Building regs: help or hindrance?

Part 1: Living by the building code

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"When I built my addition, the building inspector made me tear out the bedroom window and put in a bigger one! Personally, I don’t think it’s any of his (deleted) business how big my bedroom window is!"

I hear these kinds of gripes from disgruntled do-it-yourselfers all the time. Not to rub salt in the wound, but in most such cases, a passing acquaintance with the building code — and even more important, an understanding of its intent — would have saved these folks an awful lot of frustration.