Categories: Home Improvement

Up to Code? Home Building Code Requirements You Should Check Before A Renovation

September 18, 2020

You may have spent months meticulously planning a new home renovation. However, just because you have the design work done and contractors lined up to perform the work does not mean you’ll actually be able to renovate your home like you want. You still need approval from the government for the work you’re planning. If your plans don’t conform to building code regulations in your jurisdiction, you may be prevented from doing the work or punished if you go through with it. Below are just a few building code requirements you should check before a renovation.

Asbestos and Lead Removal

Older buildings may have some very dangerous materials hiding within them. Two of the worst are asbestos and lead. Asbestos is often found in old insulation, and lead is often found in old paint and pipes. Both can be deadly or lead to catastrophic illnesses in human beings. As such, both substances are highly regulated by the government. This also includes their removal from older homes as well as their disposal. Professional testing and removal services may be required to conform to the law.


Like other buildings, homes are usually required to provide proper railings to prevent slips and falls. This may include properly secured safety railing around elevated areas. It will probably also include handrails for stairs anywhere inside the house.

Fire Prevention Requirements

Another common danger in homes is the possibility of fire. As such, the government often enacts building codes designed to help make the occurrence of house fires less likely. For example, a renovation may be required to include quickly accessible fire exits. Transforming a basement into a bedroom, for example, may not be allowed if quick escape from fire isn’t possible. Overall, it’s a good idea to follow such codes because they help to protect the lives of your family. Consider working with fire protection engineers to make sure your renovation is safe and following fire prevention codes.

Energy Efficiency Rules

Certain states and counties also have rules regarding the purported energy efficiency of a home. For example, there may be rules that dictate the amount of insulation you are required to install to ensure your home doesn’t lose heat during the cooler months of the year. There may even be rules for how windows can be installed in your home since they too contribute to energy efficiency.

Performing a home renovation may be more complicated than you first assumed. There are many different building codes you must conform to for your renovation to be classified as legal. Do the proper research. It can help save time and money. Conforming to these standards can also make your home safer and more energy efficient. That’s not a bad thing.

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