Code is code, right?

This seems to be a code day.

There’s code and them there is code.

When building code is updated or changed that affects only new construction builds and renovations immediately. Existing structures are not changed till they are renovated, if ever.

In sever cases and in public housing either local government or insurance carriers often force owners into renovating and updating. Some jurisdictions have required upgrades at transfers of ownership. Anywhere form 5 to 10 years (or more) may elapse before changes are incorporated.

Private residences that haven’t been renovated may never be changed. For example, I still find ‘knob & tube’ (1930’s) wiring in use. That’s not ‘code’. The owners didn’t have to change it, but I must report to the client as it is a cost that affects the house value and will be an issue when my client wants to sell in the future.

So it behoves homeowners to not fall behind in the major items as home value will be lost.

Fire and safety code is different. Thats what we are seeing here. Anytime a fire code ‘violation’ is recognized it should be corrected. Various jurisdictions have a variety of power and discretion here. They are usually reasonable , but not lax. There are endless varieties across North America but most city personnel and firemen know the type and age of the structures they have.

People, even private residences can get violation citations (essentially ticketed), often after fires or false alarms. So places require a fire safety inspection, even if there was no fire. Municipalities have had safety drives to encourage people to have there homes checked and get a list of recommendations.

Service contractors for your systems equipment often alert homeowners to regulation changes.

Home inspectors have an obligation to make everyone aware of hazards and immediate safety dangers, particularly the residents, even when they are not clients. But home inspectors do not contact authorities (ethical and contractual constraints) unless there is an immediate public danger (parts of the building falling, etc.)

Many in the real estate field hear the ‘code’ words but don’t distinguish between them.

Code is code, right?

How can there be ‘code violations’ and ‘to code’ be a ‘minimum’ standard?

Why would anyone enforce low standards?

Hmm, talk about myth and myth-takes.


N.B. I did it again, started writing comment and wrote a blog.


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post