Babylonian King Hammurabi published the first recorded document that can be considered a building code book almost 4,000 years ago. Faulty building practices were no more appreciated then than they are now.
Fortunately, it’s highly unlikely any of today’s building code books call for penalties as harsh as did that first one. Back then, if someone constructed a building for someone else and that building collapsed and killed the homeowner, the builder would also be killed in retribution. If a son or a slave was killed, the builder made retribution in kind.
Today’s building code book may call for some strict penalties and fines but nothing quite that dramatic. Still, building codes are very important business.
Every municipality in the United States has its own uniform standards for building construction and they are published in a document often referred to as a building code book. Some countries have building codes that apply nationwide.
Anyone involved in the construction, sale, or occupancy of a building of any sort has reason to be familiar with the local building code book. Public safety is the main focus of building codes and building standards are taken quite seriously.
In fact, building permits must be approved according to the regulations documented in a local building code book before any construction or renovation can legally begin. To fail to procure a permit invites consequences that can be very expensive.
Codes and standards change as building techniques and materials evolve. As a result, it is always wise to consult the latest revision to the local building code book before finalizing plans for any building project.
It’s unlikely you’ll find a building inspector with the same sense of justice as had the good King Hammurabi but it’s never a bad idea to be familiar with your local building code book anyway. It’s always a good idea to build it safe.