Rehabbing a home is a great investment and can potentially lead to a lucrative career. While it is important to ensure the home looks appealing it’s more important to ensure all code violations are taken care of, the previous tenants may have been unaware of some violations or they simply decided not to fix them before the sale of the property. It is now your responsibility as the rehabber and current owner to ensure the home is up to code for the safety of the next owners.

Here are some common (and hazardous) code violations which should be fairly easy fixes.

  • Air Conditioning Units: These must sit on a level concrete slab at least three inches from the ground. They are not to rest on loose blocks.
  • Stairs: Step height and uneven steps can lead to injury quickly. Handrails are also an issue and must be installed on sets of stairs with more than 4 steps and the handrails should be 34-38” above the stair treads.
  • Gutters: Leaking, clogged, or overflowing gutters can lead to foundation and roof damage. Make sure rain water can drain properly, at least 10 feet from the foundation walls.
  • Electrical: The older the home, the more likely the wiring is faulty or the outlets are out of date. There are restrictions as to what type of wiring can be in certain rooms in the newest set of codes.
  • Decks: Decks can be a major selling point but they are also prone to decay and improper installation. Insure the entire deck has been installed correctly and there are no cracks, bends, warping, or other structural hazards in the wood.
  • Chimneys: The biggest issue with chimneys is the lack of a top. The tops (or crowns) of chimneys keep water from getting into the chimney, causing damage.
  • Toilet: You’d think toilets wouldn’t be an issue, but the biggest problems people can come across with toilets is spacing. There needs to be 21 or more inches of clearance in front of the toilet and 15 inches from the center to the nearest wall. This insures safe and comfortable toilet use.
  • Drainage and dirt: Dirt around the foundation of a property can cause water damage to foundation walls, leading to cracks, leaks, and more. This is why the soil around the home needs to slope 6 inches over a 10 foot radius of all foundation walls. This keeps water from building up and putting unnecessary pressure on the walls.

If these problems are taken care of, it is unlikely you will find other major problems which could prevent you from selling a rehabbed home. Speak to local officials before attempting to sell and disclose any work which was done to potential buyers before the date of sale.