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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:23 pm 
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…but you can grapple with them in endless, passive aggressive futility. Hey, this is Seattle after all. :-)

Today, I spent a not entirely frustrating, and not entirely satisfactory, half hour with a city building department permitting “coach”. She very patiently and diligently explained why I couldn’t do that I wanted, and what I would need to do to pursue my ideals in the future; thereby ensuring that I would make yet another (my third) visit to the 20th floor of the Seattle Municipal Building to curry the favor of the lords of the landscape.

This is all because I’m tired of putting up those damned pop-up tents for our biennial pig roast, and because an outdoor workspace for building small boats has been a long standing pipe dream of mine. My plan is to build a pole pavilion/picnic shelter on the south side of my lot, next to the shop.

Should be easy, right? Yeah, sure. Actually, the building itself should be pretty straight forward, but my first foray into the byzantine ant colony of downtown Seattle was pretty discouraging. It seems that my free plans, downloaded from the internet, didn’t include the required engineering calculations for sheer loads on embedded posts, snow loads on trusses… etc. You get the idea.

The process continues, and will likely for some time to come. Just one more project on the stove. Stay tuned.

Cheers,
Tom

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:28 pm 
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AND...
Sounds like when I tryed to up grade my 100 amp service to 200 amp NEC* says 1 1/2" pipe is fine but they demand 2" well it runs through the gambrell** on my roof requiring tearing off a section of my roof. Beyond that we would have to install hard wired interconnected smoke/co dectors (conduit required on all line voltage). Above that lead abatemant procedures must be followed sealing off the work ect.
So much for my 200 amp service. :?:

*National Electrical Code
** barn like roof

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:20 am 
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Come on guys! It is just Big Brother trying to save you from yourself. :)
It never ends. :( Freedom is yours..... as long as you do it the way we tell you to. :lol:
Everything is OK until one thing happens by some fool that doesn't know what he is doing and it messes it up for everybody forever.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:35 am 
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This is why I retired to the woods in MS, among other things I'd grown very tired of. Good luck Tom.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:39 am 
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We have a saying up here in Skagit County: "Easier to ask forgiveness than it is to ask permission".

Feel your pain, Tom. In my youthful naivete I embarked on a remodel of our house in the Montlake District back in the late 60's. Only to come home from work one day and find the project red tagged. Fortunately in those days all I needed for a permit was a rough hand drawn sketch of the work.

Life gets tedgious, don't it?

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Cheers - Dennis


Last edited by DennisS on Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:52 am 
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Quote:
We have a saying up here in Skagit County: "Easier to ask forgiveness than it is to ask permission".


Hey Dennis,

That probably works up there in the sticks where you live, but down here in (ahem) civilization, that sort of thinking will net you a hefty fine, and additional delays. Come to think of it, if you had a project tagged with a stop work order, then you already know that.

I'm not ready to throw in the towel and head for the hills just yet. There's more to the story on my blog site. Http://fremontoccassionalwoodworks.wordpress.com

Cheers,
Tom

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 6:53 pm 
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tms wrote:

Today, I spent a not entirely frustrating, and not entirely satisfactory, half hour with a city building department permitting “coach”. She very patiently and diligently explained why I couldn’t do that I wanted, and what I would need to do to pursue my ideals in the future;


would you have preferred the type of service in those jurisdictions where you get told "these plans are no good, come back when you've fixed it"? At least she told you what needs to get done. And you said she was patient and diligent. Yes, it's disappointing that you didn't succeed on the first visit, but would you prefer to live in the sort of "anything goes" place (think Houston) where your neighbor can build any sort of monstrosity next to you because there are essentially no zoning laws? Do you want to have to hire an engineer, a plumbing inspector, an electrical inspector, and god knows what else before buying a house because there are no code inspections, or worse, no building code at all?

tms wrote:
Should be easy, right? Yeah, sure. Actually, the building itself should be pretty straight forward, but my first foray into the byzantine ant colony of downtown Seattle was pretty discouraging. It seems that my free plans, downloaded from the internet, didn’t include the required engineering calculations for sheer loads on embedded posts, snow loads on trusses… etc. You get the idea.


At the risk of seeming unsympathetic, why is it the building department's fault that you show up with plans that don't show it meets engineering requirements? Why not blame the website that provided the plans?

I live in one of those places where building permits are "optional", at least in practice. (I know a licensed GC who built his house without pulling a single permit. While you or I might get our hand slapped, a week delay or so, he's risking his livelihood, or so one might think.) Anyway, I figured who needs a permit for a garage, if nobody else ever gets permits for anything. After all, it's a pre-fab, fully engineered building, and the guys assembling it had done lots of these before.

Well, here's what happened:

Image

Seems I didn't ask the snow-load design level and the vendor, in spite of knowing where he was shipping, didn't think to ask if the design load was high enough. Would the building department people have saved me from this? Don't know for sure, but I do know the house, for which permits were pulled, has a design snow-load of 40 lbs per square foot, vs. 10 for the garage. I ended up having to install posts and I-beams, so it's not an open span inside as it was supposed to be.

Those plans you downloaded - what seismic zone are they for? What happens if you're having a pig-roast and the ground starts rocking and drops the roof on your friends because it was designed for the sort of ground movement seen in most of the rest of the US, not the left coast?

Yeah, dealing with city hall can be a pain in the butt, but it can also save your life. Everyone bitches about the former, never remembers the latter when the big one comes.


Last edited by drstrip on Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:34 pm 
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Location: Maui,Hawaii
I once got a stop work order on a repair!
called Maui county . whats this? your are building. No, no I am not, I am repairing. You have new materials. yes that happens with repairs. (Someone called I know it). I cannot believe I won.

Hope you win Tom, tell her or him I'll show you stress load

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