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I include the following generic comment about building codes in my report and report further on specific items as I feel best. I can't do building code violations but I CAN do Common Sense and Safety.


The first thing to remember about building codes is that safety hazards DO NOT read the building code book. Safety hazards don't care about the building code book. Safety hazards just sit and wait to cause you and your family personal injury. Also remember that the building code is developed by nationwide experts in particular topic areas. It is then sent to the state where some homebuilders, a few experts, and politicians decide what is going to be enforced in the state. It is then sent to the local level where mostly home builders and politicians decide what's going to be enforced locally. It's then given to the code enforcement inspectors to interpret according to how they read the code. In addition, the local code often lags several years behind the national codes.

The building code is not a great and lofty standard. It is the bare minimum legal standard that a home builder, electrician, plumber, etc, must comply with. To do anything less would be illegal.

B4U Close Home Inspections services a large area of Kentucky with many different building code enforcement authorities, each with their own individual interpretations of the national and state building codes based on their local politics and beliefs. I cannot be completely conversant with each and every building code enforcement authority's interpretation of the national building codes; therefore B4U Close Home Inspections does not perform code compliance inspections nor guarantee that all items are in compliance with governing codes, regulations, ordinances, statutes, covenants and manufacturer specifications. My references and sources for calling out different items as a safety concern or defective or marginal or in need of repair may include the national building codes (International Residential Code / National Electric Code / Uniform Plumbing Code, etc), manufacturer's instructions, the building industry's standards, continuing education, and personal experience.

If the response to an area of concern or a recommendation in my report is, "Well, they didn't have that (or they didn't do that) when the house was built," or that it was "grandfathered", I usually know that. I also note that when it comes to home repairs, "Grandfathered" is a term often tossed out by people who care more about their wallet than about you and your family's safety: as in "That 8 inch gap in the balcony railing doesn't need to be fixed because it's grandfathered. It was okay to do it that way when this house was built.â€

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I always recommend gfci's. To me this is a safety upgrade, not a defect, if they were not required at the time of construction or remodel. I like to distinguish between the two in my reports. Gfci's, like I said earlier, was just the first thing that came to mind when I first posted. There are many more situations that I will run across in my career. That is why I was looking for a reference on code and the changes through the years to help me make that distinction.

OK. That's clear.

I used to differentiate between "defects" and "safety concerns", and found it nearly impossible as the lines blur across each other all the time.

Sometimes safety concerns are as easy as a new smoke detector, and sometimes they're as complicated and expensive as an entirely new set of windows along a stairwell. Is the lack of safety glazing a major defect or a safety concern? Is a brick hanging on a ledge a masonry concern, or is it a safety concern? It's both, isn't it?

Yeah, I know, we've been through this, but not for a while.......

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Yeah, Mark, it's a bit long but only comes out to about a printed page. Wrote it and started including it back when Kentucky Licensing infamously started prohibiting mentioning code.

C'mon Mike, that's short stuff compared to some of the infamous tomes I've seen from you!


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