If you own a home in New Jersey, it’s important to know about potential housing code violations. There are questions you can ask when you have learned that these violations have been found.
What housing code violations are frequently found in houses?
Many of the construction code violations that affect homes are present either in older homes or in homes that have had remodeling jobs. In the former case, the code was different in prior decades. These are the most common code violations you can find:
• Additions to the home: Homes that have had additions made to them are often questionable. For instance, was the work allowed and was it inspected to ensure that it doesn’t cause any potential problems for the original structure of the home?
• Attic, basement or crawlspace: Many attics, basements and crawlspaces have unfinished electrical wiring. This can cause a potential hazard. There may also be structural problems in these areas.
• Bathrooms: Bathrooms often get an upgrade from different owners of the home. Many are not up to current standards.
• Electrical panel: Electrical panels in older homes often show that the electrical work isn’t up to code. There may be dangerous wiring, requiring a professional to come and make repairs or updates.
• Kitchen: Kitchens are often remodeled but don’t meet current code. There is a higher likelihood they are done without a permit as well.
• Windows: Older homes often have newer windows put in, but they may not meet the current standards.
What questions should you ask about residential building codes?
If you learn or suspect that your home has one or more construction code violations, there are certain questions to ask. They include the following:
• Is my house up to code?: If you live in an older home, your house probably isn’t up to current code. You can get an inspection to be absolutely sure.
• Will this prevent me from selling it?: Even if your home isn’t up to code, you probably won’t have trouble selling once you are ready to sell it. A general inspector will check it as part of the real estate sale.
• Am I in danger?: Some code violations may mean you’re in danger. Anything electric should be a specific distance from a pool to avoid an electrocution accident and shower doors should open outward instead of inward.
• How do I know my home is up to code?: You should ask for permits if you’re planning any major remodeling work.
• Can I fix a code violation?: Yes, an inspector can put a job on hold until the violation is fixed.
• How do I fix a code violation?: How a violation is fixed depends on the work itself. Having a professional do the work instead of doing a DIY job is often best.