PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Follow the rules or risk paying the price. That’s especially true when planning a home improvement project.

You want to be certain all the work being done on your home is up to code. If you don’t, it could cost you.

READ MORE: 18 Inmates Of Washington County Jail Quarantined Following Positive COVID-19 Tests

It didn’t take long for homeowner Maureen Dunlap to figure out something was wrong after having a new furnace installed.

“It was held together with some duct tape, or furnace tape, and a flimsy board,” Dunlap said. “And when the furnace came on, the walls would suck in. And I knew that wasn’t right.”

Dunlap called a different contractor for a second opinion who found a number of code violations.

“As far as the wires passing through the cabinet, what can happen there is the wire can rub into the metal and short out. That can cause a potential fire,” said HVAC Contractor Alan Winters.

READ MORE: Pittsburgh Bureau Of Fire On Scene Of Duplex Fire In Lawrenceville

Any new renovation work must meet current code at the time it is performed.

Code violations often involve electrical, plumbing or structural issues that pose some sort of safety hazard. Ignoring a code violation could be an expensive mistake.

“If you ignore code violations in your home you might find that you face financial fines as well as legal ramifications,” says Angie Hicks, of Angie’s List.

Many contractors offer code violations inspections and correction work. You can also contact your local code enforcement agency if you are unsure whether you have an issue.

Many homeowners’ insurance policies won’t cover damage or loss to an area that is found to be not up to code.

MORE NEWS: 'We Got Banged Bad:' Freedom Hit Hard During Saturday Morning's Storms

More Angie’s List Reports
More Reports by Susan Koeppen