If an inspector fails an item during inspection, he might continue looking for other issues. He also might remember your company the next time it submits plans in his jurisdiction.

When a field employee forgets building code rules, everyone in the company is affected. To minimize this, Mike Stauffer, a project coordinator at Excel Interior Concepts & Construction, Lemoyne, Pa., instituted “Code Talk,” a monthly meeting for field staff at which they read and discuss portions of the code book — the IRC 2003.

“Knowing the code is another thing that sets us apart and makes our guys able to handle whatever comes up in the field,” Stauffer says. “And having a better understanding of that portion of the code helps [field staff] oversee some of the subs we use.” This knowledge has also moved the company to improve some building practices. The code book states that “a deck shall be positively anchored to the primary structure and designed for both vertical and lateral loads as applicable,” Stauffer says. “We discussed this requirement and consulted with our staff engineer-in-training. Now we use 1¾-inch–thick LVL instead of 1-inch–thick rim board. By doing so, you need 20% fewer fasteners, and it's a better way to build.”