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Old 08-08-2012, 07:34 AM   #31
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A Permit After 19 Years?


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My town is so tight on permits that sometimes I wonder if I should get one to mow the yard.
In the code here, it exempts "ordinary repairs and maintenance". Under their definition of that they state: "Routine or basic repairs, maintenance,
upkeep, replacement and servicing required due to the normal use of a building or structure and necessary to sustain a level of efficiency and/or appearance."

When I read that I thought, "That's good that they considered appearance when making the exemption. People wanting to keep up the appearance of their homes won't have to get a permit and that will help property value."

What I didn't count on was a chief inspector making a judgment call that pretty much negates that exemption. I don't know how many people have experienced this but I do know there's a lot of people who fear a building inspector coming in to their homes and making their lives miserable and costing them a lot of money. And when an inspector has the power to overrule the written word, that fear only increases.

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Old 08-08-2012, 10:02 AM   #32
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A Permit After 19 Years?


Is it within an inspectors jurisdiction to just walk onto private property and snoop around without being called? I mean, this inspector wasn't even in the area for YOU to begin with. Seems to me that this is could be considered slightly intrusive. Or does that authority vary from county-county/state-state?
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:32 PM   #33
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A Permit After 19 Years?


The sad thing in this whole issue is WHY codes are there in the first place. As a professional in the field, we have a fiduciary duty to protect those people who will inhabit the structures we design. The code outlines the minimum set of requirements to provide a "safe" condition.

These building inspectors are supposed to act on the same set of guidelines we use to design buildings to ensure that what is being constructed in the field satisfies what is in the code and what is designed.

The problem is, like in most areas of enforcement, the people tasked with this duty often start to interpret the code in a manner which is beyond creating a safe environment as a means of job security. They lose site of the purpose of their position in the first place. When they start flagging "replace in kind" stair repairs for permit, they have very obviously forgotten that their job is to maintain safe structures. As the code is written, that would be why no permit would be required for normal repair and maintenance.

Luckily, as a design professional, often in the field we do have the ability to challenge these inspectors. I was doing some parking garage renovations once, repairing concrete pot holes. I happen to be on-site one day when the inspector showed up.

We had documented the repair of the concrete to be at least 1/2" thick under the rebar to make sure it grabbed on and the repair didn't pop out. The code requires that 1.5" of concrete coverage exist on the bottom of elevated slabs to protect the rebar.

The inspector argued with me that the existing 1" of concrete to remain below the repair didn't count as coverage. He had his arms crossed in the typical stance, arguing with me, and posturing about his authority to shut the job down.

I asked him WHY is that coverage required by the code? After he couldn't tell me the technical reason, I explained the purpose and why the concrete to remain should suffice as a part of the sum of coverage. He then asked me if I was the supervisor, and I explained that I was the Architect.

His response, "well you can make adjustments to the code if you want since you are the design professional, so I don't know why you are arguing with me and you didn't just tell me that from the start". I can make changes to the code as I see fit?

Obviously this guy has no clue.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:23 PM   #34
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A Permit After 19 Years?


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The roofer paid the fine and paid for the roofing permit so I'm free to work on the gazebo now. After satisfying all their application requirements, I applied for the hot tub and stair permit and also a stone veneer permit to create stone columns on either side of the garage (I was going to do that when I was ready to begin the work because I KNEW that required a permit.) They have not issued those permits yet.
This is ridiculous IMO, if they're not in the right-of-way or within the lot set-backs, this is nothing more than "Big Brother overstepping thier boundries".......

I'm so glad I live 75 miles North of the state line rather than South.............
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:09 PM   #35
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A Permit After 19 Years?


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This is ridiculous IMO, if they're not in the right-of-way or within the lot set-backs, this is nothing more than "Big Brother overstepping thier boundries".......

I'm so glad I live 75 miles North of the state line rather than South.............
I guess the rationale is that the veneer might fall off and injure someone if you did it wrong?
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:14 PM   #36
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A Permit After 19 Years?


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Is it within an inspectors jurisdiction to just walk onto private property and snoop around without being called? I mean, this inspector wasn't even in the area for YOU to begin with. Seems to me that this is could be considered slightly intrusive. Or does that authority vary from county-county/state-state?
If they can't see the work from the street here, they need a judge issued search warrant to access the property, unless it is new construction or they can see it whle inspecting other work that needed a permit.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:45 AM   #37
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A Permit After 19 Years?


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I guess the rationale is that the veneer might fall off and injure someone if you did it wrong?
When the inspector stopped by (even though the permit for the hot tub, stone veneer and front stairs had not been approved) he said they do not inspect the stone veneer. But, if I wanted him to come out and check to see if it's being done right, I could call him to inspect it.

I just got the call the above work has been approved. She said, "Your permit has been approved. Just come in and pick it up and......

BRING A CHECK FOR $300."

Silly me. I thought the $90 I already paid covered all the permit costs.

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