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Building Permits

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#26 Cotts

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 09:50 AM

Max size here for a no-permit build is 108 sqft (10m sq)....

 

In my rural township the building inspector is half an idiot and half a tin-pot dictator.

 

I wanted to build 10'x16' roll-off with two piers.  The permit was $225.   And he wanted drawings done by an engineering firm - my sketches, carefully drafted on my kitchen table, were ignored.  He gave me the name of a local firm that would do that.  I contacted the firm.  Minimum fee for plans for a 160 sqft building was $500.  Even if I drew them and they 'signed off' on them. Other firms were in the same fee range.  

 

Building Inspector was very worried and confused about the roll-off roof.  His first question was, "Why would you want the roof to be removeable?"   I explained.  He 'harrumphed'.  Then he asked,  "what if the roof were open and a storm happened and caught the roof and blew it into my neighbour's house?"   and I told him the roof is closed and locked down in bad weather....  and he grumbled.  

 

A friend advised me that I could apply for a variance to allow my specialized structure to be approved.  The building inspector said, "You'll never get a variance if the roof isn't permanently attached."  I pointed out to him that the whole purpose of a variance is to allow the 'different' roof.  I asked if I could present my case to the variance committee and he said, "I am the variance committee."

 

And this is why I have a 9'x12' obsy with one pier.

 

Dave


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#27 WalterG

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 12:45 PM

Wow, what a horrible experience. When I started this topic your experience and a few others who have posted are what I’m worried about. I now know if I keep it under 100 sq ft that’s the easiest route. If it’s over 100-120, it’s probably worth hiring a contractor that will grease the wheels of the “system.”

#28 Tom K

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 02:46 PM

As a former building inspector I will say that inspectors are given a certain amount of latitude, but if the code says 120 SF then that is it.   And yes, some are failed contractors and have crazy big egos.

 

With that said, in this era where remote control of a telescope and camera is routine, the concept of a big structure with a warm room and all of that is kind of going by the wayside.    Here in San Diego a warm room isn't really needed, but in areas where it is most people already have one - their house.   OldManSky's recent roll off is just large enough for the scope and associated gear - easily built well under 120SF.   The reality is that you spend the vast majority of your imaging time doing something else as (insert automation software of choice here) runs the imaging session.

 

I will be replacing my tilt off enclosure with a system similar to OldManSky's mini-ROR very soon.

 

Just my $0.02


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#29 mark77

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 03:30 PM

I agree with Tom, remote is the way to go.  I currently do all of my imaging from in the basement.

 

I however went to the other extreme. My observatory is 24x24 first floor, with a 17x17 2nd floor that supports a 15 foot dome.

 

In the words of George Ellery Hale, "Every Observatory should have a fully functional machine shop".  When I finish the downstairs portion, I will be moving my milling machine, 2 lathes, large arbor press, hardness tester and other tools in.

 

I will also at that time put in a desk downstairs with computers so that I can image from out there. The bottom is heated and I have real good insulation in the ceiling.

 

I also plan on putting in an optical bench (far away from the machine tools).

 

Mark


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#30 bogg

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 09:44 PM

Max size here for a no-permit build is 108 sqft (10m sq)....

 

In my rural township the building inspector is half an idiot and half a tin-pot dictator.

 

I wanted to build 10'x16' roll-off with two piers.  The permit was $225.   And he wanted drawings done by an engineering firm - my sketches, carefully drafted on my kitchen table, were ignored.  He gave me the name of a local firm that would do that.  I contacted the firm.  Minimum fee for plans for a 160 sqft building was $500.  Even if I drew them and they 'signed off' on them. Other firms were in the same fee range.  

 

Building Inspector was very worried and confused about the roll-off roof.  His first question was, "Why would you want the roof to be removeable?"   I explained.  He 'harrumphed'.  Then he asked,  "what if the roof were open and a storm happened and caught the roof and blew it into my neighbour's house?"   and I told him the roof is closed and locked down in bad weather....  and he grumbled.  

 

A friend advised me that I could apply for a variance to allow my specialized structure to be approved.  The building inspector said, "You'll never get a variance if the roof isn't permanently attached."  I pointed out to him that the whole purpose of a variance is to allow the 'different' roof.  I asked if I could present my case to the variance committee and he said, "I am the variance committee."

 

And this is why I have a 9'x12' obsy with one pier.

 

Dave

I can relate Dave.  In a jurisdiction I used to be  in the building department would not work with anything that was not directly in the code.  ie if you made a deck with joists on a 12 inch centre and the code only said you needed 16 inch on centre you needed to take it up and redo it or have an engineer to sign off on it.  No-one in the department had anything more than a course in interpretation of the building code. One guy I know is living in a house now for 10 or more years and the building department will not give him a permit to occupy as they say he needs to change his stairs and a opening to the attic.  The stairs are 0.3cm too tall and they want him to change them.  




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