Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Building beyond codes

Quite often I meet with builders to explain Cable-Tite's superior hurricane and high-wind tie-down systems, and they will respond that it's more than code requires. Some say it directly, and some hint....but the response is this, "I'm only going to do what the code says".

I call that "minimum building". Meet the code, and get an occupancy permit. The code itself is minimum. The code says this is what you have to do "at a minimum" to get final approval. The minimum applies to foundations, framing, windows, insulation, flooring, roofing, HVAC systems, ovens, garage doors.....every aspect of the home, just the minimum. So, in a majority of homes across America, we live in houses built just good enough to get by.

My challenge to the builders is to build beyond the codes. Do more than just get by. Build the house YOU would live in, or one you'd build for your grand kids. There are many building techniques that add just a little to the overall cost, whether building a $100,000 house, or a $1,000,000 one. The home you are selling is for that family's protection against the elements....heat, cold, rain, snow, fire, or wind. Build tighter, build greener, build stronger. It's not just a good idea, it's a moral responsibility.

And home buyers, I challenge you to grill the builder. Ask questions about all aspects of the house. The builder will impress you with the kitchen cabinets, but look beyond that. If you aren't sure what questions to ask, get a trusted friend who understands construction to ask them for you. This house is for your family, so make certain you are comfortable living there when the elements are raging.

Some builders are an inspiration because they understand building is not just about making a profit. They build with respect to the family who will live there, and their well-being, and then, yes....make a profit.

....insist on building beyond codes!