We had several inspections last week - one for general framing and construction, one for electrical, one for plumbing and one for insulation. As a result of our framing inspection, we need to replace the glass in two windows (one new, one existing) with tempered glass. Tempered glass is stronger than regular glass. The existing window is too close to the new door and so would be better if it were tempered glass - to keep it from shattering when our kids turn teenagers and slam the door on their way out of the house after an argument about the clothes they're wearing (the code isn't quite that descriptive). The new window needing replacing is a 2'x2' window about four and a half feet above the floor. It also happens to be above a bathtub. This is a bathtub only and not a shower. The code requires that any glazing less than 60" above the bottom of a tub be tempered glass. The idea (and it makes sense) is that it is possible that while one is having the odd shower, one might slip on the soap and careen into the glass, shattering it with one's elbow - necessitating a visit to the emergency room (37 stitches) in the middle of a blizzard - the tub filling up with ice and snow, the sub-zero temps funneling through the now open window causing the pipes to burst because one is in the emergency room rather than fixing the window. Later, you fall off the ladder fixing the same window - requiring another trip to the emergency room and a back brace. Sounds bad.
We didn't originally have a tub in that particular bathroom so there was no issue when we placed the window order. We later added the bathtub (no shower) and forgot to consider the code regarding glazing above tubs. Our fault. The fact that the tub is a tub and the window will be above our heads as we won't be standing while bathing does not matter. Tempered it is. It's our mistake and we'll pay the few hundred dollars it will take to order new sashes with tempered glass.
A view of some plumbing done right with the window in question in the background.
You can see the framing for the tub if you look hard enough.
Less enjoyable are the changes we needed to make to most of the existing plumbing in the house. The previous plumbing in the recently remodeled downstairs bath and the sump pump - did not meet code. (The 1 1/2" vent pipe wasn't a 2" vent pipe, the 3" soil stack wasn't a 4" pipe and the sump pump can't be connected to the waste lines inside the house) So, our plumber had to re-plumb the bath supply, shower pressure balancing valve, venting and connections to the sump pump. The existing water heater (installed just a few years ago) vents into an unlined chimney (apparently, venting hot combustion air from a water heater into a chimney is more of a fire hazard than burning wood in the fireplace) and so we need to either power vent to the exterior or replace it with a sealed combustion unit. We're looking at pricing now, and determining how best to coordinate this with our solar hot water storage tank, but we are considerably less happy spending this money - correcting deficiencies in the existing work. We'd rather spend it elsewhere, like furniture, window treatment or planting a money tree. Oh well.