Friday, July 22, 2011

Permits Update

This post should be subtitled,

We're Okay, no wait we're super screwed!!!! no wait, we're okay again....

Still Waiting To Hear About The Code Enforcement Permits...
When last we met, we were still waiting to hear back from the cities plan checker on the permits I submitted for the pre-existing code enforcement issues.

We hustled our butts to make their permitting deadline and now we're waiting....still waiting....

We were freaked because it was explained to us that code enforcement cases have a very strict one year deadline...we submitted the permits back on April 11th... and we still haven't heard anything back yet...well it turns out the one year clock doesn't start until after the city issues the permit...so I guess theres no rush???

Remodeling Permits Fall Into Code Enforcement Black Hole....
We also recently submitted permits to combine the two studio apartments into one apartment and to move one of the units into the basement.

When you file a regular permit they give you a due date about 4 weeks out....well it had been over two weeks past the deadline and I still hadn't heard anything from the city..Annnd I'd been calling like every three days...

FINALLY, someone said, 'Oh, this is a code enforcement case. those stay on the bottom of the pile!'...Nothing I could do could convince this person that, that was not the case...Even though the permit number starts with a CB which means Combo Building permit and code enforcement permits start with an X!!

I had to get the code enforcement officer to talk to them and set them straight.

After he did that I got the comments back in the mail like 4 days later!!!! Hurray!!!

We're Screwed
The plan check engineer just had some minor comments mostly about clarifying things that were all just minor edits.

The fire code plan checker on the other hand...Insisted that the existing windows in our pre-1942 house would HAVE to be upgraded to modern egress standards!

That would mean removing all the original double hung windows and replacing them with fully opening out swing casement windows that adhere to the cities design guide...That would of added thousands of dollars to the remodel cost and lots of man hours...maybe effectively blowing us out of the water....

We're Okay
But the cities engineer said the exact opposite! 'Theres Hope!!', I thought.
Going straight to the top I sent the cities building official an email outlining the situation and he sided with the engineer!! Waa-Hoooo!!!!

As I've said before his word is law and that means that nobody else down there should screw with me about keeping the original windows.

One thing that is going to be a kinda PITA is that I have to 1hr fire rate the joist bays where I am venting the two furnaces and tankless water heater.

I've already finished the changes and should be ready to turn in this revised set of plans Monday morning!! Maybe they'll even issue the plans shortly afterword? That is, if they don't find something else super wrong...which is always a possibility...

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