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Old 12-18-2009, 05:01 AM   #43
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Nah don't get down, from where I stand you look good up there on that box!
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:14 AM   #44
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Nah don't get down, from where I stand you look good up there on that box!
No, I don't. I'm really sorry but I get myself wrapped up in the lunacy of the thinking on some of these items. It looks like the general contractor for the building is going to try to pour concrete next week and I'm getting myself all geared up for it. Everyone who has ever done one of these buildings here says that getting the green tag on the forums is THE most critical point in the project...and always the most difficult. Feeling the heat from that situation already, my fast typing fingers just got carried away last night.

On balance, there is a good side to the Town putting me through some of this. By forcing me to find space for all of the stuff that is in the old barn today, I'm having to grapple with moving each item at least twice. That is causing me to do some soul searching and evaluation of everything that I'm moving. It is like "Mission: Organization" on steroids. Fortunately, the recycle pile is by far the largest and I've found homes for nearly everything that I didn't want any more. I only ended up with one household sized trash can full of debris but have reduced my overall volume of items in the barn by over 50%. That feels pretty good.

I'll admit that I, too, am bending some of the rules on this project. Because this is a public forum, I'm not going to be dumb enough to reveal those areas. I've listened to my neighbors talk about their projects and am trying to learn from the problems that they had. I'm more interested than anyone about the safety of the results since I'm the one who has to live with them daily. I'm not subjecting myself to any more of this folly that I absolutely have to.

The clock is ticking. The building itself is in fabrication and once that starts, there is no turning back. The fabrication finishes, the parts are loaded on a truck and delivered, whether you are ready or not. My goal is to have the steel delivered right onto the finished concrete pad. That may be a real challenge between the Town and the weather. Keep your fingers crossed.
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:13 PM   #45
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I know this guy in eastern NC who had a airplane and was going to build a hanger to put the plane in. It was a steel building and the drawing showed on concrete at the anchor points. Well dug a foundation solid all down the sides. The building inspector turned him down. He got mad cancel the building and flew the plane to the next county where they had hanger space. So instead of our county getting the tax money the next county did.
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Old 12-19-2009, 04:00 PM   #46
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So instead of our county getting the tax money the next county did.
The problem is that the building inspector probably couldn't care less. First, you don't "turn down" projects. I understand that there are requirements that have to be met and, not knowing that who situation, maybe unmet requirements were are the root of the argument. The building inspector, however, has no incentive to work with guy who wanted the hanger. That is part of our problem in this Town, too. They can be a rigid as they care to be. I'm fine with them telling me what the rules and regs are. What sends me off my trolley is my going to them and then telling me "that's not going to work." I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer but I think that a reasonable answer to my next question "what is it about that that isn't going to work" ought to be given in language that I can understand. I'm pretty sure that others in my situation have abandoned their projects after the 3rd or 4th rejection. I was bound and determined that I was going to figure it out and finally I did.

Before I get beat upon, not all building inspectors are bad. Certainly the concept of code enforcement is a good one. The whole point of this thread is to point out that any good concept can be taken to an illogical extent simply through overzealousness. The power hungry bent that some have in our governments, HOAs, etc. isn't about doing what is right but in the act and art of subjugating others. While I've never gotten my sense of satisfaction by making others jump through hoops, apparently some do. The more hoops, the better.
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Old 12-19-2009, 06:53 PM   #47
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I know your pain. I know a guy who tried to open an O Pollo Loco resturant here. He was told by the city council there where enough Mexican resturants in town. 2 months later the Mayor opened a Del Taco with a beer lic.
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:44 PM   #48
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And the fun just keeps rolling on. I presented all the documents to the Town before I requested a ship date for the metal building. The Town official approved them. I called the general contractor and gave him the same pile of documents, telling him to officially apply for the permit. Well, it is two weeks later and still no permit. It seems that they changed their mind and wanted something different for the "elevation" diagram. Hopefully, he'll get it right today and we'll finally get the permit.

In the mean time, I've started demolition on the old barn. I needed to contract for waste disposal of the debris and started to shop around. I'm not allowed. It seems that each city contracts with only one disposal firm and that ALL disposal requests go through that firm. No competition. OK. So I called them. $100 to deliver the dumpster, $345 for the contents up to 5 ton, $25 for each more ton up to 10 tons total. 16% environmental fee on top of the whole bill, 8.25% sales tax on the whole bill and 5% franchise fee to the Town on the whole bill for the privledge of using the waste vendor they selected. Oh and $4 a day for every day I have the dumpster. It is going to cost more to haul off the debris from the barn that it would to build a new barn. I've been directed to commerical sales who may be able to "work a deal with me." I can hardly wait. I'm also going to have to get a permit ($300) from the Town for the privilege of tearing down my own barn. This is in addition to the permit that I need to build the new one. I'm glad that I bundled the electric into the new one or I would have gotten the privilege of paying $300 to the Town for contracting with the electric company to take the meter off the old one and put it on the new one - another $750.

No wonder the economy is bad: who can afford to do stuff like this?
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:52 AM   #49
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This will be my last post on this subject. I can tell that, by the time I actually get this project completed, there will be the opportunity for many more descriptions. These last three are just too good not to share.

- after 4 weeks and no approved permit, my general contractor called the Town to determine the status. The permit was (and had been) with the septic department. In preliminary reviews months earlier, we agreed that neither the Town nor I had a diagram of the actual system. They said that they needed a "hold harmless" letter which stated that if our foundation work ran into the system, the Town was not responsible and that I had to make repairs at my own expense. I wrote such a letter, signed it and included it in the permit package. It took them 3 weeks to determine that they wouldn't accept my letter and wanted to use a form letter that they always used. The trick was that their letter had to be signed by all owners of the home, notarized and then registered with the county. They informed me that they would take no further action on my permit until they had that letter. The bad news was we were on the edge of a snow storm. I was required drive out in the storm to do all of this, returning the receipt for the money that I paid for the registration and the orignal barcoded cover letter to the Town. Because it is a registered document, it would have become part of the public record and therefore visable to anyone in the Town who wanted to see it. No matter - they still wanted the original documents. When I delivered them, I asked why I had not been told about their form letter during my initial reviews and given a copy then. They had no answer.
- When I returned the septic letter, I asked about the remaining steps in the process. The septic engineer could not tell me what they all were. He could tell me that the next step was "engineering" who had to OK the drainage. I'd had a preliminary discussion with engineering, too, and after looking at my plat, they told me that they had no drainage issues. Now, the engineer had to come on the site and assess the drainage. He promised to be there the next day. When he hadn't arrived by 3pm, I called for status. He showed up, told me that there were no drainage issues (duh!) and that he would approve the permit. He said the next step would be a "preliminary drainage expection" for the forms. I asked what that entailed. He said "soil movement abatement." When I asked him if I was going to need that (this ground is almost perfectly flat), he said no. I reiterated my question about the purpose of the pre-drainage inspection and he didn't answer my question. He told me that the permit had to go back to the aux. building inspector for final approval an issuance of the permit. I almost did a backflip because I've been working with her for almost 6 months and she has seen the package 9 separate times. I figured approval was close to automatic.
- the next day, I called the aux. building inspector and she told me that my pemit had problems. I'm allowed 1,500 square feet and the 32x47 lengths equated to 1504 square feet. When I originally discussed this point with her, she agreed that the inside measurement, with the wall thickness subtracted from all sides was within the criteria. Now it isn't - after 8 previous reviews by her and subsequent verbal approvals. My general contractor edited the diagrams to make the overall length of the concrete to be 46' 11 3/4". That brings us down to 1,496 square feet. She also told me that the engineer was wrong and that the next step after the permit was not a pre-drainage inspection on the forms. When I asked her what the next step was, she said that she would get back to me. When I asked her for a list of the requirements for inspections, she told me that such a list did not exist and that it varied by the job. Keep in mind this is an aux. building, not a house. It is nothing but a big box structure with doors. My GC also forgot to list me as the electrical contractor on the job, something that I'm permitted to do because the property has been homesteaded. He fixed that when he altered the diagrams for the length.

Everything being equal, we'll get the permit on Monday and foundation work can start on Tuesday. They threatened me with a citation if we jumped the gun and started digging without a permit. Their sitting on the permit application for 3 weeks without action is not their problem.
BTW, I called in 6 times during that period and was told that the permit was "in progess" and that I should be patient. The metal for the building is currently in fabrication and is going to arrive, whether we are ready or not, the week of January 25th. I cannot wait for the forms inspection process to begin, now scheduled for January 12th. It sure looks like we are going to be fighting both the weather and the Town to meet the metal arrival date. I keep shaking my head because the original target completion dates for this project were 10/31 and 12/15, both of which would have kept us from dealing with the freezing weather but we could not get the foundation engineering approval from the Town.

The mistake that I made, from the beginning of the project, was not going to the Town every day. I can see that the only possibility of success for a reasonable completion date would have been devoting myself completely to the project. That is a sad testimony to what should be a reasonable process. I have learned my lesson. I'll never apply for another Town permit. It is better to risk their citation then have to deal with them. Forgiveness would be much cheaper to get than permission. That,too, is a sad statement.

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Old 01-01-2010, 12:54 PM   #50
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I have been following this thread from the beginning. All I have to say is yuck.....It was getting messy....I brings me to a idea I was thinking about. I would like to buy a larger trailer that I truely would like to store at home rather than pay to store at a storage lot. I happened to see the building inspector down the street a few months back. An idea I had was to remove my garage, pour an new RV pad in it's place and rebuild a new garage over 10-12 feet. This way I would have a straight shot to back my RV up the drive to it's parking pad. I have a funny shaped lot, so I wanted to know what "set-backs" I'm dealing with. I just wanted him to give me 5 minutes of his time to physically stop over so I could run it by him. He couldn't be bothered.... Just couldn't be bothered period...It was like I wasn't even there....
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:32 AM   #51
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chasfm11;

Remember most of these codes are to protect us from the few bad builders.

Joe
And I think the jury is still out on that accord!
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:00 PM   #52
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About 13 years ago in Florida, I was asked for a $2,000 cash bribe by a fire official on a remodel. I told him no and ended up spending about $10,000 extra on all sorts of other stuff insisted unpon by the building inspectors. The whole city government was corrupt. I somehow think this is common in small towns. I am planning on building another 10' by 16' workshop and am not even considering gettting permission. My neighbor just put in an unpermitted dock and boat house, so he won't be complaining.

You didnt say what city?? I would have turned the guy in to the Fire Marshall/State Attorney. Also buiding inspectors have "plan reviews"... an arbitrary process to insure the plans meet current codes.

Simple things like old wiring and panel boxes can cause a fire.
Ive seen idiots run extension cords out on 50' docks and use nothing more than rubber bands or bent brad nails to secure the line. Would you want to be swimming close by if the cord broke free??
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:11 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by chasfm11 View Post
And the fun just keeps rolling on. I presented all the documents to the Town before I requested a ship date for the metal building. The Town official approved them. I called the general contractor and gave him the same pile of documents, telling him to officially apply for the permit. Well, it is two weeks later and still no permit. It seems that they changed their mind and wanted something different for the "elevation" diagram. Hopefully, he'll get it right today and we'll finally get the permit.

In the mean time, I've started demolition on the old barn. I needed to contract for waste disposal of the debris and started to shop around. I'm not allowed. It seems that each city contracts with only one disposal firm and that ALL disposal requests go through that firm. No competition. OK. So I called them. $100 to deliver the dumpster, $345 for the contents up to 5 ton, $25 for each more ton up to 10 tons total. 16% environmental fee on top of the whole bill, 8.25% sales tax on the whole bill and 5% franchise fee to the Town on the whole bill for the privledge of using the waste vendor they selected. Oh and $4 a day for every day I have the dumpster. It is going to cost more to haul off the debris from the barn that it would to build a new barn. I've been directed to commerical sales who may be able to "work a deal with me." I can hardly wait. I'm also going to have to get a permit ($300) from the Town for the privilege of tearing down my own barn. This is in addition to the permit that I need to build the new one. I'm glad that I bundled the electric into the new one or I would have gotten the privilege of paying $300 to the Town for contracting with the electric company to take the meter off the old one and put it on the new one - another $750.

No wonder the economy is bad: who can afford to do stuff like this?
Now you know why alot of barns "fall down".... sometimes with the help of a chainsaw to the primary structure.
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:03 PM   #54
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Looks to me like some lubricating funds would have speeded up the process.
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:59 AM   #55
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Looks to me like some lubricating funds would have speeded up the process.
I might have even tried that IF:
- I had a clue about where to apply the lubrication. There have been about 10 different people so far.
- I had a clue about how much lubrication would have worked. $500? $1,000? $10,000?

I have always communicated with all of them over the phone or over the front counter. There are big signs that say "all counter discussions are recorded via audio and video". I cannot imagine on of those folks dropping hints to me about under the counter cash while the machines are running.

I am convinced that all of them are graduates from HOA boards.
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:37 PM   #56
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I am convinced that all of them are graduates from HOA boards.

Graduates?? You give them too much credit.
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