Florida building codes are not necessarily about quality, although many people believe they are. Building codes are actually meant to keep people and structures safe. When you are building a new home, you want to make sure your builders followed code, so you don’t run into any snags when the building inspectors arrive. More importantly, you want to make sure the home is safe and sound.

The Purpose of the Building Code
There are minimum standards that must be met to ensure a sound building. These standards do not necessarily mean the building is one of high quality. Most likely, if the building is a high-quality structure, the builders followed code. However, it’s always best to check. Under Florida’s code book, the purpose of the building code is stated:

Section 102: Purpose, Article 102.1: Minimum Standards.

The purpose of this code is to provide minimum standards for the protection of life, limb, property, environment, and for the safety and welfare of the consumer, general public, and the owners and occupants of residential buildings regulated by this code.

As you can see, the code is concerned with doing enough so that reasonable safety can be assumed. This is for your safety, the safety of others and the protection of your home. Keep in mind the code does not mean you will get everything you assume you’re going to get. For example, the code for the kitchen area requires that a sink be installed. The sink needs to be of approved, nonabsorbent material. Other than that, there are no specifications. This means your kitchen can meet the code with an approved sink and no other appliances.

Making Sure Your Builders Followed Code
The building code is for your protection; remember, it requires minimum safety standards. This means anything that doesn’t meet the code is sub-standard. While other-than-approved materials may be cheaper, more readily available or both, the fact is, if your builder is not using materials that are up to code, or short-cutting areas, your home will not pass inspection and will not be as safe as it needs to be.

Don’t be rushed into buying a home that has not been properly inspected. Unscrupulous builders may urge you to take possession of a home that is unfinished as soon as they have been issued a Certificate of Occupancy. This does not mean the house is finished or up to code.

Familiarize yourself with the building code and be sure to ask questions. Before you close on your home, be sure to have it inspected by a certified home inspector. You want to make sure your new home is safe, as well as beautiful.

If you run into legal issues, Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., is a local law office to which you can turn for help. We are lawyers committed to helping the members of Port Charlotte, FL, and surrounding areas with their legal matters. We provide excellent service, putting our clients and their needs first. Check out our website and contact us by phone or email.