While many Americans believe that homes in previous eras were better built than those constructed today, it is a misconception. There may be wonderful features in that early Victorian home, and it may have been well constructed, but the simple truth is that America’s homes today are the best built in history. Talk to your local fireman and he will tell you that the quality of newly built homes has almost put them out of business. Fires do not start and do not spread as quickly in a new home as they once did.
Ask any knowledgeable person who lives in a hurricane prone area about wind damage to older homes compared to those recently built, and they will tell you that today’s modern homes stood up the ferociousness of the storm far better than homes of yesterday.
The International Building Code
Throughout America, building codes drive production standards. Most states now use the International Building Codes with some adjustments depending on the state. The International Building Code is a model code developed by the International Building Council.
The International Building Council was formed by three regional American building code agencies in the 1990s to deliver a uniform set of codes that every state can use and adopt.
IBC codes largely deal with fire prevention. This, however, affects much of the choice in design, materials, and structural integrity of residences. The IBC also references other code that a consistently adopted along with IBC codes. These include mecanical, plumbing, and electric codes.
Some code considerations
IBC codes complete a book of 700+ pages and code considerations include:
- building occupancy classifications
- building height and areas
- interior finishes
- wall, foundation and roof construction
- fire protection systems
- construction materials
- escalators and elevators
- means of egress and access
As you can easily see, these codes affect production standards in new home construction. You always want to find a builder with a reputation of meeting or exceeding local building codes and one who is knowledgeable about when and where exceeding those codes is a good idea. Another good idea is consulting with an experienced home builder (Americas Home Place, for example has 4 decades of experience) about codes and production standards.
Building codes and production standards in America are not simply drawn out of a magician’s hat. Those codes are based on sound engineering and materials standards developed by appropriate agencies. Such agencies include ASTM International, American National Standards Institute, and the National Fire Protection Association.
Third party protection
The good news for new home buyers in America is that codes take on the power of law in each state. Those codes may vary somewhat from state to state and builders who build in various states are likely to build consistently to the highest standard required.
Such builders are subject to third party verification. An inspector will ensure that a home is built to code and to the highest production standards, allowing the home buyer some peace of mind.
Americas Home Place is your source for information about custom floor plans.