, insurance companies, manufacturers of building materials, landlords, renters and more. Building codes are constantly evolving to meet changing conditions.
Building code inspections take place after the following phases of construction:
- Rough framing
- Complete rough plumbing, electrical and HVAC
- Final inspection and certificate of occupancy
But Why Are Building Codes Important?
While building codes may seem like an added step in the building process, they exist to protect life, health, safety and general welfare. When followed properly, they help ensure structural integrity, sanitation, water supply, light, ventilation, fire prevention/control, energy conservation and accessibility for the disabled.
In many cases, building codes were created to address building advancements. Many building codes were also put into place after disasters such as fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and more that led to huge losses of life and property. Today, building codes often require that contractors must go through several rounds of inspections to ensure safety throughout construction.
A Major Consideration in the Homebuying Process
Building codes can play a vital role in the homebuying process, especially during the inspection. As a seller, any work that does not meet building code requirements may affect the value of your property. As a buyer, it is important to be mindful of building codes while you’re in the early stages of the homebuying process, especially with an older home. You’ll want to make sure that the home is up to code so it’s ready for you and your family to move in and enjoy.
Follow Your Local Building Codes for a Job Done Right
Before you invest your time, money and energy into a building project, it is important to consult with your local building dept. This helps ensure that you are following the current local building code requirements if you’re undergoing renovations or repairs to your home or constructing/fixing up an Accessory Dwelling Unit/Guest House.
When you’re ready to start your next home addition or repair, why not consider a home improvement loan from New American Funding? We can see if you can tap into your home’s equity to complete the projects of your dreams. For more information, contact us today.