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Old 04-14-2005, 11:43 PM
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Bill Schwab is an unknown quantity at this point
Inspections and Permits

It was a great day yesterday until the inspector showed up. He signs off on our fireplace final, then walks over to the BBQ, and item not required to have permits and rad flags us. Typically, in every municipality we have worked, so long as you only have cold water to the sink, they allow us to dump the water in the storm drains, which typically are the network of pipes into the curb and street....I always questioned this, but have become acustomed to it. In Chula Vista, a town we are working right on the Mexican boarder, they require sink drains to dump into the sewers. That is not so bad, knowing this up front, but, let me share what my ignorance cost us today.

First, to hook to a sewer, you have to pull a $500.00 permit. Then, there is the issue of water to the Q. That is a $150.00 permit. Then, there was $230.00 worth of ABS pipe, fittings and this glue that looks like used motor oil. Then the killer...A days trenching by hand with 3 guys....$1,800.00 in lost billable hours.

Since we had a pond, irrigation, paver steps and all kiinds of other goodies in, to run a trencher and make repairs all day would have cost more.

Now, going into this next time, I know we need another $2,700.00 if the owner wants a wet island. I looked at every angle I could to recover this from the owner. Ultimately, it came to one thing. I was the one who assumed this town was like all other San Diego suburbs, I made the call and I calculated the bid. In every design build project we do, I have a fudge factor there, in case of things such as the above....

Then there is those who might just install the thing and be done with it, not filing permits. The problem you have there is when the owner goes to sell, and if there is ever a problem, you set yourself up for serious liabilties.

Anyone else got any coulda shoulda woulda stupid permit stories?
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Bill Schwab
In the year 1491, if the Naturescape Landscape Company did the site work in Pisa, Italy, they would not be calling it the "leaning" tower.

Encinitas, Ca. 92024

www.naturescapelandscape.com

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Old 04-15-2005, 09:27 AM
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Did you know an approval can be rescinded?

So I am the untested GC at our new house constuction project. Last week, we passed the rough-in inspection (Building, Electric, Plumbing, HVAC) first try --woohoo, had to celebrate!

Insulation guy came and went. With the drywaller standing there, ready to rock, the @ss who came to do the insulation inspection started tagging things all over, and 'rescinded' the rough in! I quickly phoned the first inspector, and the head inspector.

Then we had a little hothead party, with both inspectors, and the supervisor. Voodoo had to ask one guy to leave. In the end, it took two days to get things back in order. (Climbing around on trusses in an insulated attic is not fun, let me tell you!) When I stopped at the permit office, all the inspectors were oddly solicitous, almost sheepish. When I asked who might do the inspection if we were ready that day, the supervisor himself offered to come out. When he did, he barely glanced at the changes before green tagging it.

I kind of lost respect for the system.
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Old 04-15-2005, 09:37 AM
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Spider:

Unfortuntely, that is how it works all over....Last year we pulled an electric permit on a 40' wide zero lot line property. I had a mason working on the right side back yard, the trnech was on the left. With conduit in and waiting for approval this guy asks the mason where the tench was....Like he can't see 40' away. So, to place the red tag, he goes around to the front, where a 4' concrete sidewalk spanned the gap over an 18" deep trench that our conduit was in. He writes "could not find electric trench" on the tag... Now the guy we were working for was a construction project manager who worked in this town all day long. All it did was set the job back a day, but you really have to wonder who they hire and what their qualifications are when these life forms come visit your job...Then there are the ones who do like you say, glance around, yeah looks good, sign off, go forward....

Perhaps some form of power trip? I dunno.....
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Bill Schwab
In the year 1491, if the Naturescape Landscape Company did the site work in Pisa, Italy, they would not be calling it the "leaning" tower.

Encinitas, Ca. 92024

www.naturescapelandscape.com

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Old 04-15-2005, 10:12 AM
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Yes, you are all absolutely correct. How do I know? Personally used to have a spouse as a 'Building Inspector'.....not good. This came direct from the horse's mouth 'We either love you or hate you. *ss us off, you bet it will take much longer to complete that job. Cost? What do we care, we get paid regardless'.

Not a good attitude from a municipality, but in my new neighborhood, it seems to be the same. Just visited by my local engineering dept. and the information was portrayed much differently with another in the same dept.

Just like any other business, they have their bad apples. You were right Bill, it IS an ego trip....15 years living with BI verified it. Sad, they do enjoy it.
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Old 04-15-2005, 09:09 PM
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Today's set back was instead of simply looking at the pipe and saying the pitch is OK, he asked us to fill the pipe with water and keep the joints exposed to see if they leaked. He came back though which was very nice of him. I'm entering all this into a to do sheet for BBQ's with sinks so nothing gets left out. The last detail is that because a BBQ does not have a place for a stink stack, (vent) we are installing Studor venting between the trap and the sink strainer.

Lesson learned by school of hard knocks....
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Bill Schwab
In the year 1491, if the Naturescape Landscape Company did the site work in Pisa, Italy, they would not be calling it the "leaning" tower.

Encinitas, Ca. 92024

www.naturescapelandscape.com

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Old 04-16-2005, 11:10 AM
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Bill Schwab is an unknown quantity at this point
I have yet another tale of recent inspections.

We are building a 3' tall non engineered wall down in Santee, specifically, Rattlesnake Canyon, and it's breeding season...

It took 4 submissions of a scaled drawing to get these guys to accept it, flunking it for things like "You did not designate the concrete driveways by placing these little poka dots on the drawing.

I nicely told the engineering department that their requirements were absurd, (I specifically said crazy) however I respect their jobs and what they ask. One engineer completely agreed, for a 3' wall, not holding a load, this was crazy, but they don't make the rules. Now comes time to make the cuts and build the wall.

My operator does his thing, the trench/drains and base crew comes in, rolls out the class 2 to get a perfect 100% compaction, and the inspector is called for the first run...Mind you this is a 3 foot no brainer type wall...Inspections....Well, OK, I play the game. This moron, or perhaps the morons who make the rules in the city,sees that I used road base for the leveling pad, rather than the 3/4 which our manufacturers drawing show...Now he wants me to certify the gravel...ARGH! I get the certs from the gravel pit and proceed forward. He then almost red tags the job because he saw the "Speed base*" rails sitting in the trench and did not have the sense to realize these were work tools...."There are no provisions in this drawing for the stakes and steel you have here...." Huh, What?????

We get to the first layer of grid, he wants to see the sticker from the roll. Strata Grid 150 is speced, however, I had an old roll of 300 taking up space that I wanted to use...I just upgraded the grid from the requirements and this numb skull red tags us. We get over that hurdle and are progressing along....This next one astounds me...After all that rigmarole and basic red tape, they are not running soil hardness tests on the back fill in the reinforcement zone, one of the most crucial parts in keeping SRW integrity. I'm not even going to raise a question here it is not worth the aggravation and I know since we are pounding down DG that we will hit 90% modified proctor without alot of grief.....

I had to ask yourself several questions while driving home.

Who writes these guys rules? And how can real in the field contractors get involved with them during this process to get them on the right page? Why is there so much inconsistent ordering about, there should be one set of rules and they should be followed. And last the money....Ever wonder why it costs so much to install a wall or for that matter any amenity in your home, a big part of the answer is right in this post. Though these types of procedures are necessary to prevent a situation like you see when driving into Tijuana (people living in converted semi trailers sitting on building blocks) there must be a way to get through the red tape afford ably and still have an acceptable project.
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Bill Schwab
In the year 1491, if the Naturescape Landscape Company did the site work in Pisa, Italy, they would not be calling it the "leaning" tower.

Encinitas, Ca. 92024

www.naturescapelandscape.com


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