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Certificate of Occupancy

VJGriff's picture

We've all seen the TV shows where they tear down the old house on Saturday and pour the new foundation and basement floor on Monday.
By Saturday everything is roofed, dry walled, plumbed, painted, carpeted, and furnished. The family, which often includes medically challenged individuals and those with compromised immune systems, presumably moves in Sunday morning to finish the show.

With all the concerns for formaldehyde, paint, sealants, insulation, and adhesives VOC's would Building Inspectors give a certificate of occupancy for a building built in 5 or 6 days? Wouldn't the foundation out gassing alone be cause for concern? Not to mention all the products that get put into the very short build process in a very tight house.

I believe these houses need some time for the out gassing to occur and be released before someone should be spending 24 hours a day inside. I don't know what that time should be but suspect that its a matter of weeks rather than a matter of minutes.

Am I wrong and just paranoid about indoor air quality of new construction or would Building Inspectors really care about this and delay a certificate of occupancy until satisfied?

(post #178958, reply #1 of 6)

First of all, there is nothing in the code books to reference that stuff so the inspector, if he cared, would have absolutely no jurisdiction on it unless he could find a way to proove the place inhabitable  or unsafe. 

Re. foundation off gassing, foundations off gas a little water.  Lumber, water.  Drywall, water, cabinets are prefinished in most instances, paint, mostly water, etc. 

The VOC's are in carpet, and some of the glues but have been reduced significantly over the years. 

Think about it, the last thing to go in is carpet so people have been exposed to the max voc's for a long time.

(post #178958, reply #2 of 6)

here its, if you have a way to take a bath, $%^&, cook a meal and sleep, that all required. and a door on the bathroom. But it does not have to be finish, doesnt even have to have a stove, microwave will pass

(post #178958, reply #3 of 6)

Hey Brownbagg

I should have said, here in PA, but many states have adopted the IRC which has those standards.

I guess LA has not adopted IRC yet.  I was just talking to a BI yesterday about the requirements every town had prior to the state intervening and requiring people to build to a certain code. 

Some towns were incredibly tough and antiquated based on the inspectors opinion and some towns mailed you a permit and mailed you a CO and you never saw even their taillights.

Over in Jersey I had inspectors that would read sentences in the code and come up with very creative and challenging interpretions. 

I wrangled with them a lot!!! 


Jeff in PA

(post #178958, reply #4 of 6)

That is it.
Perhaps though a requirement that electrical cannot be exposed.(Meaning switches, lights etc have to be in place and trim covers on all boxes or boxes sealed with approved cover plates.)

As far as I know there is no C.O. given for residential work here. A final inspection yes, but that is based on total completion.
C.O.'s are strictly commercial things here.

Life is Good

Life is Good

(post #178958, reply #5 of 6)

the co cant be inspected till all the electrical, plumbing, hvac, framing pass. The C.O is a totally different inspection here.

(post #178958, reply #6 of 6)

In SW Fla CO is just an administrative thing, It says all of the required inspections are finaled, termite certificate and all the fees are paid. In Collier County you also need landscaping.