Over the years, I’ve seen numerous appraiser comments in various places stating that
I don’t need to know anything about building, electrical or plumbing codes.
Well, I hate to be the Grinch who stole Christmas, but I disagree with that perspective.
Appraisers should have a basic understanding of residential electrical, plumbing and building codes. Or at least have a way to research them, such as the link above. Maybe even have a friendly relationship with the local building inspector who can answer questions.
I constantly see questions posted by appraisers unsure about the need for deck railings or stair handrails.
Here’s a “case study” to ponder:
Small home sold, marketed as being a ‘three bedroom.’ You get the appraisal assignment. During the interior inspection you notice a room with a single bed and a dresser in it, with an appropriate size window which could be used for emergency egress. Room appears smaller than ‘normal’ so you whip out your laser measurer and find that the room interior is 7.0’ x 9.0’, or 63 sq ft.
Is this a ‘legal’ bedroom? The answer is below (per WA State, but might be the same in others).
1208.3 Room Area
Every dwelling unit shall have at least one room that shall have not less than 120 square feet (13.9 m2) of net floor area. Other habitable rooms shall have a net floor area of not less than 70 square feet (6.5 m2).