Code Violations in existing homes.

  • January 26 2010 - Sunnyvale
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Answers (7)

Profile picture for sunnyview
Existing homes can have code violations, but building codes change often. Houses once build to code, may meet different standards then newly built homes but still be legal and safe. Code violations that are small are generally not a problem while unpermitted additions or garage conversions can be very expensive to fix or bring up to current code.
  • January 26 2010
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
If a home is more than a few years old, it will have "code violations" because codes are continually evolving and we are not required to redo things every time the code changes.   However, a house built to the code of the time it was built tends to be fine (although some things such as electricity and plumbing may need upgrading if very old).  

If a house has been remodelled without permits and not done to code, then I'd have concerns and have it inspected very thoroughly to ensure it is okay.   If the homeowner chose to go without permits and there are code violations, I'd call them on it.  (We did as we purchased one of our homes and the seller was obliged to do about $10,000 worth of work to bring systems up to code).

  • January 26 2010
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There are code violations in new homes. They are built by people and we are all flawed. Section 104.2.6 of the Uniform Building Code states the building official (municipal inspector) shall not be "rendered personally liable for damages" as a result of a negligent inspection or ommission.
  • January 27 2010
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Profile picture for Gracesellhomes
Most code valuation happened to be the owner add more living space or quarter. The garage converts to bedroom is most common one.
  • February 03 2010
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Add a floor in the attic and called it a loft.
Water heater without a installation permit.
Add an electric outlet w/o a permit.
Flashing around chimmeny
Failed to use non-flame retardant roofing material
Smoke detector.
Exhaust from furnace, kitchen ventilation exhaust.
The example list is endless.

  • March 20 2010
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Profile picture for user0209692
Unfortunately once you purchase the home you inherit the violations along with it. There are very few exceptions to "grandfather" un-permitted work in structures. The  code violations (hotlink deleted by Zillow moderator) may be noticed by the Code Compliance officer years after you purchase the home or decades after the work was done but it will usually be required to be brought up to the most current code and usually requiring additional work. Its always good to have a licensed professional do a full code inspection before your purchase.

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  • November 06 2012
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Code violations should be determined in your inspections prior to the purchase. At that time you can determine who will handle any repairs that need to be made.  Some loans will require repairs, and some issues may be taken on by the buyer after settlement, it just depends what it is and the area the home is in. 
It is not uncommon for homes to have code violations as the codes are constantly changing.  Many issues are "grandfathered" in if the home was up to code at the time it was built.  If it is not a safety factor then it is often allowed to stay in the current condition.
  • November 08 2012
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