A Building Code is a set of laws enacted by state, county and city governments to determine the required design and construction standards for home construction. For example, building codes determine how electrical, plumbing and framing must be built.
Most municipalities base their building code on standards established by the International Code Council (ICC). However, each municipality may institute their own requirements in addition to standard building codes.
Building codes are enforced by the building permit process. When you apply for permits to build or remodel a home, the plans are reviewed for their compliance with building codes and the building is visited during various phases of construction to ensure that codes are being followed. Upon completion of the home, the building permits will be closed and often a certificate of occupancy will be issued.