Saturday, October 12, 2019

Building Codes and Regulations - A Headache We All Share

Did you know the cost of all those local, state and Federal housing codes and regulations and their enforcement account for almost a third of the cost of a new home?

This is what $84,000 looks like!

That average cost translates to more than $84,000.

And all those housing agencies wonder why we have declining affordable housing numbers! Anyone with a brain can see why when all that cost is passed directly on to the new home buyer. You almost want to shout at all those over-regulated state and Federal agencies and tell them to “look at what you’ve done!”

I live in a small city with hundreds of homes built before the Civil War. The city recently did a survey I found interesting. As these homes aged, the owners put in new insulated windows, sealed air infiltration spots, added insulation to the walls and attics and improved both the plumbing and electrical systems.

The rate of house fire for these homes is about average for all house fires in the city. Now they be forced by the city to add sprinklers which I’ve heard will force many families that have lived in their homes for decades to sell because they can’t afford to upgrade to the proposed new regulations.

Left to their own devices, homeowners will do most of the improvements needed to safeguard their homes and increase energy efficiency. Solar roof panels are popping up everywhere without a government agency having to ram it down the homeowner’s throat.

Rental houses are the exception as most landlords don’t want to spend any more than absolutely necessary on their rental properties and should be made to meet tough building codes and regulations.

One has to question if all these new regulations and codes that come at new construction on an almost daily basis are really necessary.

Simple question but a very difficult one to answer. And we all know that once a superfluous new code is adopted, it is almost impossible to remove and will cost lots of money for someone plus it guarantees continued work for all those local and state housing code agencies.

Are you getting sick and tired of this trend? Let me know what you think can be done about it.


Gary Fleisher is a housing veteran, editor/writer of Modular Home Builder blog and industry speaker/consultant. modcoach@gmail.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We need tough building codes and regulations wspecially what happened in New Orleans with the hotel collapse.

What we don't need are "feel good" codes added simply becuase a small group of tree hugging, anti business left wingers working in CA think they are making homes safer and more energy efficient to the point where nobody will be able to afford to build.

The answer to affordable housing is simple. STOP WRITING NEW BUILDING CODES EVERY FRIGGING DAY!