has no idea what is legal, illegal, good or shoddy. The consumer does not have a chance.
Yes, even in places like “enlightened” California ( and 47 other states), the building codes are copyrighted by one of three non-profit organizations. In California all of its laws are available on the Internet, except the building code. You will find, for example, Titles 21, 22, 23, 25. Yes, Title 24 is missing.
Title 24 is missing because the state of California does not own it. The building code is almost a secret. If you want a copy of the building code then you have to either go visit the pages stored at just a few special libraries, or buy it. Yes, you have to buy California’s own laws … and not from the State of California!
To buy all of California’s building codes — on a CDROM — will cost you about $300. That keeps the homeowner ignorant and keeps the power with the contractor. This scheme is now being incorporated at the federal level and the United States Office of Management and Budget has been quietly ordered to implement it “whenever practical and appropriate” and that means even more of the laws we live by will be controlled — essentially — by money.
But the greatest danger is from salesmen who come into your home and sell you “a product.”
These web pages will give you the inside track on what those salemen do, what their employers do, and how the product manufacturers, the lending institutions, and even some state governments cooperate to your detriment. This is all not some Big Dark Conspiracy, but just as chumming the water will bring sharks, so too does billions of dollars floating in home values lure some really interesting people to your door … especialy when nothing but three hours and a signature separate them from your cash.
Forty years ago the American funeral industry was exposed as rife with similar practices. Changes were made. What we must understand is that the abominable practices of the funeral industry of that era were far less despicable than those perpetrated on innocent homeowners today by segments of the home improvement industry. Just as with the funeral industry, changes must be made in the home improvement industry, and fast.
Richard Dreyfuss starred in a motion picture which exposed a few of these home improvement sales practices. The motion picture was called “Tin Men.” There was nothing exposed in that film that is not going on in the American home improvement