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Hates: Liver. Loves: Diesel
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm new to this code compliance stuff. I have a ton of contracting/building experience, but it has been primarily for someone else. Someone says "go build this garage" and I do it. They handle the permits, if any.

This is my second home that I've owned. The first one was not in an area that cared about permits (very rural) and I never really did anything that would have required a permit anyway.

Now I live in the suburbs and I'm beginning the installation on a wood burning fireplace. Not a masonry gig, it's a manufactured steel box that LOOKS like a masonry fireplace. I now have more knowledge of UL 1618, 103, and 127 as well as chapter 10 of the IRC than anyone really needs.

I applied for the permit. Now everyone is telling me I should have just done it and not said a word. I could understand doing a small deck, or a patio roof job without getting a permit, but I didn't want any confusion if I decide to sell. I'm just so clueless. Should I have applied? Should I have just said screw it and put it in anyway? If the permit is denied, do I keep trucking and put it in anyway? I feel like this is a pretty important thing to get right, kinda like a pool.
 

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True Hotrodder
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The downside is if there was ever a fire and a question about the installation, an insurance company could use it as a legal gambit to disallow the claim. That permit isn't so much about getting permission as it is about the inspection routines to ensure that it is installed according to code. What you don't want to deal with is installing it and then being told because it doesn't meet code or did not have inspections that it has to be removed. My B-I-L turned an open deck area into a closed room on the back of his house. He had to remove exterior and interior walls later to provide an inspector access to see how it was constructed and how the electrical and heating/cooling were done. Not fun.
 

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If the inspections in his area are anything like the ones in this area , they're not worth the paper they're printed on . Inspector s are political appointees and don't know squat about the proper , approved way to do anything nor do they care . If you don't pass a little something under the table , they will tie your project up until you do , Its a freaking joke & a scam , nothing more than another tax . I was a remodeling contractor for 35 years , I learned early on about the rules , you have to pay to play , its basically legal extortion !
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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It's like I have always said when dealing with a government agency "tell them what they need to hear" no kidding, that's unfortunately what you need to do.

Brian
 

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Race it, Don't rice it!
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Up to code just means it's built the crappiest legal way possible.
There is a local guy currently in jail under contempt of court because he got approval for a barn from the county 25 years ago but the city says 5' of that land is theirs and they want it back. The courts ruled it must be torn down but no back taxes will be charged for the 25 years it's been there. That 5' is watershed from a creek about 50 away.
Government......hasn't ever done anything particularly well.
 

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Hates: Liver. Loves: Diesel
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Up to code just means it's built the crappiest legal way possible.
I have found that to be the case. It's a CYA thing. When I was building in Los Angeles it was just ridiculous. They would show up for every step of the process and just tell you to change something. It was more like one of those job performance review things. If it says "how have you improved at your job?" and you write "nothing" it doesn't look good to the pencil-pushers. If you instead write "more efficient use of time," it looks great... even if that just means you found ways of taking a nap on the clock.

If the inspectors have a big pile of "yup it's good" inspection reports, it is assumed they aren't really doing their job. If they each have a "instructed to wait one more day for concrete cure" or "noted one piece of sheathing that needed two more nails," it looks like they're doing their job, and it's really no skin off the contractors' back to add a nail. It's a dance.

That way, when an earthquake levels the structure, both the contractor and the inspector can point to their inspection reports and CTA (cover their arses)
 

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Have you updated your insurance company about this work and fireplace? They may refuse completly or charge you some outrageous amount depending on area, home age, the amount of coffee they had that morning.
 

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Race it, Don't rice it!
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I have found that to be the case. It's a CYA thing. When I was building in Los Angeles it was just ridiculous. They would show up for every step of the process and just tell you to change something. It was more like one of those job performance review things. If it says "how have you improved at your job?" and you write "nothing" it doesn't look good to the pencil-pushers. If you instead write "more efficient use of time," it looks great... even if that just means you found ways of taking a nap on the clock.

If the inspectors have a big pile of "yup it's good" inspection reports, it is assumed they aren't really doing their job. If they each have a "instructed to wait one more day for concrete cure" or "noted one piece of sheathing that needed two more nails," it looks like they're doing their job, and it's really no skin off the contractors' back to add a nail. It's a dance.

That way, when an earthquake levels the structure, both the contractor and the inspector can point to their inspection reports and CTA (cover their arses)
You should have seen the list of BS the housing inspector goof ball gave me before I closed last Feb. This is a inspector that is supposed know his job and some idea how a house is built. It was clear he didn't have one at all. The best part of the whole deal though was showing the loan officers that the same guy approved of the 30'x30' oversized two car garage a few years ago failed it this time around. BTW, it was determined to be over built by a different inspector with extra studs, extra joists, extra pretty much everything including extra thick concrete and rebar. I hope I get a different guy for the 40x60 going up soon.
 

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the last big project I did was in Idaho Falls, Idaho, the building department was very helpful when I found problems in the plans The head f the department is a registered profesanal engineer. and worked out the solution.
 

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My dad was a registered PE , as was my older brother , neither of them new which vend of a hammer to hold , couldn't tell a bearing wall from a t- shirt . You were fortunate to find a structural engineer who understood construction , the PE title is only important on payday ! Only thing I've ever seen most engineers do is create paralysis by analysis !!
 

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My dad was a registered PE , as was my older brother , neither of them new which vend of a hammer to hold , couldn't tell a bearing wall from a t- shirt . You were fortunate to find a structural engineer who understood construction , the PE title is only important on payday ! Only thing I've ever seen most engineers do is create paralysis by analysis !!
In the 90's I was working in Commercial construction for one of the largest companies in California when housing slowed down so not as many building inspectors were needed so to keep from getting laid off the builders claimed that inspectors were nit picking jobs and writing correction orders that would require ?? a second inspection an cost another $ 50 fee for the city. One of my assignments was to Pre- inspect the various jobs under way and look for things to correct before the building inspector got there to keep the project on a fast track. Then when construction rebounded the inspectors couldn't keep up so they allowed any engineer that could stamp a set of plans to do inspections for the company and turn in the report. In the area where I now live near yellowstone some of the inspectors know the builders who have been in bussines many years and sometimes the inspector will tell them to take a lot of pictures and email them in and keep working. reputation for quality work counts.
 

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2 of my sons have contractor licenses, The older on is now a project manager for a large company that has jobs all over the country, he racks up a lot of air miles every year. He knows the Codes, and where to tell and inspector where to look in the bock when things have changed. I will be 80 next year, but just finished a couple sets of plans for family projects. When the planning and zoning had some concerns about fire sprinklers I pointed that the 2021 code made changes that would save us money so they agreed to our proposal althougt they are usualy a couple years behind implementing the code after it changes.
 

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Hates: Liver. Loves: Diesel
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update: Success. Got the permit. Tearing **** apart now. Ripped out the carpet... which led to ripping up the subfloor to level joists... which led to jacking up the entire end of the house to replace rotted rim joists... which led to new joists and new engineered subfloor. At least I know the floor is level within 1/16", and with 2x8s that span a maximum of 5.5', I have pretty much quadrupled the required shear load. By my calculations, I can support a live load of about 135 psf. Just a little more than the code-required 30 psf. I figured the next time someone would have access to this stuff is probably in another hundred years, so I didn't want to skimp on $30. Do it right, do it overkill.

523659

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Now onto the fireplace.

523660
 

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Hates: Liver. Loves: Diesel
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Mostly. Chimney parts come Monday, then inspector (if he choses to come out). Then hardwood floors, then stone work.

523843

523844


I don't have a pic yet, but most of the chase framing is done as well. I have to wait on the last two studs until I actually get the flue in place behind it.

I also did a couple quick CADs. The first one was done by a friend who is better at Sketchup. His idea includes cabinetry all over the place which I don't think I'll do in this small room, but I like it. I might do a hutch in the left corner. The wall treatment is sheet copper, BTW. His design is wonderful, but a touch too modern for me.

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I did this last CAD just to get it out of my brain. Disregard the walls and lack of other elements. I will be doing the mantel with these curved insets, cut with a big ogee profile and matching walnut corbels. Then the hutches on the side will also be walnut with stained glass insets. I will be doing the copper sheet, and the stone will look more like what is pictured above, not the cheesy brick in my CAD below.
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523847
 

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Collector of "someday" cars
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I agree, most "modern" home designs are not to our liking. Everything back to square and black and white, doesn't appeal to us
We had the kitchen in our, recently sold, home remodeled and had custom Oak cabinets made to fit the space. My wife and I both love oak and cringe at the thought of the new, young, owners painting them over to be "modern". But, they paid a huge price for the house and can destroy the cozy feel it had all they want.
 

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Hates: Liver. Loves: Diesel
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
This house was built in 1900-ish, although you would never know it. I think it started life as a carriage house or a grain shed. It's tiny.

The master bedroom is vaguely modern ish, but super cozy. The guest bedroom has a subtle victorian taste with all antique cherry; 3- mirror vanity, 4-poster bed. Kitchen is a pretty middle-of-the-road approach. Classic style with modern colors. I wanted the living room to be super warm and reminiscent of an old english gentlemen's club, minus the opulence.
 
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