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Figuratively speaking, it really does.

Renovation can be an exciting time of bringing your dream to life, whether it’s a kitchen or bath remodel, a finished basement, or an addition. Choosing color scheme, materials, finishes, fabrics, fixtures, and appliances is all part of the fun. And there’s little that’s more gratifying than seeing it all come together right before your eyes.

Literally speaking, however, you want to abide by the rules, or you could be liable for violating codes and covenants.

Did you know that building codes vary from county to county and that neighborhood homeowners’ associations have a say in what you can and cannot do? Codes are designed to protect life and limb, and covenants are designed to protect aesthetics and property values. You may think that in-laws quarters in front of your house is a great idea, but do you remember the time your neighbor tried to install a pool that butted your property line? There’s a reason for all those rules.

While neighborhood covenants typically apply to the exterior of your home, building codes address the gamut, inside and out:

  • Foundation, floors, roof, and walls
  • Chimneys and fireplaces
  • Heating, cooling, exhaust, and duct systems
  • Water heaters and plumbing
  • Water supply and sanitary drainage
  • Electrical circuits, wiring, and power distribution
  • Swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, and patio covers
  • Sound transmission
  • Hurricane zones

A useful article by U.S. News & World Report < http://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/5-must-ask-questions-about-code-violations-in-your-home/ > states, “Whether or not anything in your home is in fact ‘to code’ is a mystery to most homeowners. And in terms of small work that’s been done over the years — whether it’s replacing an air conditioning unit, installing a bathroom vanity, or doing electrical maintenance — there’s a good chance it’s not.”

Another article by HouseLogic < https://www.houselogic.com/save-money-add-value/money-saving-diy/residential-building-codes-common-violations-when-you-remodel > (created by the National Association of REALTORS®) lists the seven most common code violations homeowners make, including mismanagement of asbestos and lead, limited egress, and shoddy electrical work.

The bottom line is — whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a contractor — do your homework when it comes to codes and covenants, or else you could face some hefty fines and possible do-overs. And if any of your renovations include heating, air conditioning, ductwork, or plumbing, call us at Lindstrom for expert advice and code compliance.

June 19, 2017