How To Look At A House

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Can a local building department choose to not enforce selected parts of the Florida Building Code?

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

No. The Florida Building Code is a statewide code and all parts of the code must be enforced by each local building department. However, the local AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) can create an additional requirement, known as a local amendment. “But that local amendment must be presented to the Florida Building Commission with substantive documentation as to why it is necessary," according to Jerry Peck, a Florida building code expert. “And, if the Commission does not approve it, then it is not allowed to be enforced by the local AHJ,” .

    If approved by the Commission, the local amendment is only effective for that code cycle; and, should the local AHJ want to keep their local amendment for the next code cycle, then it has to be adopted by the Commission for the entire state ... or it goes away. 

    The Florida Building Code came into existence because of the natural disasters during the 1990s, and especially Hurricane Andrew in South Florida, which led to a comprehensive review of the four different state-approved building codes used at the time. The study found that enforcement was inconsistent, and even the strongest code standards were inadequate against the hurricanes of that decade. So the 1998 Florida Legislature passed a statewide building code law, enacted on March 1st, 2002, that created the FBC and superseded all previous local building codes. The code has been updated every three years since then, to keep up with current building technology and improve the hurricane resistance of structures.

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  To learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:

• How can I make sure I don't get screwed on my home inspection? 

• Should I trust the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement?

• Can I do my own home inspection?

• How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole? 

• What makes a house fail the home inspection?

• The seller gave me a report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get my own inspector? 

    To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1940s house?

• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1950s house?

• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1960s house?

• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1970s house?

• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1980s house?

• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1990s house?

• What problems should I look for when buying a country house or rural property? 

• What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been moved?

• What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been vacant or abandoned?

• What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?

   Visit our HOME INSPECTION page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.


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