Over the last few years, the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations has been actively pursuing unlicensed housing contractors throughout the state. The biggest reason that they are targeting illegal contractors is that these professionals often misrepresent themselves to homeowners, do not provide clear contracts and fail to perform the work they promised. Another main reason that they pursue these contractors is that they often fail to follow building codes, which leaves homeowners vulnerable to massive fines and potential disasters.
Why Are Shrewsbury Building Codes So Important?
As a homeowner, you will need to be aware of the importance of finding a contractor that abides by city and state building codes. Here are several reasons that following these codes is so crucial.
Facing Steep Fines
Patricia Sheehan, the Shrewsbury building inspector, is adamant about requiring property owners to follow the state building codes, so you should abide by them very closely. According to State Building Code Section 114.4 and R113.4 and MGL, CH143 Sect. 94, homeowners that don’t meet building code permits face fines up to $1,000 a day.
Insurance Coverage Risks
Failing to follow building code requirements can also create insurance coverage complications. Massachusetts insurance agents told the Boston Globe that while they still generally cover damage to properties without the necessary permits, they may often do not cover damages arising from structural defects that wouldn’t have existed if building code requirements were met.
Expensive Future Repairs
State and municipal building codes weren’t created to create unnecessary complications for homeowners. They were written to ensure the safety of occupants and adjacent buildings. Following these regulations minimizes the risk of property damage, which allows you to avoid costly repairs in the future.
As a property owner, you may be held legally responsible for any injuries to your guests. If you don’t follow building codes and an occupant is injured due to a building defect, then you may face serious civil or criminal charges.
Only Work With a Licensed Contractor
Shrewsbury residents need to carefully follow state and local building codes before constructing or remodeling a property. It can be very easy to make a mistake if you are making changes on your own, so it is always a good idea to work with a licensed contractor. You must verify the credentials of any contractor before working with them, because there are many that do not work with a license. You may still be held liable for building code violations even if you legitimately believed the contractor had the necessary permits, so select your contractor wisely!