Top 6 Building Code Violations


Every construction project is visited by a building inspector and more than once. They come out frequently on large jobs like building a new sky rise apartment complex. The reason for this is simple. They must check everything to see if the workers and supervisors are doing everything according to the local building codes.

Can You Pass Inspection?

All contractors hope they’ll pass building code inspection because if they don’t, this will cost money. Failure to do the work according to code can cause delays in the timeline of the project. In some counties, the inspectors charge an additional fee.

The International Code Council (ICC) is the organization that ranks top commercial building code violations. They work to ensure that every project is completed safely and that quality building materials have been used.


They recently issued a report called the 2019 Common Code Noncompliance Survey. It details the violations most often seen in the construction trade. Below, are the top six issues reported according to inspectors:

  1. The contractor’s lack of knowledge of codes.  Sometimes this happens because the company has never worked in that particular jurisdiction before. There are times when the codes have changed since the last job and the contractor isn’t aware.
  2. Not following the manufacturer’s instructions. At times, workers are simply in a hurry and they don’t look or ask before using the wrong materials. It’s important to use the right materials recommended by the manufacturer.
  3. Damage to the work that has been completed. Sometimes this happens when other workers accidently hit a wall, ceiling or floor with boards or equipment. Telephone or cable television wiring can easily be damaged by workers putting up drywall.
  4. Trying to cut costs. This happens way too often for a very simple reason. Contractors are trying to cut material costs by using substandard building materials. This can result in a weak structure that could be dangerous to inhabitants. A large structure in New Orleans recently collapsed due to the contractor using materials that did not meet local code requirements.
  5. A lack of coordination between trades. This can result in work being done that isn’t up to code by one trade. Other workers may cover up the shoddy work by building over it.
  6. Inadequate manufacturer’s instructions. Sometimes, workers are simply not given thorough instructions about how to complete a job or install a fixture, window, flooring and such. With the rush to get everything completed within budget and timeline, workers may just try to install something without really knowing how.

Why Should We Follow Building Code?

It can be tempting to just build something without asking questions about how a floor should be installed and that sort of thing. When contractors don’t follow the building codes, it can result in a structure that isn’t safe. That’s why it’s so important for contractors to learn all these codes and abide by them. This goes for homeowners as well who are working on DIY projects like building a new deck.

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