Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hate to say it but I personally know a couple of AHJ inspectors that have trouble reading the newspaper, much less the code book.

Most around here are appointed part time positions.

Since they really aren't held accountable for much, unless they have an axe to grind with someone, they don't seem to be aware of half of what we cringe at when we see it.

I once did an inspection for a friend on a new modular that had no GFCIs in the garage, no rock on the garage ceiling between the living space above, and a number of other incomplete or incorrect, while the AHJ wrote a C of O for the place at the very same time.

One of the towns in this county wants stamped architecture drawings before issuing a permit. Another town requires the equivalent of a charcoal drawing on the back of a cereal box.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am starting my addition Friday; we had to delay because of high winds, rain and snow. Prior to issuing my permit the AHJ called me to ask where the foundation drawings were for a second floor addition. After explaining I was building up rather than out, he then mailed me a permit with someone else's name on it.

The only requirement is that I have substantially started within 1 year of the issue date or I will have to re-apply. No inspections, no CO, nada. This is the first permit on this property in 143 years. I'm sorry I broke the streak. It won't happen again.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hate to say it but I personally know a couple of AHJ inspectors that have trouble reading the newspaper, much less the code book.

Most around here are appointed part time positions.

Since they really aren't held accountable for much, unless they have an axe to grind with someone, they don't seem to be aware of half of what we cringe at when we see it.

I once did an inspection for a friend on a new modular that had no GFCIs in the garage, no rock on the garage ceiling between the living space above, and a number of other incomplete or incorrect, while the AHJ wrote a C of O for the place at the very same time.

One of the towns in this county wants stamped architecture drawings before issuing a permit. Another town requires the equivalent of a charcoal drawing on the back of a cereal box.

Jim, architects and engineers routinely draw stuff that they know is non- compliant in an effort to give their clients what they want. Recently, when I phoned an architect to point out that the mechanical room for a bank couldn't possibly provide the necessary clear working space for the furnace, water heater and electrical panel, his reply was, "the client doesn't want to give up more space in the break room." I guess my point is, a plan review is a fairly complex procedure and there is a lot to look at. The fact that all the players have different motives and agendas doesn't help matters. I assume I've made mistakes in review and I assume others do as well.

Gary, in NY, all CEO's are appointed- it's the law. I know that because I set up a plan to be a mercenary CEO, on-call when needed for small towns and charge an hourly rate. The problem is, NY Town law states that the CEO must be an employee of the town.

The NYSRC indicates that a CEO may require architectural drawings for any project and must require a stamped drawing if the project value exceeds $20K. The value thing gives us a bit of discretion. If I have a resident starting a $10K project where I know he'll be over his head, I may request a stamped set of plans to ensure that I won't be running a "how-to" school. OTH, if a competent builder gives me a well-drawn set of plans for a simple addition with a value exceeding $20K, I'm likely to accept them.

CEO's are just like home inspectors- most of them are on their second career, many of them know almost nothing about construction. The municipalities I work for have no idea what I do or how I do it. There are no guidelines or job descriptions beyond the broadest scope imaginable. So, with all that leeway you get this mix of CEO that ranges from the anal jerk who wears his badge and carries a roll of green dot stickers, to the slacker who parks his truck for an hour at a time and plays games on his cell phone.

The builders are frustrated because the rules change from town to town and their frustration leads to strained conversations. Sometimes there is enough time to have a meaningful conversation, to point out the appropriate phrase in the code and to discuss the easiest way to get there. Sometimes it's all done and you say, "I told you last time to insulate the headers and I let it slide, you said you would this time- remember? If you forget next time, you'll take apart and do it again." That's where the home inspector comes in and says, "these headers aren't insulated, the AHJ doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground." When in fact the AHJ made the contractor beef up the attic insulation to R49 to compensate for the uninsulated headers.

Compliance is a moving target and frequent code cycles make it really hard to hit. About half of the AHJ's I know have the technical skills necessary to do the job.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...