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Retired Eng / Soft Eng
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a retired Engineer (Civil/Structural) / Software Engineer. As with many engineers, we tend to be frugal, and do as much as possible ourselves.

Currently, we are having troubles getting a summer home in the Finger Lakes completed. Had to fire the builder. I took over completing the electrical, and subcontracted out the remainder of work. Just as the new set of contractors were getting started, everything was suspended due to the Corona Virus work stoppages in NYS.

The catalyst for joining the DIY forum at this time, was encountering some strange test results on the electrical installation I was left with. More on this in another post.

Regards,

C Mink
 

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I own a farm in the Finger Lakes. Hello future neighbor. I think N.Y. will allow a person to do construction as long as he is the only one on the job site. Perhaps one electrician can work.
 

Retired Eng / Soft Eng
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There is a lot of confusion right now re. what type of work can go on. The fines are stiff, and things were tightened down more last Friday. Most contractors have shutdown until the dust settles.
 

Property Mgt/Maint
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Welcome aboard neighbor.

What you can and can not do yourself depends on the local code enforcement. It varies from town to town or city across the state. For example I can do my own electrical (my home only) but must be inspected. Each town has their own inspector or a list of approved inspectors. Plumbing; in the closest city must done by a licensed plumber. Half mile down the road in town, I can do it my self.

Long story short; need to have a conversation with local code office.
 

Retired Eng / Soft Eng
Joined
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yodaman,

It has been my experience (NYS,NJ,VA), that a home owner can do any type of work on their own house/property, without any type of license. You still need to pull a permit when required, and have the requisite inspections.

As you are aware, NYS does not license contractors. However, the local jurisdiction can implement their own requirements. I am sure NYC has very strict licensing requirements. I know Ithaca has licensing requirements for Electrical, and maybe Plumbing.

The irony is that all of the contractors that have worked on our summer home, admit they don't read the building codes. Until a Code Enforcement Officer tells them during an inspection that there is a new requirement, they just continue doing what they have always done.

The most egregious example of this was observing the framers use the ubiquitous 1.5" TECO nails to fasten beam and I-Joist hangers. After the house was completely framed, I stumbled across the fact that most of these structural hangers required a #10 3" nail, or #16 3.5" nail (Simpson Strong Tie). Using the 1.5" nails results in a load reduction to 64% of the full hanger capacity. For double shear hangers, the 1.5" nail is not allowed at all for the double shear nails (they are too short to pass through both members)
 

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We have property in NY in Monroe and Ontario counties. There is no licensing by the state or counties. As an owner you can do any or all of your project yourself. Permitting and inspections are still required but done locally, so the level of enforcement and competency of the inspectors varies greatly. I was an inspector for Monroe County for about 10 years. Some inspectors were very knowledgeable while others were hired because they were related to someone.
 

Retired Eng / Soft Eng
Joined
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
i really like my Code Enforcement Officer, and we developed a good relationship since I learned the code and wanted our house built to it. However, he is overworked, and appears not to have the time to check some things that I would assume would be important.

No one inspected the size and placement of the isolated lolly column footings. At the last minute, I noticed that one was not located correctly. Went down in the hole and found two were undersized, and one in the wrong location. Good contractor working in the rain, didn't see the fine print on the wet drawings, and scaled sizes.

Re. the framing hanger issue referred to in previous post ... hangers were specified on "construction drawings" not submitted (nor required) to the Code Enforcement Officer. I asked him why the fastening of these hangers wasn't inspected. The response was that by the time they do the framing inspection, the fasteners are already installed. Has to be a better way???

After the fact, I realized these "construction drawings" were the real structural drawings, having the beam, I-Joist, and fastener specifications. They were never stamped by the consulting PE, and the design company considers them to be layout drawings, and says they never have to submit them to the building authority. I have made a complaint to the NYS Professional Education Dept., who oversee professional discipline licensing.
 

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In my town of residence the inspector is good to work with and does a good job. At my farm, if you want the inspector to go in the basement you have to throw a dozen donuts down there and stand back.
 
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