If you were to buy a brand-new house today, your builder would assure you that it included all of the latest safety features and met the most up-to-date building codes for safety, energy efficiency and electricity.
In fact, if you were to add a room or do a major remodeling project at your older home, your contractor would be responsible for making sure the new stuff he added met today’s building codes.
But the rest of a home built before 2000 is unlikely to be up to date when it comes to meeting the minimum requirements that building officials consider to be safe, healthy and reasonable.
You’re not required to update your house as codes change unless you’re doing some remodeling work, and then only the new part has to meet the new regulations. Typically the only exception to this are smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. Most cities will require your home's smoke/carbon monoxide detectors to meet current standards when a permit is pulled. Still, upgrading your home to comply with changing building codes isn’t a bad idea. In fact, it can make your family safer, make your home more comfortable to live in, and even save you some money on operating the house.
DIY FAQ: HOW CAN I UPGRADE MY OLDER HOME SO IT COMPLIES WITH TODAY’S BUILDING CODES?
DIY FAQ: IS IT WORTH IT TO UPGRADE MY OLDER HOME SO IT MEETS TODAY’S BUILDING CODES?