Is the Black & Decker "Codes for Homeowners" worth buying as a home improvement reference work?
closed as off-topic by BMitch♦ Sep 7 '15 at 13:21
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Yes, but in at least one instance, the text and the graphic are completely wrong, so be cautious. On pp. 40-41, the book indicates that you must have a smoke alarm "within 3 horizontal feet of the door of a bathroom containing a tub or shower." The actual code (in California, at least) requires that no smoke detector be any closer than 3 feet--to prevent false alarms from steam. (CA Residential Code chapter 3, section R314). A pretty serious misinterpretation.
It is a useful resource but in a very general way. It is not written for any one state or region so what you read in the book may not be exactly what your local ordinance see's as up to code. Also, each particular construction field is only briefly discussed. Maybe 2-3 pages that have maybe 5 topics on, for example decks. For a home owner wanting to get a basic sense of what a passing code is (but not necessarily in your municipality) this is a good primer.