What are some of the most common code violations?

Violations of building codes on inspection cost time and money to redo. Fortunately, due in part to stricter training requirements for you to retain your license, violations have decreased over the past decade or two.

Nevertheless, according to the Journal of Light Construction, code violations still occur in approximately 45% of all residential field inspections. Here are some of the most common violations that occur.


Multiple code violations can arise with stairs. The handrails may be the wrong height in relation to the tread, the treads themselves may be too narrow or the rise may be too high. Problems like these may arise if you try to squeeze the staircase into a space that is too small for it.

Beams and joists

The maximum allowable gap between a girder and a joist is one-eighth of an inch. However, if the truss holding a joist in place is slightly crooked, you may wind up with a larger gap at the end of a joist. In remodeling jobs, especially those that involve cutting through a load-bearing wall, inspectors often see beams that lack proper bearing or are not properly sized for the load.

Braced walls

Errors involving braced walls include overdriven nails in bracing panels or missing blocking. If you are not familiar with braced-wall requirements, they can be confusing at first.

Anchor bolts

The most common error involving foundations and footings, even more than improper rebar placement, is improper placement of anchor bolts. There should be one on either side of each of the mudsill joints. However, instead of asking the framer where the joints will be, many concrete workers simply place them at an arbitrary distance.

Perhaps ironically, however, the most common reason for failing inspection is missing documentation from the site. Fortunately, it is easy and inexpensive to resolve this issue.

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