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Permit scam/conspiracy

1786 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  baleworker
Hello Everyone!

I recently applied for a building permit to make a second story addition to my house. Before applying, I spoke to the city and asked what I need. Upon their recommendations, all the structural modifications to the roof trusses were designed and stamped by an engineer.

Engineer told me that city engineer is a former employee of their firm and I will get permit no problems.

I applied for permit, they said everything looks good but in the last moment they called me and said that my foundation might be weak and requested for extra engineering.

My contract with an engineer clearly stated that foundation certification was not included. Why would he put it in unless he expected this form the city and kept silent?

Plus city engineer told me that he wants inspections to be done by the same engineering firm and wants me to pay for it!

This is a total nonsence, I can understand a foundation part but do they even have a right to ask me to hire a third party inspector? and especially the same firm?

I think in this economy engineer doesnt have many clients and uses his friends in the city hall to bring in more business. He gave me a teaser rates in the beginning and now wants even more than original fee.

I dont know if they gonna stop, they can start asking for soil testing, excavations etc etc.

What can I do at this point? My project is already over the budjet and if I am building an addition, it doesnt mean I have tons of money. In facts, we are doing the work ourselves to save on labor. We can not afford to feed the engineer on every stage of the project, especially unnecessary.

Anyone had similar situations? Please advice!!! We are really lost!
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The city has the right and the responsibility to require certification ensuring that your foundation is adequate to take the imposed loads. The city inspector cannot and should not assume the liability for making that determination himself because it opens the city up to some serious responsibility in litigation. Requiring an engineer to approve the condition is normal and should be expected. Honestly, it tells me that the city is really on their game and that should be appreciated despite the cost that you incur.

The fact your engineer says he knows the process has nothing to do with anything, other than the fact that you errantly believed him.

I do think it is inappropriate for the city to require the same engineer to evaluate the foundation. Although there are issues that require the engineer of record to do the work, I don't think that's the case in your situation. The engineer you have can design the structure and another engineer can take his design and determine if the foundation elements are adequate to support it. I'd call BS on the city and ask for verbage in their codes or ordinances that would prohibit you from using another engineer to evaluate the foundation.

You always have the option of abandoning the project if you haven't started it. The costs associated with the project are yours and yours alone to assume unless you have a builder making your decisions under contract.

The city may or may not charge for inspections in addition to permit fees. Inspection costs are typically fairly small. That totally depends on their fee structure and local ordinance.
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