Experts: Know codes before home renovation to avoid extra costs

INDIANAPOLIS - There can be a catch to home-improvement projects --homeowners need to be aware of code violations or else the project could cost much more.

Indianapolis homeowner Maureen Dunlap knew right away her furnace wasn’t installed correctly.

"It was held together with some duct tape, or furnace tape and a flimsy board," Dunlap said.

She decided to call another company for a second opinion, and what they found pointed to some big risks.

"As far as the wires passing through the cabinet, what can happen there is the wire can rub into the metal and short out. That can cause a potential fire," said Alan Winters with Control Tech Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.

Homeowners need to be aware that code violations include electrical, plumbing or structural issues that pose a safety hazard.

Any renovation work must meet the current code.

"If you ignore code violations in your home you might find that you face financial fines as well as legal ramifications," Angie Hicks of Angie’s List said.

Many contractors offer code violation inspections and correction work.

If the code changes after a homeowner gets the work done, it is in the homeowner’s best interest from a safety standpoint to pay for the improvement.

Experts with Control Tech Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. said the most common code violation is breakers that are too large for the appliance they’re powering.

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