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turkeyhunter
Member
# Posted: 24 Aug 2015 16:24
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You suppose to get permits??????

....OH mY..lol

did not know that!!!

steverobertson
Member
# Posted: 25 Aug 2015 12:22
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I'm not sure just how badly out of turn I'm speaking here...but
*begin rant*
Why the hell do I need permission to build what I want, the way I want on property I bought and paid for with my money?! I don't mind paying a fee for them to come and assess it's value after I'm done, but there is NO WAY I'm paying someone to tell ME how to build anything!

There are log cabins and mud houses here in Colorado that do not meet code today but are still occupied and standing, where the wind comes along and knocks down a three year old house! Folks, safety and responsibility is up to the individual and not government. If we don't push back against all this nonsense, it won't be long and you simply won't be able to build anything yourself!

The only reason they have this level of control is because we allow it.

*End Rant*

(I feel much better now)

bldginsp
Member
# Posted: 25 Aug 2015 15:51 - Edited by: bldginsp
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Quoting: steverobertson
Why the hell do I need permission to build what I want, the way I want on property I bought and paid for with my money?!


The simple answer is that you won't be the only person using the building. You will invite guests in, and after you sell or die someone else will inhabit the structure. If you make some mistakes in construction you are endangering other people's lives.

Remember the schools that collapsed in China after the earthquake, because the inspectors took bribes and did not hold the contractor to the codes? How many kids died?

It's kind of like- "Why the hell can't I drive down the highway, drunk as hell, at any speed I want to in my own car with no one else in the car?"

Freedom means living within a government of laws, rather than within a dictator's arbitrary rules. The laws are agreed upon by the majority and voted into place. Without laws drunk drivers get away with killing people and the builders of buildings that collapse are not held to account.

Building permits suck, cost too much, are a pain in the a**, and listening to an inspector tell you what to do stinks. But the alternative is worse. That's the messiness of democracy, rule of the majority. Winston Churchill- "Democracy is the worst form of government on the earth, except for all the others."

MtnDon
Member
# Posted: 25 Aug 2015 18:06
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bldginsp



I have given up arguing the point with the "other side" though. Mostly.

bldginsp
Member
# Posted: 25 Aug 2015 19:24
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I thought I had too, then the other day I got up on the wrong side of the bed....

beachman
Member
# Posted: 25 Aug 2015 20:37
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Steverobertson, you are probably a reasonable person that would not intentionally build anything that would endanger your or someone else's life. A strict code can really be frustrating for reasonable people, but it would be helpfull if another set of eyes viewed what we were doing to make corrections that otherwise might be overlooked. Problem - other eyes are unforgiving and harmful in some cases, as well as unyielding to new ideas that could be safe but not in the "rules". The other problem is that there are many idiots out there that are the cause of these "rules" and the rest of us must suffer the consequences. The more people, the more rules.

steverobertson
Member
# Posted: 25 Aug 2015 21:10
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I see. Can someone possibly direct me to a forum with perhaps more libertarian views - or at least one that can accept my views as mine without a need to school me? I'm not trying to vent my frustrations at any one person, but only at the situation.

I have built several homes since 1980. The first home I had no permits of any kind. It's still a good solid occupied home. A home I built in 1990, I had to get a water well permit from the state engineer's office and a building permit from the city (not county). This tiny 680 sq ft home I remodeled and live in now required me the following permits:

DORA state Electrical permit
DORA state Solar/Wind permit
Colorado state engineer-stamped and approved mount plans
County Roofing permit
County General reconstruction permit
Colorado Water well permit
Water analysis state test
State Septic permit
State Drain field percolation state test
State Water plumbing permit
County Woodstove installation permit

All those "required permits and tests" totaled over $3,000.00. That's $3,000 I could have used to support a merchant in my area, or kept in the bank. I know what needs to be done, and there is no "test" you can take or affidavit you can complete that exempts you from government control. I need like-minded people to network with, and I haven't seen any on this thread. Are there any?

MtnDon
Member
# Posted: 25 Aug 2015 21:20
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What's your purpose here? To learn and share about the building experience? Or looking for an anarchist club?

Do you vote? Take part in local or state government?

steverobertson
Member
# Posted: 25 Aug 2015 22:26
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My purpose here is to participate in this discussion, on this thread, on this subject of building permits. I don't believe that my contribution is out of line with others expressed here. So I'm unsure where I got off on the wrong foot with you, sir. The remainder of your questions are condescending, at least to me, and I desire to participate with my views. But I will post no further to this thread, and I apologize to anyone I may have offended with my remarks including you, MtnDon. I thank you for taking the time to comment on my thoughts and opinions.

bldginsp
Member
# Posted: 25 Aug 2015 22:33
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steverobertson- I don't blame you for being frustrated by the situation. The permit process has gotten out of control and now costs too much and requires too many things. I occasionally see permits for houses built in the early 50s that had only 5 or six inspections, just enough to verify the safety basics.

The path to hell is paved with good intentions, but the whole permit process is overloaded with too many good intentions. I wouldn't be surprised if, perhaps sooner rather than later, people get fed up and use the voting proposition process to throw the building codes and permits out entirely, just out of disgust. That's a lot easier than the difficult and messy political job of reducing the size of the codes and requirements in a careful, systematic way.

But, as a day-to-day building inspector, I have seen so much scary, shoddy, extremely dangerous garbage out there that I can't go on the side of eliminating the permit process. Too many innocent kids out there that are going to live in those houses. That's how I see it.

Sorry if we jumped on you, and you will find like-minded persons on this site. It's a debate that flares up from time to time. A healthy, messy, democratic debate.

Wilbour
Member
# Posted: 25 Aug 2015 22:35
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Well that was a little awkward. ..

Hey look, cake.

cabingal3
Member
# Posted: 25 Aug 2015 22:36
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ha ahaa.haa.thats hilarious Wilbour.

NorthRick
Member
# Posted: 25 Aug 2015 23:19
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I like cake.

However, threads like this one make me realize I made the right decision leaving the megaglopoluous of the D.C. area and fleeing to Alaska. We live in Anchorage which requires building permits, inspections and the like.

But we have property north of there where we can mostly do what we please. We also own land well to the east where we don't even pay property taxes. There is some "peer" pressure from neighboring land owners, and we exert some of our own, but mostly its live and let live.

It's changing, like anywhere else, but the cold dark winters and isolation from family tend to slow population growth up here which helps us hold on to the sense of being free.

After pulling a building permit for a project on our house in Anchorage and dealing with that, I can't tell you how often I'll be banging away on a project in the woods and just smile because I'm doing what I want without being told how I "have" to do it.

Don_P
Member
# Posted: 25 Aug 2015 23:38 - Edited by: Don_P
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I suppose I won't tell you to lie low and hide to do what you want, that ultimately is the freedom of a fugitive. If you don't like something, stand on their toe and lean in. You won't get far alone. The smooth comfortable spot in that brick wall, you're welcome.

3% of the population are in contact with the building dept at any given time. People are forgetful and lazy. Tell me when you figure out how to motivate them... that wasn't one .

Read and participate in the public comment process of code development. I have a few times, my comments were dismissed.

At the state code adoption level you can comment, building code isn't sexy enough to get much help from your representatives though.

At the local level I've had more variance.

creeky
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2015 10:57
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"If I make a mistake I call it art."

my kind of guy.

rants are great. I always enjoy a good one. thx Steve. and I have written more than a few of my own. letting off steam is a good thing. just gotta watch the "rust" effect. wouldn't want that rant switch to get stuck and start arcing.

hey. are those double chocolate cookies.

steverobertson
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2015 11:03
Reply 


Thanks Creeky - I understand what you're saying.

Wilbour
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2015 13:58
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Cake or Cookies anyone?

steverobertson
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2015 14:09
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Cookies - peanut butter. Thanks Wilbour!

creeky
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2015 14:49
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can I have ice cream with my cake?
that's my favorite.

on the topic of "lean in" that Don_P brings up. It's a tough one isn't it? Now hear me out.

My dad was an electrician. Later in life he got a job as a building inspector. I went with him when I visited on a few inspections. He mostly kept builders from taking short cuts. You know. A guy who put a staircase down to the basement with the support column into the concrete floor. No plastic showing. So Dad would flag that. Hey, show me the plastic. Cause you know that family wants to run up and down the stairs for decades and doesn't need the support column rotting out. So permits and rules = good.

On the other hand. The permit process in some areas can and has gotten to be a revenue generating activity. Many permits required. Inspections used to slow construction and increase expense. The area I live in had just such a process in place. The people involved with that are gone now, but for a long time it decreased property values and slowed local construction. Oddly, a few "supported vendors" got to build homes at the expense of everyone else.

I guess it's the hard part of having rules. In a game rules make the game. But when rules can be changed to transfer resources from one guy to give to the other. Or changed to suit one person and discriminate against another.

So onto "lean in." that's the key. First, let's not forget. There is a long history of those who "lean in" getting there noses cut off. But if you don't ...

In my area there's been huge ongoing discrimination via rules and permits against local farmers. Big industrial food producers bought the rule makers and an area that has been known for a hundred years as a cheese making area no longer has a cheese industry. Every single small cheese producer, meat cutter, families in the business for generations were ruled out of business. All of them. Not one remaining.

I mean one of the rules was you had to have a wheelchair accessible washroom for both sexes with mandatory size and hygienic code requirements. Ya. For a cheese company run by a family for the past 100 years where you went up to the house if you needed to use the can suddenly had to build a many 10s of thousands of dollars washroom to (sorry) sit idle.

So how do you say. Go permit when the "lean in" got bought out. Now what do you do?

It would be nice if there was a clean algorithm to parse the difference. Hey. Now there's an idea for an app. Democracy 2.0a.

And I prefer butterscotch ripple thanks.

steverobertson
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2015 15:09 - Edited by: steverobertson
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creeky
I do like you a lot. Thanks for getting back on topic. I think the only thing that has me frustrated is the fact that our ability of choice is simply gone in the name of safety, sanitation and anything else that soothes the senses. We have lost sight of where we came from. My ancestors chose to live on the plains of Eastern New Mexico in spite of the prospect of a much better life elsewhere. They chose the dustbowl of the desert, with children (one of whom grew up to be my grandmother). Today, those children would be taken from them in the name of health and safety, and the parents sheltered in the local shelter until they could learn other means of self-support.

There are those that CHOOSE to live in tipi's, tents, campers and all kinds of things here in Colorado. But they are not allowed to choose that life of hardship because they must be protected from themselves. In my opinion, it has simply gone too far, requiring too much.
Terry Family
Terry Family


bldginsp
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2015 15:14 - Edited by: bldginsp
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I know a building inspector who fishes in remote areas. He hiked 10 miles to a lake on state property with no road access. They had installed an accessible toilet, paid for by guess who. Pretty ridiculous.

I disagree with the idea I see frequently thrown out that permit fees are just used for revenue generation. Sounds like they are just trying to make money off it. I don't see that, but my experience is limited. In general, permit fees pay for most of the cost of running a permit process, but not all. So they aren't filling the coffers. But the cost of running a permit process itself could cost a lot less, but that would require major changes which won't happen until the public stops complaining and actually does something about it, which would send me into early forced retirement, much to my relief.

I want double Dutch chocolate cake with fudge between the layers and 1/2" thick dark chocolate icing with little chocolate rosettes. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

MtnDon
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2015 16:08 - Edited by: MtnDon
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It's not that we have lost sight of where we came from, it is a different world we live in now. More people. In 1910 the USA had a population of just over 93 million. In 2010 the census lists us as being just over 308 million. Different world needs different rules.

I am not saying that the myriad collection of rules that we have makes me happy. I feel overburdened not only by building department rules, but by the near incomprehensible IRS code and all the rules our privately owned business must contend with. However, often, not always, I can see how some of the rules came to be. Other times I can not for the life of me fathom the thinking behind them. Not unless I turn very pessimistic about ulterior motives.

However unhappy I might be about all that it is a little more frightening to think of what it would be like to not have regulations, to live in an anarchy.

And so I bitch and complain, in writing, to my city council, my state representatives, the state department that licenses our profession, my federal congress people, the Forest Service, the BLM, etc. I also attend meetings with other folks with agreeing and opposing views. On occasion I have found myself on the side that "won". Many times not.


As for fees and some saying that the permit fees should pay 100% for the department operation I understand the thinking behind that, I think. But that seems shortsighted to me, as rules that protect safety, etc benefit us all eventually. So I would not mind tax dollars from the general fund being used to subsidize a building department. That would benefit the small guy more than the rich guy.

beachman
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2015 18:08
Reply 


The inspection process should be designed to help you make good decisions. Not to punish you for missing a rule. They should be guides to safe construction practices and proper education. Not like an "education camp" in some strange country. The anti-bullying lobby should look to these guys and maybe the tax guys for a good start.

I really like any type of cake.

steverobertson
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2015 18:26
Reply 


beachman
I completely agree with you. My experiences here in Colorado were horrible. I had to hire an engineering firm to approve my ideas for remodel. I initially had my roof purlins set 2' apart. The firm reassigned them at 18" for snow load. When I had the purlins placed at 18"m the inspector had me take them all down and respace them at 12". His reasoning? I was at a higher elevation and likely to get more snow. He made this change AFTER he accepted the engineered plans. I was a trifle pissed.

I spec'd out vinyl insulated windows throughout the house. The engineering firm was cool with that. At acceptance, he changed the window specs to aluminum with thermal breaks. His reasoning? Since I'm near the peak of the mountain, I have stronger winds, and therefore need stronger windows. Kind of makes sense, but then what's the purpose of hiring an engineering company for $2500.00?

The general manager of the hardware store made me a "great" deal on the windows I was required to get. He even laughingly told me that the county inspector is an ass. But I wonder if there's some cronyism going on somewhere. Everything is geared towards requiring you to pay for layers upon layers of administrative fluff, and useless rebuilding of the wheel every time someone builds their own home. For example, if we all know that purlins at 18" are adequate, then why does every owner/builder have to hire an engineering firm to give their stamp of approval to that? Contractors get several plans approved and build the same houses over and over with different colors - sometimes bribing the inspectors on large projects. This does not help any small guys anywhere. It all breeds cronyism. Give me liberty, but if you don't, please don't choke me to death!

bldginsp
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2015 20:28 - Edited by: bldginsp
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What concerns me most is how 'freedom' is becoming an extremist ideology in itself, without regard to the history of its development. The founding colonists were reacting to the extreme behavior of a tyrannical authority, and wanted to institute a government of laws that released them from that tyranny by making law the ultimate authority rather than dictatorial decree. It was their specific intention to create a body of laws which ruled the land, voted in place by the majority. The law was above any individual, all individuals had to follow the law. In this way no extremist dictator could impose unfair rules or laws that were not to the people's liking. This was freedom- life under rule of a government of laws, not of men, thus free of the evils of dictatorship.

But now as government becomes larger and more influenced by special interests, the perception seems to be that government is the enemy. So 'freedom' becomes eliminating government altogether, or freedom from the laws of government, rather than a government of laws being the thing that protects our freedom from tyranny. The belief that 'freedom' is the removal of any law that impinges on the desires of the individual is a dangerous extremist ideology. It is a kind of tyranny in itself- a tyranny of ideology over majority rule. It says 'I know what's right no matter what the majority vote is'. It also plays directly into the hands of the special interests that influence the system, because it precludes using the system to root out their corruption. They love divisiveness, it leaves a vacuum of power for them to fill.

The door is open to some demagogue who promises 'freedom' from bureaucratic red tape by eliminating the rule of law and replacing it with a 'benevolent dictatorship'. He'll be backed by the corporations, shoveling money in the back door. It's called fascism.

But if they came to power, they'd use the same building codes that we have now, because they wouldn't be smart enough to come up with something better or different, and probably wouldn't care anyway.

Give me the corner piece of cake, because it has more icing.

Audiophile
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2015 23:15
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Interesting thread and quite the discussion. I have enjoyed reading it. To permit or not to permit comes down to local code and the structures intent/primary purpose.

My wife and I own land deep in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia. We plan to start our cabin in the spring of 2016.

Talking to the county building inspector, any structure under 250 sqft does not require a permit. He added if you sleep or eat in said structure then it falls under a different category. While I have pulled permits for projects on my primary residence (finished basement) I will not be getting them for my ~150sqft cabin. It will not be connected to utilities of any kind and it is not a full time residence.

I think the issue is people trying to do the tiny house thing and thinking they will build a cabin/tiny house as a primary residence with no permits or safety checks. I am all for permits for full time homes or structures larger than a shed. For what is legally a shed on my land it seems silly for permits. I would also love to hear how they would even enforce the no eating or sleeping in a shed policy.

steverobertson
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2015 23:28
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Glad you enjoyed it. I did too.

Here in Colorado, I would say 70% resign to the red tape and buy modular homes, and about 20% of my neighbors literally live in sheds, many year round to escape the building codes. Minimum square footage here is 200 sq ft, unless it is a shed built off-premises and then delivered. I can't go that small, so I endured all the hassle. I have to say that I get along with all the inspectors very well, so I didn't have any real problems. The building/roofing inspector was a bit of a stickler. The DORA inspector and I are good friends now after having met through my solar/wind/electrical permit.

Good night all.

brooksm29
Member
# Posted: 27 Aug 2015 02:10
Reply 


To permit or not to permit...that is the question. Everyone has their opinion on the subject and they have to live with their decision. I chose the walking the fine line/no permit way to build and others have not. I did however build mine to be a safe, TO CODE, home away from home. I paid for the Land Use permit when building and I pay for the Camping Permit annually, to attempt legitimacy.

The codes/inspections are there so people cannot build tar paper shacks, endangering their lives and the lives of others. If I could have done anything different and furthered the legality of my cabin, I would have. I have enough bills and expenses at my primary residence, I didnt need to add to that frustration.

All that being said...If anyone on here doesnt like the potential response you will receive from the other members...be careful what you post. If you dont want an honest answer (esp from a mtndon or a bldginsp), dont ask the question.

cabingal3
Member
# Posted: 27 Aug 2015 02:31 - Edited by: cabingal3
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i dont know much about this but i know that if they let people build with out so much money and hassle-there would probably be alot less homeless people.
if a homeless person had a dream of owning a cheap piece of land ...it would be a wonderful dream for them to plan how they would build a home for themselves.
i think there is so much confusing red tape and so costly for building.alot of people have lost a dream and that is the American dream.
to own land,build a home on it and garden and farm on the land.
here in Oregon they have a village for homeless people who are needing help getting back on their feet.
all 200 sq.feet buildings or less is what the village is comprised of.
out here where we are at...its mountain rural.
almost all out here are living in places they built when they got the money.little scraps of money here and there.or they have cut down timbers...and made add ons.most is not permitted.
there are some nicer homes too.they sometimes call on the non permitted ones.
one couple has a really nice home across the road some new people moved in with a nice trailer and motor home and they built on some added buildings ...the nice couple called to report on this new family with all the outbuildings...the county said "we dont care and we arent coming out there!".
if the building inspectors could be more helpful and not so into the standard home being built but help people have safe homes with alternative ways of building like a cob home or a cordwood home.it would be wonderful.
a fella out here bought land and he worked for the state...he wanted to build a yurt.they told him no and he got mad .sold his land and moved.
on the other hand...right across the road from this state fella is a family whose totally off the grid with no permits on anything...who has had the building inspector come to his door... and is living there still.go figure.
its a crazy world out there.but the law is the law.if u live in town or close to town...that would be a different story.

Gary O
Member
# Posted: 27 Aug 2015 03:24
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Well, I don't know about the rest of y'all, but I found this thread quite refreshing.

There were some pointed remarks as things heated up, but everyone settled down and got back on topic.
I think Wilbour's interjection was quite timely in that regard.

One situation in respect to our government, at least on a county level here in Oregon, is the fact that some unelected appointees can legally tweak things without legislation.

This ability was voted thru by our fellow citizens...or let to be voted thru by the real majority not getting involved in the issues, so not voting, or signing petitions.
All for the sake of saving the precious 'in session' time of our elected officials.

Those of you who have gotten involved in local government know exactly what I'm talking about.
To get things changed for the better would be like, well, it would be like (god forbid) an act of congress.

Oh, the refreshing part is where all y'all said the same thing but used different words. Then got a tad unnerved a couple times. Made me chuckle.

All joking aside, I do believe, very firmly, that our freedoms of choice have been greatly compromised over the years.
And that, sadly, is due to the majority being too comfortable, and too busy to use the ballot box.

I applaud bldginsp and steverobertson for carrying this conversation to another level, and firmly believe that these discussions are the seeds of grass roots events. Events like the happenings of over 200 years ago.

I also firmly believe that ice cream should accompany the cake of every man woman and child throughout the known world.

This ad paid for by the Gary O' for commissioner of the PB&J Foundation, coupled with the bill rider; Cake, let them eat it.


oh

...and well said, my pet

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