Building Codes in Florida

Building codes in Florida have been in existence for many years to protect general welfare, safety, and public health. During the colonial era, they were installed to restrict simple things such as the use of wooden chimneys in a bid to prevent fires. In the 19th century and during the industrial revolution, these codes we enacted to combat major fires.

Most building codes in Florida are based on the International Commercial or Residential Code (ICC/IRC). The generally cover the renovation of old buildings, or the design or construction of new ones.

Whether you are a building expert or a DIYer, knowing the building codes in Florida is very important. Some people believe that not following the codes and doing a job without permits saves costs, which is true – but wrong. Not complying with the codes means that you won’t get permits for your work, therefore you will not get access to a local inspector. This might go a long way in putting the safety of your loved ones at risk, and you might as well face code violation stumbling blocks if you decide to resell your property in future.

If you understand the building codes and follow them to the letter, below are some of the violations that you will avoid:

Improper bathroom venting

You have just installed a new humidity-controlled venting fan in the bathroom ceiling and you are feeling good about it! However, if you have installed the vents in an enclosed attic space, you will have violated the building codes in Florida.

Dump humid air in an enclosed attic leads to the growth of mould, and can speed up the speed at which wood rots. According to the codes, the fan you install in the bathroom should expel wet air to the outside. Therefore, if you understand these codes, you will be able to do the right thing, which will keep your family safe and avoid future problems with local construction authorities.

Bad ledgering

In case your deck is not correctly attached to your house with a safe and secure ledger board, you are putting your whole family at risk.  Ledgers are the main culprits of deck failures. These elements should be screwed or bolted directly to the house framing, and should not be nailed at all. Flashing should also be used to protect them from moisture damage.

Wrongly installed handrail returns

You have installed new handrails on the stairway, and you are now sure that everyone in your family including your small children and elderly parents can now access the bedrooms on the second floor.

However, if the ends of your wall-side handrail doesn’t make a 90-degree turn and hit a dead-end into the wall, you have violated the building codes in Florida. The open ends of the handrails can snag a loose piece of cloth, and if anyone slips, then this means that you will have to spend hundreds or even thousands of bucks on hospital bills, plus you will get into trouble with the authorities.

Understanding the building codes will help you avoid these problems and much more. With them, you will ensure you get the permits that you need to get the job done, and when you need to sell your home in the future, there are no violation stumbling blocks that will stand on your way.

In case you have no time studying the building codes in Florida, avoid undertaking construction projects on your own there are tons of construction experts in this part of the country, who understand what is required of them, and will get all the permits you need to get the job done. Make sure you do your homework well and choose the best builder you can afford.

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