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Building Codes and Home Inspectors

By February 5, 2020June 9th, 2021No Comments

As a Washington State home inspector, Zoom looks for items that may be a potential safety hazard. But, contrary to what some think, home inspectors are not code inspectors

Code Inspectors

The important difference is code inspectors serve a local jurisdiction that ensures building construction meets certain laws and safety requirements. They have strict code enforcement rules and standards that govern the structure, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, ventilation and insulation. These are usually a series of inspections from the local jurisdiction that ensure the building meets the local building code requirements. Once all codes are satisfied, the local jurisdiction provides a certificate of occupancy for that building.

Home Inspectors

In our role as home inspectors, we evaluate the overall condition of a home, including older homes that are not expected to meet today’s building code. Older homes seldom meet today’s requirements for windows, stairway or railing design. The same goes for electrical, plumbing and ventilation systems.

For example, a garage built in 1970 may have met building code requirements when it was built 50 years ago, but is unlikely to maintain current standards. It can be considered a potential safety hazard today because carbon monoxide fumes can seep into the living space from automotive exhaust and these older homes typically lack a firewall. 

In this case, Zoom Home Inspections will recommend safe practices in older homes and suggest ways the garage can be upgraded to meet today’s building codes. 

In a standard home inspection we look for items that may be: 

  • a structural issue
  • improperly installed
  • beyond their designed life
  • a potential safety hazard

We help our clients understand the importance of a safe and stable home and guide them through making an informed decision in order to move forward with the home transaction.

Zoom inspects homes of all types; big or small, new or old. We’ll give you answers, so you can make a sound investment decision.

Protect your investment, contact Zoom today.

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