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Construction Law Authority / Building Codes  / Resolving Building Code Interpretation Disputes With a Building Inspector

Resolving Building Code Interpretation Disputes With a Building Inspector

Disputes with a building inspector over interpretations of the Building Code are an unfortunately common occurrence in construction. Did you know you don’t need to haggle endlessly with an inspector to get him or her to see your point? The Florida Building Commission, the entity responsible for overseeing the statewide building code, has user-friendly procedures called declaratory statements and binding interpretations. Essentially you submit a code interpretation question to them online at and they will consider it and issue a written response at their next duly noticed Commission meeting.

Don’t have time in which to submit a petition for a declaratory statement or binding interpretation? Their website maintains a data base of previously issued declaratory statements and binding interpretations. Browse through them and see if somebody had previously asked the same question you have.

These procedures offer opportunities to resolve interpretation disputes with inspectors. However, how to delicately address this with the inspector in a way that won’t make them vindictive is something you’ll just have to consider on your own. . . .

Lee Weintraub

At age 46, Lee Weintraub was the youngest recipient ever of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Bar’s Construction Law Committee. Mr. Weintraub is also an adjunct professor of law at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law teaching construction law. Mr. Weintraub has been recognized by Chambers USA – America’s Leading Business Lawyers every year since 2003. Chambers USA noted he focuses on licensing and construction defect litigation, but is particularly renowned for his expertise in the Construction Lien Law. He was also selected in the The Best Lawyers in America© every year from 2006 through 2018.

1 Comment

  • Felix Martin

    Reply October 31, 2010 3:43 pm

    The 1997 SBC provided for the creation of a building department to be headed by an building official. The building official was given authority to render interpretations of the code. A building inspector however, although appointed by the building official, was given no such authority. The entire authorization section was deleted in the subsequent Florida Building Codes, creating an authority vacuum in which a historically granted authority was taken away by its deletion from the current code.

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