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Old 06-03-2009, 08:11 PM   #1
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interesting predicament - suggestions pls.


Ok, here's the rub --

I drew up the plans for my workshop. I included a storage loft for summer patio furniture and a large door for moving project out and materials in.

I took it to the village office and got the shock of my life. In Ontario, we have by-laws and building codes and inspectors, the whole nine yards. Here, in Quebec, you're responsible for the whole mess. Build what you want and how you want and don't worry about inspectors. But, if there is a problem in the future and it is traced back to your work, you're at fault and fully liable. You're not only responsible for construction but engineering as well. If an insurance company can find fault and you can't prove your work, the insurance company won't pay. So, you have a choice, have a contractor build your workshop for you and hope he doesn't disappear or, build it yourself and potentially suffer the consequences.

Given this situlation what would you do? Our objective is to build the garage ourselves and gain the exercise and knowledge. We must also improve the value of the property by adding a workshop. We also need the space to built the kitchen and bathroom cupboard and closets. We are not engineers or contractors with years of experience under our belts so we have to rely on other's knowledge and experience, neither of which we can afford.

Allthunbs

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Old 06-03-2009, 08:28 PM   #2
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interesting predicament - suggestions pls.


I'd file the permit under a nom de plume and hope the authorities don't speak French.
Ron

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Old 06-03-2009, 08:36 PM   #3
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interesting predicament - suggestions pls.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
I'd file the permit under a nom de plume and hope the authorities don't speak French.
Ron
This village is so small, everyone knew who we were before we moved in. So, <<nom de plume>> won't work. As for their speaking French, finding someone who speaks English here is a miracle, although many try. I submitted my plans in English and Imperial measure. Here, everyone uses metric and French. The village manager didn't even look at the plans. He just wanted to know the value of the renovations.

Allthunbs
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:54 PM   #4
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interesting predicament - suggestions pls.


I didn't think the not speaking French thing was going to work, being you're in Quebec, but...
Get detailed plans and follow them. If this is above your skill set, hire someone.
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:16 PM   #5
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interesting predicament - suggestions pls.


Thanks, Ron, I laughed out loud at your first reply. To Allthumbs, no Allthunbs, What have you built before? Are you Insurance rates going up if you do this? Should they? Be safe, G
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:19 PM   #6
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interesting predicament - suggestions pls.


How big is the garage? Attached, detached ?
Are you building the entire thing - footing ?
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:02 AM   #7
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interesting predicament - suggestions pls.


This is a deck I built about 10 years ago from scavanged materials. Total cost <$500 made with discarded yellow pine from a nearby hardware store unloading old displays and that includes the delivery charge. There were four boards left. Substructure is made of pressure treated seconds. That's a chime tower in the middle. I ran out of railing materials so I stuck this in to fill in the gap to pass code.

The garage is detached about 20 x 20 and yes, I'll be doing the footings myself (well, with my wife too.) If I can find clear plans, I can build better than most contractors. At least I care about what I do and stand behind everything I make. So far, I've built the deck, refurbished a planted garden shed (supporting blocks, siding, roofing, attached wood shed), and redid a working kitchen (dry island with electrics).

The garage will be a major project but less than the interior of the house. There, I've partitions to move, trusses to reinforce, basement to refinish, kitchen and bathrooms to install -- all on a shoestring budget.

Your opinions and candid comments are appreciated.

Allthunbs
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:13 PM   #8
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interesting predicament - suggestions pls.


What you heard about the insurance is probably true anywhere. If a building anywhere failed in some way due to the fault of the builder it is likely that the insurance co would go after the builder to cover the loss. If the owner is the builder then he is obviously out the money.

But that really shouldn't concern you because you are going to build it right - right? Most residential insurance claims are weather or fire related - not from a structural failure. So get some good plans, build it right and make sure the electrical work is done correctly (probably your biggest risk is electrical caused fire).

And if you are still worried about whether the place will fall down or burn up then you shouldn't do it regardless of the insurance situation.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:09 PM   #9
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interesting predicament - suggestions pls.


There are books and books of garage plans at any bookstore, maybe even the library. You pick out the one you like and contact the publisher and you can buy sets of plans. They're accepted by the local builing dept so you don't need to hire an architect.
You might even find them online.
Ron
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:12 AM   #10
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interesting predicament - suggestions pls.


I wish the system was that simple here.I would go ahead and build it and over build.For instance the plans I had made up for my kitchen said to take out this one wall and attach the overhead beam to the side walls.I did that but also built 12inch short support walls under it by incaseing 4x4 posts just to be on the safe side.Wife say the dang place will never fall down even in a tornado she could be right for a change.So build it right and if your worried then over build
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:18 AM   #11
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interesting predicament - suggestions pls.


Thank you Gentlemen (and ladies?)

I'm going to purchase plans that are acceptable in Ontario and build to that standard but with a 300lb snow load. I had hoped to use my own plans but that's not going to happen.

The electrics will cause a problem down the road. The generator will be in the workshop and will have to be tied into the panel in the house. We were in the centre of the ice storm of '98 so I won't live without a functionning generator tied into critical parts of the house, i.e. water heater, stove, coffee maker (takes less energy than a small stove and prepared coffee in a fraction of the time.) If you want a treatise on living without sub-systems, send me a note. I'll give you the whole nine yards.

I'm not so much worried about it falling down, I'm concerned that there might be a bit of the code that I might miss and thus give an insurance company the opening to sue. But, considering that everyone else in this village is in the same boat, I'll not belabour the point. I have to be satisfied that the plans will be right (large supplier to the North American market - so, their plans should be adequate.)

Thanks all for your input and perspective. Well, damned the torpoedoes, full speed ahead.

Allthunbs

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