What does minimum code standards mean in roofing?

Can anyone talk to me about what minimum code standards are. I had lots of damage done by roofers and the Inspector said the roof just needs to pass minimum code and they do not deal with damage that is done by the roofers.
I tried to get a copy of the Minimum code standards from inspector but he has not provided it for me. I live in Minnesota.

Code is the lowest, most unsafe, level of workmanship and performance standard permitted in law.

It should be a level to build from, not a goal to work towards.


Implying minimum code to be unsafe is a bit of a stretch. Minimum Code details a base set of standards which “should” be met, when possible within the jurisdiction in which it applies. As building codes change, it is often impractical and/or cost prohibitive, to impose those standards when working on older structures. In those cases, it often falls on the contractor’s discretion to table the best solution which understandably risks conflicting with the current code requirements. Though the contractor may claim their fix to be one which exceeds code requirements, it may not always be the case in the eyes of an inspector who is governed by far more rigid standards.


You need to bypass the codes and use manufacturers specifications, which will always be more stringent. Even if you have to pay for a rep to inspect the job, it holds more weight in court. Got involved in a job where the contractor shingled a 2/12. His “expert witness” was another contractor. Had the owner contact the company to certify that the whole job was a “warrantable application”. You know where this went. If the manufacturer will not warrant the install, the warranty is void. Therefore the contractor is liable for the warranty period, and/or damaging material. The siding can be cut back, and a frieze board installed to clean up the mess. It appears the flashing was stuffed under and over the siding starter course. “Nobody told me!” is NOT a valid excuse for doing crappy work. Majority of “roofing contractors” are merely salesmen that go for top dollar, then sub the work to the cheapest crew they can find. My contracts always state manufacturers specs. Rant off…

1 Like

Thank you for illustrating my point so ironically.

“standards which “should” be met, when possible.”… as long as its practical and not cost prohibitive…Contractor’s discretion… , claims to exceed code… but not always the case in the eyes of an inspector

“Code … the lowest … unsafe … workmanship … performance … permitted … to build from … a goal to work towards.”

Funny, CNN also uses crafted excerpts to uphold their narrative just like you did with my statement.


This will get you the current code information for your location but I agree with Dark thirty about using the manufacturers installation instructions. They will supercede minimum code standard with install requirements.
Each manufacturer will be slightly different, and each shingle product of the same manufacturer could be different in ways, so make sure your reading the installation instructions for the specific shingle you have installed on your roof.