permit inspections

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StephenM wrote:

What's the law? The International Residential Code only lists the three northernmost counties of NY state as being in seismic zone D1 or higher and specifically exempts detached structures less than 200 square feet in area from the permit process, however NY state uses a modified version of that code with permitting requirements estabilished by statute and with local ordinance also able to place other requirements on the permit process. So if you're in Seismic Zone D1 and the local ordinances don't exempt your shed the inspector doesn't have a lot of choice in what he enforces.
The code generally grandfathers existing structures, hence your house doesn't have to be rebuilt.
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Sure he does... happens every day (I'm not saying it's right, just that it is the way things are).

All true. Northernmost county, 12x22 shed etc.
It is the law. My point was that it was that it was ouside the bounds of common sense, not outside the bounds of the law.
In a small community there are two factors that come into play: "limitted resources" and "every-body knows everybody". Besides not having enough time to for zero-tolerance enforement he would likely be run out of town for being a dickhead. He does not enforce everything to the letter of the law (I have been the beneficiary, and I have seen it in several other cases).
At least in this community, zero-tolerance code enforcement is neither realistic nor practical. That is, they (in this case I mean not just the inspector but also the villiage board.) probably could not make it happen even if they were so inclined.
-Steve
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StephenM wrote:

If he gives your shed a pass in a community like that, then the next guy will have one a little bigger and expect the same, and so on until he's expected to give a 28 story high-rise a pass.
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"Swingman" wrote

Note to self: Proofread Carefully to see if you any words out!
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"Swingman" wrote

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OK - I checked with the "experts" at the brokerage where I spend my mornings. An insurance company CAN refuse to pay damages in the case of grossly inadequate modifications made by the homeowner materially being at fault in a claim if he knew, or should have known, that what he did was dangerous and/or illegal. They would have to have a very good case in order for their refusal to pay to stand up in court - but they own thair lawyers - and you rent yours. Do the math. The courts could find in your favour. They could find in the insurance company's favour, or they could award substantually reduced compensation for your damages.
In the case of a payout for damages caused by an incompetent contractor, they would pay, then go after the contractor or his insurance company to recover their expense.
In Canada, and Ontario in particular, it is very rare, but not unheard of, for an insurance company to take this route.
Part of the legalese involved is whether the person (homeowner) "knew or should have known" that what he did was likely to cause damage. ANother is whether his actions "materially" contributed to the damage.
One Ontario case that was VERY close to being successful on the insurance company's part involved an engineer who decided to refinish his hardwood floors with a very flamable finish. In large letters on the can it stated that ALL SOURCES OF IGNITION MUST BE REMOVED from the home. Said engineer did not shut off the gas waterheater, and the electronic ignition ignited the fumes, flattening the house and damaging several others.
The insurance company thought they had a good case - the guy WAS an engineer - and SHOULD have known to turn off the water heater before starting the job. His carelessnes was the ENTIRE cause of the damage, meeting the "materially" clause.
The court came to the conclusion that just because the guy was an engineer didn't mean he was necesarilly "smarter than the average bear" - perhaps he really did not undestand that a gas waterheater could ignite at any time, or indeed that it had an open flame when running - so they ordered the insurance company to pay. THAT one could very easily have gone the other way.
The "expert" was not aware of any recent cases where restitution was denied - but MANY cases where renewal of insurance was not offered, or initial coverage was not offered. If an insurance company smells a significantly elevated risk, they run the other way as quickly as they can - they are not in business to lose money.
Howvever,my daughter,also a registered insurance broker, said they "pay for gross stupidity ALL the time". Theft from unlocked houses? no problem.Theft from unlocked cars? All the time (except in some high crime areas where an exclusion may be put on a policy, voiding theft insurance if it can be established that the home/vehicle was not locked, a car was left running anattended, or keys were left in the car.)
In "general insurance" - (not automotive, life, or health) a sizeable percentage of claims fall under that category (gross stupidity)
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Eigenvector wrote:

I think it really depends upon the area of the country and the jurisdiction in which you live. Some areas, the permitting process and inspections are little more than tax collection and a cursory verification you didn't do anything overtly stupid (like try to wire with extension cord wire,etc). Other areas of the country and various municipalities are much more nanny-state and intrusive, requiring a permit to so much as pick up a hammer.
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Inspectors can also be very reasonable. We wanted a door between the back of the garage and the newly built parkside hallway. The garage will never be used for a car (built in 1929 for something mini), and this is well- known in Radburn. A regular door was a nono, so the inspector and the builder consulted and decided on a (temporary) drywalled closet to be built inside the garage. Upon final inspection approval the closet was removed and now we can move things into the garage from the street side and out on the park-side. Works fine for all. Our estate will have to handle the sale of the house, but that will be their concern.
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Han
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Han wrote:

Just instruct them to build a drywalled closet prior to the sale inspection. The buyer can do as he/she pleases with the closet.
Dave N
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That's my plan. Our 30 year-old kids are supposed to know about this.
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Han
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