( I WROTE THE FOLLOWING IN 2012, NOW IN 2014, LITTLE HAS CHANGED!! )
BUYER BEWARE! Old saying, but never so true!!
Did you know that most homes built in Bismarck in 2011 and many being built today do not pass the building codes adopted by the State of North Dakota or the City of Bismarck and would not pass code in the nine states and provinces surrounding us?
On January 1, 2011, the State of North Dakota adopted, as the State's building code, the 2009 International Residential Building Code, including requirements found in Chapter 11 with some exclusions.
The City of Bismarck also adopted these code requirements, but It is important for home buyers to understand that even though a City has inspected a home, it does not guarantee that the home is code compliant and the City is not liable for any code deficiencies, with such legal liability having been tested in the courts. It is the builder's responsibility to build homes compliant to all codes adopted by a municipality and the builder is liable for any deficiencies.
Building non-code compliant homes may make it easier for builders that do not understand the science behind or the importance of the new codes, but it is very unfortunate for the trusting home buyers.
The requirements mandated in the new code may reduce energy costs, increase comfort, prevent mold and structural deterioration of your home; unfortunately, even though the new codes are a step in the right direction, the new codes stop short of providing a complete science based building system.
If done properly, the new building code does create a tighter home in regards to air infiltration and the movement of water vapor into the building's insulated cavities, which are both good things; however, it does not address the indoor air quality issues an air tight home creates.
Before you build a home, educate yourself on the new codes and the science behind them. A home may be largest investment you ever have in your life; you need to protect it and your family's health!
(Update; The State Electrical Board has mandated the requirement that electricians use special air sealing boxes on exterior walls and ceilings. This is a major step forward, but there are many more practices that have to be implemented in order to pass current codes.)