Even if you are the sole owner of the property, there are still limitations on modifications you can make to the building. In the United States, all habitable structures must adhere to a set of legal standards called building codes. They apply to many aspects of your home or business, including your plumbing and electrical system.
Plumbing codes are designed by committees of industry experts and officials to ensure that all residential and commercial structures are sound and sanitary. Improper sewage disposal can have a significant impact on other members of the community, and a poorly installed water heater could present a dangerous fire hazard. Some homeowners regard building codes as a frustrating byproduct of modern bureaucracy, but they have actually been a part of civilized society for thousands of years. In fact, the ancient Code of Hammurabi included several clauses that compelled “builders” to create safe and steadfast homes or risk fatal punishment. The penalties for breaking modern codes aren’t quite as deadly as they were in ancient Babylon, but they can still be severe for the party at fault.
The purpose of plumbing codes is to create structures that are safe, efficient and reliable. Anyone living or working in your building deserves a secure environment with the basic essentials of fresh water and sanitary sewage disposal. Codes also protect property owners who hire contractors to perform professional services on their property by ensuring minimum quality. Failing to follow building codes or neglecting to pull the proper permits can end up costing a lot of money and wasting valuable time. Businesses must be inspected regularly by an impartial official, so compliance failures will be noticed eventually. Homeowners may also run into issues collecting from insurance companies or selling their home if their projects are not up to code. Individuals or companies caught violating building codes may face severe fines as well as an end to the project. In these cases, renovations and other work are delayed until the legal issues are sorted out. The exact penalties for breaking building standards are determined by local legislation.
Plumbing codes are created on a local level rather than a national one, which can make things a bit confusing. These rules may be created and enforced on the state, county and city level, and even some individual communities have their own rules regarding building projects. These codes may also be changed and updated regularly. While it may take some time and money to pull the proper permits, it’s well worth the cost. Following building codes protects everyone involved, from homeowner to contractor. Certain types of work require licensing to perform, so hiring a certified professional may be the only way to perform the task properly. Contact your local city or county department for information about permits and current building codes in your area. For more questions about building codes pertaining to your plumbing project, give Rooter Hero Plumbing a call. We work with several communities throughout Arizona, California, and Texas.