Update: Contractor/Deck Nightmare

I have made multiple posts on my troubles with building a deck and conflicts with my contractor. Well the story is not done, but here are the current stats:
Deck size 270 sq. feet Materials/supplies cost to date: 14,000 Deck material: Ipe decking and structural support. All stainless steel bolts/screws. Labor costs to date: 9,000 Current job status: On hold
I told my contractor to demo his stair construction when it became apparent that you would hit your head on the way up against the eve of the house. I also became very upset because I was unaware that a permit was required, and no permit had been obtained. The city was called, and I have had an engineer to come out and look at things and do windstorm certification. Fortunately, he basically says that he is O.K. with the current construction. He advised a designer come out and look at how the stairs could be constructed. Getting an engineer is the first step in getting a permit, so I do not know if the city will charge me a penalty or not.
Bottom line is that it appears I will need to remove the eve of my roof over the stairs to allow head clearance. I do not know how much this will cost, but I would not be surpised that after all is said and done, this deck will approach $100 a square foot.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

The lesson here for everyone to learn, is contact your building inspector before any project and discuss it with them. They can tell you ahead of time what will be needed, or not needed and how you can go about doing it. Get on friendly terms with them and you can save lots of effort, time, and money.
Carolyn
--
Carolyn Marenger


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I agree that someone contemplating a construction project should contact the building department to secure forms, get an idea of how long the permitting process will take and find out what inspections will be required. A building inspector is not an architect, engineer or designer and should not be expected to be a source of free design. A question here or there might be tolerated (my local inspector _hates_ talking to homeowners), but most inspectors will tell you to hire a pro. There will be drawings and calculations required for the building permit anyway, so there's no use in putting off hiring someone.
I find it a little hard to believe that no one mentioned at any time to the OP that a permit might be required. A friend, neighbor, bidding contractor, neighbor, somebody. It smacks of wishful thinking on the OP's part. No permit, no permit fee and no increase in taxes. I commiserate with the OP. This is an expensive lesson to learn, and one that could have been avoided. It's much easier to make changes on paper, or on your expectations and budget, than to make changes in the field while construction is going on.
R
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I have a few questions:
1. If there were stairs there before and you did not hit your head on the eave, then why cant you duplicate that construction with this new material? Why do you need a landing?
2. Why can't the stairs be moved away from the eave so that the handrail is under the far edge of the eave?
3. Why can't the stairs be built on an angle so that you are moving away from the eave. Then, once you have clearance, turn the angle to parallel the house.
Shannon Pate

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Shannon Pate wrote:

I bought the home, so it was existing construction so there was never an issue with it. It also was narrower (not meeting code), at a steeper angle, and still a person would hit their head if they walked on the side toward the house. The stairs cannot be moved away from the eve because there is a pool fence between the house and the pool. There is only adequate clearance between the fence and the pool to allow passage, so I cannot move the fence (allowing moving the stairs away from the eve) anymore toward the pool.
To answer the last question; again, placement of the stairs is limited by the placement of the pool, and the house.
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As far as the costs go, what does your Contract say about costs ??
--James--
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