Building Codes

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How do Building Codes help me?
Today, most of the United States is covered by a network of modern building regulations ranging in coverage from fire and structural safety to health, security and conservation of energy. Not only is public safety protected by building codes, but architects, engineers, contractors and others in the building community can take advantage of the latest technological advances accommodated in these codes with resultant savings to the consumer.

Building code enforcement has historically been accomplished by defraying the costs of administration through a system of fees relating to a specific project - a system which is self supporting. These fees are generally about 1 percent of the overall cost of the building project. Public protection is thus obtained in a cost-effective way with the entire process, from plan review to field inspection, carried out in a professional manner.

Who needs building codes?
We all do - whether in our homes, offices, schools, stores, factories or places of entertainment. We rely on the safety of structures that surround us in our everyday living.

What is the building code?
It is the set of laws and ordinances setting minimum safety standards, and embraces all aspects of building construction - fire and structural items as well as the plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems.

Why inspect during construction?
Inspections allow building officials to verify independently that code compliance has been achieved. Did you know that before you moved into your building, the construction had been inspected an average of ten times. Building inspections serve only to verify conformity to minimum standards and do not guarantee the quality of construction.

Which construction projects require engineered plans?
Business and Professions Code Sections 5537, 5538, 6737.1 specify what an unlicensed person may design. Generally, unlicensed persons are limited to non-structural storefronts and minor interior alterations. Unlicensed persons may also design and build their own home.