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Old 08-27-2006, 10:11 AM   #1
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International building code and permits


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New to this board and so far itís very informative.
We just got into the building code enforcement issue working on a R3 building. The building owner wants a Certificate of Occupancy and we are upgrading the fire alarm system. Most of the work we do is in maintenance and not construction. So most of the work is low level permits if any at all. Also we are in a rural area and people, permits and government don't get along well here or as least resist any change.
With the new building code, a lot of problems arise about regulations and miscommunication.
In requesting the permit for the Cert. of Occupancy we had to blueprint the entire building. Build in the 1800's and many changes over the years, No architect would touch the building and do the blue prints. We attempted for two months to contact anyone who would do the work.
So we bought a floor plan program and did it ourselves. However the zoning required an architects stamp. But we submitted the drawings without a stamp and we got the permit.
But we have heard so many problems with the interruption of the rules and codes.
People have filed drawing and plans for work and they have been approved. After they did the demo and drilled the holes for posts and called in for an inspection, they were informed that the inspector would not look at the work because he reviewed the drawing and failed them after the permit was approved.
In order to avoid these problems we wanted to make sure all the work was as required. However we submitted to a building supply for a materials list to build a massive deck. We were quoted a list that does not meet code. They gave me a floating pillar system and we need posts and concrete.
In all this rambling my questions areÖ
1. What type pf program could we purchase to draw up plans and drawings. We tried a cad program but its not well suited for drawings.
a. We donít want a program that costs $1í000 as we donít do a lot of this type of work.
b. Is there a design service we could use for this purpose?
2. An estimating program for smaller jobs. We use National Estimator 2004 now.
I guess we are confused on how to handle getting estimates, the drawings and the proper codes to make an informed estimate to the customer?

thanks for any help or suggestions.

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Old 08-27-2006, 02:54 PM   #2
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International building code and permits


Find an architect in your area, familiar with the permit process for your area, and pay him to do it. Show him what you have so far, and it could be they might be willing to take it on, but remember, it will not be cheap. If the permit process requires stamped drawings, and they issued the permit without the stanp, and then the inspector denied the work, you are against the brick wall to procede without the architects drawings. Everything else you want to do will have to wait til you have a permit to move forward, and the architect will do the designs on the deck and spec other aspects of the project. These costs should be in the scope of the job, and if you are doing this as a job, working as a contractor, you should be aware of the liabilites if you try to go around the rules.

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Old 08-27-2006, 08:51 PM   #3
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International building code and permits


Joasis is right on track. Talk to the people in the codes office and see if there is an architect firm or two that they would reccomend. If I tackle a new type of project or am in a county that I have not built in before the codes office is one of my first phone calls. They know the good and bad people in the area and generally if you ask, they are willing to help.
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Old 08-28-2006, 05:43 AM   #4
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International building code and permits


Well on the first project for the fire alarm not a single architect would touch that project. We called all the ones the County recomended and several others.
Secondly it seems over kill to me to have to hire an architect to build a 10' X 10' deck or even a 25' X 40' deck.
This area is low income and I can see that needed projects will not be done due to the added costs.
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:35 PM   #5
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International building code and permits


And that's the way it is when it comes to government and construction. We fight a lot of issues out when budget meets regulation, and that is where a contractor or architect will be invaluable for your project. Good luck.
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