permit inspections

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"Mark & Juanita" wrote

For the most part, it is true. There are, of course, exceptions to everything.

The discussion is about enforcing building standards, not the kind of things that happen when you expect the government to protect you from ALL the majestic physical forces of nature. :)
These houses could have been better than 'built to code' and still slide into a creek due to many more factors than the inspection process ... folks will simply continue to build where houses do not belong, and no amount of building standards, per se, will stop that.
The builder had gone bankrupt in the intervening

SOP ... the builder is ALWAYS the responsible party for building to the various codes/building standards, NOT the geopolitical entity responsible for enforcing building standards in their particular jurisdictions.
It has always been this way, and I don't even know that you want it any other way ... unless you want more government intrusion in your life than you already have.

It's basically simple, you want better government/enforcement ... you get involved in the process.
Granted, you may have to be intimately involved in the business to appreciate that building standards, and enforcement of same, increase the odds of a homebuyer purchasing a better product today then they did 40 years ago, and it is getting better all the time.
That said, you must understand that a house "built to code", is a house built to minimum standards ... but it is indeed a fact that we do have better "building standards" today.
But, to assume that means we have better built houses doesn't always follow.
The biggest problem I face in building the best house possible is NOT the building standards, and NOT the competent enforcement of same, it is the shoddy workmanship, and lack of pride in same, that goes into building these days ... along with almost non-existent, and competent, *supervision* during the process.
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Swingman wrote:

This particular instance included proper certification of the building site as well. That particular area of TX is one with a high concentration of clay that swells and shrinks with moisture content. The builder had filled the back yards into an erosion channel to make larger backyards and had failed to adequately assure the stabilization of the fill, thus the later occurrences of backyards sliding away into the creekbed.
... snip

I'll agree with the latter statement. This just confirmed that the amount of intrusion we already have is pretty much useless -- we certainly don't need more and I wouldn't come close to advocating that.
... snip

It's not just building, it seems to be endemic to everything. Here, I am overjoyed when I have work done where it is right the first time. It is very seldom that this happens anymore, there's always something that is screwed up; and it's not because I am being overly particular -- this is big things, like the fact the new brakes on the F-150 just plain locked up when applying any pressure to them after a brake job. Multiple other examples abound. I don't know if it is an entitlement mentality that people think they are deserving of good compensation despite the quality of their work, or something else, but quality work seems to have become a rare commodity.

That should be the last line of defense; people should have enough pride in their work to do it correctly regardless of whether someone is watching. [Yeah, I'm an idealist]
--
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"Mark & Juanita" wrote

It's so damn unusual that I actually write letters of commendation/recommendation to the subcontractors that simply do what they were paid to do. I'm tickled to do it for the most part. Hoping that the effort will insure repeat performance, and that the amount of time expended will be paid back in spades.

LOL ... I just used that very term (idealistic) against a client in onsite meeting yesterday.
In the Austin area, I had just caused the demolition of this "green/conservation minded to the extreme" client's old house on a 10 tract to make way for the new.
The old house had been built back in the 70's by a "Mother Earth" hippy couple who lived in it for about ten years before it obviously fell down around their ears.
When I heard, for the 50th time, "we'd like to do this and this (basically to reduce some type of imagined environmental impact issue), I pointed the now bare ground where the old house recently stood and said "You see that old house over there?".
She stopped and with a puzzled look said, "But, there is no longer a house over there!"
I said "Precisely! .. and the reason there is no longer a house there is because it was built with 100% "idealism", without the least regard for "realistic" building practices!".
After the silence, that was pretty much the end of "saving the 30 year old single pane windows", to put back in an energy efficient, new home in lieu of new, low E, double pane glass that will _really_ have an impact on the environment! ;)
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Actually I just got back my response from the inspectors office on drywall.
Repairing drywall requires a permit. Meaning if I put a doorknob through my wall I have to get a permit to repair it. How do these people sleep at night?
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do you need a permit for brushing your teeth too?
i'd move.
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charlie wrote:

Damn right, I renovated a kitchen, no permit required, as I didn't change location. Shed < 110 sq feet, no permit, deck less that 2 1/2 feet off the ground, no permit required. Only permit I have needed was an electrical service upgrade, in 12 years in the house, totally renovated it, new shingles, new eavestrough, furnace etc., no permits.
Get the hell out of there.
--
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"Eigenvector" wrote:

Housing inspectors are like traffic cops.
You are going to end up spending money.
Trick is to figure out what is the lowest cost "ticket", pay it and move on.

Probably very well, thank you.
Sounds like Cook County from a time gone by.
Lew
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wrote:

King County Wa. I don't even live in a city, just unincorporated county.
Actually I misspoke, technically a permit is required to repair drywall, however if you drive down to the office and present them with plans on what you are trying to do - they might wave the permit, then again they might not. I can even post the e-mail, but haven't to protect the poor sap who wrote me the e-mail. However the e-mail will ABSOLUTELY find its way to the next general election, one of the county representatives happens to live 5 doors down from me. Rules like this are exactly why people break the law and corruption spreads.
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"Technically a permit is required" can be intended to mean a couple of things. Without posting what the fellow said in full, it's hard to believe he's really being difficult.
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snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) writes:

Looks, from the headers, like either washington state or minnesota.
$ host 24.18.65.40 40.65.18.24.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer c-24-18-65-40.hsd1.mn.comcast.net. 40.65.18.24.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer c-24-18-65-40.hsd1.wa.comcast.net.
Sure looks like a comcast misconfiguration somewhere.
scott
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Scott Lurndal wrote:

whois 24.18.65.40
Checking IP: 24.18.65.40... Name:        c-24-18-65-40.hsd1.wa.comcast.net IP:        24.18.65.40 Aliases:    c-24-18-65-40.hsd1.mn.comcast.net Domain:    comcast.net
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Sure, but it doesn't make sense to have two geographical locations using the same routable IP pool address(es); most likely a misconfiguration.
scott
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Eigenvector wrote: ...

Where the heck are you located so I can know to stay out of that jurisdiction? :) (or :(, really?)
Sounds like need to just "don't ask, don't tell" would be the way to fly...
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I cannot imagine anyone actually applying for one in a case like that.
If a permit was actually requested for every job in the country that needed one, it would create major problems in staffing the inspector's offices and the big home improvement stores would be going out of business.
I'm all for following building codes but no way should a permit be needed for such minor repairs.
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With the influx of new people, it won't last much longer, but in Bedford and many other counties you do not need a permit for an agricultural building. The theory is that only animals are endangered by poor wiring, etc., I guess. I did get a permit when I built my shop, but the inspection wasn't onerous. Do you have to actually BE a farm? Nah. Buy three chickens and raise 'em for meat, go out of the farm bidness when you kill the fryers and eat 'em. Actually, a friend did that with rabbits on his one acre "farm." I know another guy who has about 60 acres, "raised" horses and dogs for years, and got some pretty fair tax write-offs in the process, while building everything from barns and hay sheds to a car port for his house. He dealt just enough horses to make a profit every third year, too.
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wrote in message

and regardless of how I feel about my county's permit system it doesn't change how I'll interact with the inspector. I don't fault the inspector for local regulations. He/she just enforces them - the commissioners are the ones who write them.
<Stepping onto the soapbox> But with regards to what you said, the inspectors and the county should be following the law no ifs ands or buts. If the laws are ambiguous then they need to be rewritten or interpreted once and followed per that interpretation. By ignoring laws when they get silly/inconvienent/unnecessary you open the door to all sorts of corruption and poor regulatory practices. However by forcing people to follow stupid laws such laws are brought to light and CHANGED so that they are no longer stupid.
To me the permit system is deeply flawed in that the policies are not clearly documented, not friendly to the layman, and subject to far too much interpretation by the inspectors.
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Eigenvector wrote:

That may be so, but it's true of most other areas of law as well. The only way it's going to change is to start over from scratch, and that's not going to happen.
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"Eigenvector" wrote

You pretty well hit the nail on the head. But, it's their supposed knowledge of the building codes that gives the inspector his power over you. And, since no one is perfect, an inspector's erroneous code "interpretation" can often come into play and cause you grief.
Can't tell you how many times I've had an inspector fail an electrical final for having an overhead recessed can in/close to a shower area, only to have to point out to him that his interpretation of the code failed to account for the height of the ceiling, which he had not bothered to measure.
IOW, knowledge can indeed, be power (although in that event he's just as likely to fail you somewhere else in retaliation). :)
The point being is that the building inspection process is a "game", and like any other it behooves both participants to learn the rules and study how to play it.
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I disagree.
I live in a village of maybe 2000 residents un upstate NY. I think the Mayor get's paid $2500/year and each trustee gets $1000. These guys understandably rubber stamp some generic pre-existing code. It would be impractical to do otherwise.
The current building instector would not let me build my glorified garden shed on 24" a mortered stone wall because we are in "an earthquake zone". To pacify him, I had to embed steel pedistals in the corners.
The irony is that my 150 year old home is made of brick (not veneer) upon a mortered stone foundation. If we have an earthquake, I suppose I should therefore run for the shed.
I don't fault the village board; I consider that overzealous enforcement in the absense of common sense.
-Steve
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