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TX Building Officials Opinion ... ???


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A fellow inspector friend of mine sent me the below text in a message earlier today along with the link to the BOAT (Building Officials of Texas) newsletter.

Certainly makes one wonder.

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The Dec ’10 Building Officials Association of Texas (B.O.A.T.) newsletter has an interesting article on “What am I Required to Fix?â€

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Short sighted, yes. But when viewed from the perspective of what items they are required to fix by the city, mostly correct.

Misinformed, yes since the author obviously does not understand the concept of a home inspection but then the listing agent did not do their job to explain the process to their client.

The correct answer to the question of "what items am I required to fix?" is more along the lines of "none of them, unless you want this deal to close."

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None of these items are required, by code, to be corrected if they met the code requirements at the time of construction.

What items should I correct if on the list, or what items should I correct before I see any list? In short, anything dealing with "life safety":

Smoke detectors:

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI): This is the wall receptacle that has the push buttons on it, usually red and black. These should be installed to protect all kitchen counter surfaces, bathroom lavatory locations, bar sinks, garages, and any outside (not in eaves). These should have weatherproof covers, also.

So if these two items weren't required by code in, say 1968, why are they enforced now? And was unfinished basement removed from the required locations for GFCI protection?

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It just completely baffles me how someone who writes in a field so proximal to home inspection could still not understand one of it's most basic characteristics: it's not a code inspection.

Marc

Great observation. So why do sooooo many inspectors delve into the dark recesses of the code monsters lair?

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It just completely baffles me how someone who writes in a field so proximal to home inspection could still not understand one of it's most basic characteristics: it's not a code inspection.

Marc

Great observation. So why do sooooo many inspectors delve into the dark recesses of the code monsters lair?

Because citing a code as a reference or as a source of an opinion has nothing to do with enforcing a code as a rule of law and because it would be silly not to delve into the most fundamental documents that define the thing we're supposed to be inspecting.

Codes are not written only for the eyes of code inspectors. Architects, engineers, builders, & tradesmen need to have a good understanding of the building codes and they need to use codes, and even cite them, in their day-to-day working lives. Why would home inspectors turn a blind eye to codes or avoid admitting that we read and understand them?

We expect any 4-toothed, belly-scratching, IQ-on-the-left-side-of-the-bell-curve deck installer to understand the codes and apply them to his work. Why shouldn't we hold ourselves to the same standard?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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It just completely baffles me how someone who writes in a field so proximal to home inspection could still not understand one of it's most basic characteristics: it's not a code inspection.

Marc

Great observation. So why do sooooo many inspectors delve into the dark recesses of the code monsters lair?

How do you know what's wrong, if you don't know what's right?

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Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI): This is the wall receptacle that has the push buttons on it, usually red and black. These should be installed to protect all kitchen counter surfaces, bathroom lavatory locations, bar sinks, garages, and any outside (not in eaves). These should have weatherproof covers, also.

What do they protect the countertops from?

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