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Am I Building Code Compliant?

For most of us when we hear the question asked; Am I building code compliant, the answer is I have no idea. Codes can get complicated even for building professionals. For most of the population, building codes are not something we need to deal with as we leave it to the professionals. With that being said, it is very helpful to have an understanding of the codes in your area. Building codes are broken down into basically three levels – National, State and then County or City. In order to keep this post to less than a billion pages (maybe a slight exaggeration) we are not going to list every code across the entire country. There are some great online resources that can guide you through the codes in your area. Sites like UpCodes can give you a quick overview.

So why is knowing if you are building code compliant important?

Building codes are in place for a reason. They are written and designed to help maximize things like safety, energy efficiency and so on. When building a home or with a major renovation there are multiple inspections that need to be passed. While most people classify these inspections into the “what a hassle” category, they are extremely important and in place for our own well being. Where things can go sideways is when it is a smaller job or one that does not require a permit. A “for instance” is an exhaust fan installation. Generally this is a project that does not require a permit and is a very popular do-it-yourself one. It might be replacing an old fan or installing a new one. The challenge is knowing if what you are doing complies with building codes in your area. Many states are now adopting new energy efficient standards when it comes to exhaust fans. So going into your local home improvement store and picking out whatever fan they have on the shelf might not match up with the code. While there are some expectations, most of the new codes for exhaust fans are written to ensure an ENERGY STAR® certified fan is being used. Having a basic understanding of the codes in your area can help with DIY projects as well as with conversations with your contractor if you are using one. It will hopefully give you a better understanding as to why they might be doing things a certain way or using different materials that what you expect.

So what should I do about codes?

Air King is always going to recommend that you consult a building professional to make sure you are fully covered and building code compliant. With that being said we don’t want to scare you off from completing the projects you want to do. Taking some time to so a little research in regards to the codes in your area could have a huge impact on keeping you compliant and safe. It can also be a big factor if you plan to sell your home. The last thing you want is for a home inspection during the sale process to reveal all the things that are not up to code.

While Air King can’t help with things like if you need an extra support beam or if you have enough outlets installed, we can help with your ventilation and fresh air intake. To learn more about energy efficient options that comply with most codes across the country click on the links in the menu and look for the ENERGY STAR® logo.

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