A shocking tale of Building Codes in America. Wenatchee Home Inspections
There are many iterations of codes out there in our country. Some areas adopt statewide codes, such as Washington State. Some states allow local jurisdiction to amend the code, and I have heard that some jurisdictions do not require any residential codes at all, which to me is a little scary. Then we have local interpretation of the adopted codes and areas where the code official has little to no power.
I have thought ‘What is the cost of having so many variations of the codes?”. Think about this if you are a builder or manufacturer and you build in one area you have one requirement, then just across the way you have another jurisdiction and another requirement. That has a cost and certain frustration level. What about quality control? I would argue that is probably best to have a uniform adoption of codes at least at a state level.
I hear many squawking about manufacturing industry controlling the code process and I do not for one second think that they do not have a interest and influence. Most codes really are about safety and technology change, and lastly and unfortunately somewhat lacking, comes durability.
Then we have local influence that may be politically motivated to not adopt something because it is perceived as financial risk to the industry or community and sprinkle in each of our individual persuasion, well you know democracy.
As home inspectors we are on the front of much of this discussion and like all of us we all have differing opinions on much of this.
So this all leads to this article. Here is an interesting story “A Cautionary Tale” from the IAEI on codes and safety where a local jurisdiction amended the code. This resulted in a death. This is an extreme case but carries a very interesting point on code adoption and enforcement.
Here is another interesting article on codes. Code are all too often reactionary versus proactive.
I think all of us who deal with codes, building standards and public understanding of such should at least think about why and how we do what we do. How does it help our fellow citizens, neighbors, family and friends. What is the risk versus the reward?
Code Adoption by State-
NEC Adoption by State-
“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.”
NCW Home Inspections, LLC is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…
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Instructor- Fundamentals of Home Inspection- Bellingham Technical College