A house that has been built according to building code specifications goes a long way towards ensuring that you stay safe and comfortable. On the other hand, houses which display one or several violations of the code are unsafe for habitation. There are some basic building code violations that you should check for before moving into a new house.
The first thing to look for is defective GFCIs. The ground fault circuit interrupter protection is a requirement for all the outlets emerging from the kitchen, bathroom and garage as well as all the outdoor circuits. If a change in current is detected, the GFCI system can cut the power supply and thus protect against electrical shocks.
The next thing to look for is poor bathroom venting. A bathroom venting system that does not let the steam and chemicals out can be a serious problem in the long run, even leading to health risks for the occupants. That is why it is essential to ensure that the bathroom has a proper ventilation system in place. Make sure that the exhaust fan pushes the air from inside the bathroom outside, either through the roof or side of the house. Also, make sure the air is pushed right out of the house and not merely into another room or the attic.
Look for faulty smoke alarms. Each level of the house needs to have a smoke alarm installed as well as outside each bedroom. If the home is new, each bedroom also needs to have a smoke alarm with a backup battery. The alarms should be interconnected so that all go off if one is activated.
Finally, make sure there are construction permits. Some homeowners try to cut costs by not applying for permits before constructing additions to their houses. Such construction runs the risk of being in violation of building codes. If the building inspectors find out about the illegal construction, not only can they block the sale of the house, but they can also tear down the new construction and impose a heavy fine on the owner.