CODE UPGRADES? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
Most homeowners will never know or even consider what a code upgrade is or that this is a requirement by local municipalities unless they have a severe disaster that requires a significant amount of repair, or if they decide to build an addition to their existing home.
Like most of the disaster restoration process code upgrades are a unplanned requirement to have the home approved for occupancy. This means the city or county signs off on the repairs and approves the residence for occupancy, or allows you and your family/tenants to move back in.
In the case of an insurance related claim code upgrade coverage will be something that you will be notified of by your carrier or repair contractor. In some cases homeowners have the proper coverage and or a good agent that helped them prepare for an unforeseen disaster, unfortunately for most they will find they have too little code upgrade coverage or none at all.
A code requirement is found when the contractor applies for a reconstruction permit. The city or county will open the files and determine what new codes will need to be updated, such as electrical, structural, or plumbing related upgrades. These are written to a desired standard for safety, efficiency and local government mandates.
In the case of a planned remodel or home addition, this can be a second level to the existing structure or maybe a mother-in-law apartment on your existing property. The county or city where the permit is being filed will notify you of any current code requirements. They are not referred to as code upgrades on a planned project as the entire project is already considered an upgrade. They are referred to as such during an insurance restoration because they are not optional.
We at Tersuli Construction Services are well versed in code upgrade requirements, and can help you understand what they mean. We however recommend that before you need to worry about them you should talk with your agent and make sure you have a good policy that includes code upgrades and schedule to review and add as needed every so often.