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Purpose of building codes

Construction codes exist in Georgia to ensure that buildings are safe for occupancy and are structurally sound for continued use. The goal is to protect the health, property and life of Georgia residents through the prevention of unsafe construction methods. Cities are able to enforce the stricter building requirements through the use of building permits and construction inspections.

Building codes look at very specific areas in order to protect people. Structures are expected to have appropriate electrical systems that are not overloaded or prone to catching on fire. Additionally, they must be properly ventilated and weather-tight. Cities benefit from the use of building codes by preventing the construction of slums, keeping insurance rates lower for residents and meeting the requirements for grants.

Construction codes also provide key benefits for contractors. When everything is built up to code, they are more likely to offer residents a safe premises. They are also less likely to face complaints about faulty systems or hazardous situations if they have followed the federal, state and local building codes. When the codes are followed, buyers can rest assured that a building will meet its intended purpose.

In cases where the building code is disregarded, the property owner may face a higher risk of premises liability. If a person was harmed due to the negligence of an owner who failed to keep a building up to code, they may be responsible for damages sustained in a civil suit. An attorney may able to gather information concerning the relevant state laws and necessary documentation to prove potential fault.

Source: Georgia Municipal Association, "Building Codes and Code Enforcement ", October 22, 2014

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