The Common Code Violations Survey, published by NAHB and ICC in 2013, asked building officials nationwide to rank violations in 16 different categories. The responses were too many to include here, so we have listed the top three in each category. They’re in descending order, with the most common violation at the top. Use this as a checklist when preparing for an inspection or, better yet, download the report (PDF) to see the full list for each category.

Grading and Site Drainage

  • Erosion control measures not in place
  • Grading
  • Downspouts/ drainage controls


  • Improper reinforcement or support of rebar
  • Standing water/mud in footing or on rebar
  • Improper anchor bolts

Wall Framing

  • Missing fire-blocking
  • Stud cut or notched to an impermissible depth
  • Missing hold-downs, straps, etc.

Floor Framing

  • Notches in areas not permitted
  • Missing anchor bolts
  • Sheathing nails missing joist


  • Bracing not installed
  • Improperly connected to wall plate
  • Impermissible alteration leading to additional load


  • Missing nails or fasteners
  • Over-driving of nails through shingles
  • Absence of felt, or incorrect type

Windows and Doors

  • Improper flashing
  • Inadequate fire rating
  • Improper door weather-stripping


  • Improper height or spacing
  • Improper graspable surface
  • Missing handrails


  • Guardrail opening too large
  • Height criteria not met
  • Not properly fastened or installed


  • Stair rise and run violations
  • Stair headroom
  • Improper stair construction


  • Improper notching or boring of framing
  • Missing or improper nail plates
  • Pipes improperly supported


  • Inadequate combustion air or makeup air
  • Improper notching or boring of framing
  • Inadequate clearance to combustibles


  • Grounding issue
  • Labeling of circuits
  • GFCI Protection


  • Improper sealing of penetrations through exterior walls
  • Improper duct sealing
  • Improper installation of insulation around wiring and plumbing passing through stud cavity


  • Improper or inadequate ledger connection to house
  • Improper guardrail or handrail installation
  • Deck does not conform to approved plans

Life Safety

  • Failure to install correct glazing in required hazardous locations
  • Inadequate egress
  • Improper installation of smoke detectors

For more on common code violations, see "Top Ten Code Violations."