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Where did that bedroom come from?

Original post made on May 16, 2011

Walk into any home, and you will find traces of the people living there now, and all of those who have come before. It is a fact of life that people will customize their homes to suit their personal tastes and needs, and while homeowners are required by law to submit building permits to the city for inspection before embarking on any significant work, that does not mean they will always comply.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 26, 2011, 4:08 PM

Comments (3)

Posted by Carol and Nicole , a resident of Barron Park
on May 16, 2011 at 9:15 am

While there may be checks and balances in the system, when a buyer purchases a property without the final permit then the buyer takes on full responsibility for any risks. The existence of a permit means that the proposed improvement and the drawings and specifications were approved by the local jurisdiction. Just as important as securing the permit is verifying that the actual construction conformed to these specifications. Web Link


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on May 16, 2011 at 11:48 am

Doing anything in the homes we buy and pay so much for, and then cannot so much as throw something big that doesn't fit into the trash away without some major burden and expense.

There is such a thing as reasonable regulation though. The irresponsible way man y people behave warrants some protection for everyone for dangers that stupid people might cause them, like bad gas work that could blow up a house, or other things ... but combined with the tendency to grow the public infrastructure to provide more money and more jobs for the special "connected" people and friends networks that get to feed off the rest of us - it is ridiculous and it does not work.

No, I'm not making the argument for no regulation or no government, it is an argument for putting responsible people in place to make reasonable decisions ... if that is even possible anymore. Now a sort of pervasive corruption just seems to rule.

This weekend Bob Brinker on KGO was talking about lifeguards that make 200K a year and a whole management infrastructure behind that.

The decisions to give some lucky political people huge pensions and benefits at public expense while people are grasping for jobs, education, health care and in some cases food ... this state, this country, our society is not working, and to leave all the little crimes that have already happened in place as fait accompli is no answer either. There is simply no way to find out all the truth, or handle every case fairly, so we just dump the burden on the taxpayer, and without justice, equally or fairness.

The inspectors can be nice and easy going, or they can be tinhorn dictators if they want to be or they take a dislike to people - woe is you say the wrong thing to them.

The average person is beaten up by a lifetime of this abuse and bullying ... and that is just the official beating we get in life ... is it any wonder the state of the world when only some are lucky enough to escape abuse and injustice. And remember, it is much better here in America than most of the planet. There is a lot of work to do to fix things, yet the way this is ignored in the media to keep the status quo in place it just goes on and on.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on May 17, 2011 at 11:05 am

OK - back to the subject of the thread...

Do get a permit. It is not worth trying to do work without one. Especially if you're caught - you'll be fined and you'll have to tear out everything that you did.

And if you're buying a home and that owner has permits --- don't assume that the permits covered all the work. Check the permits and the scope of the work.

Despite all of the amazing stories of how hard it is to get a permit, I have personally found that almost all of the people working at the planning center (on Hamilton, across from City Hall) are very, very helpful. Plus you'll find that many simple projects can receive a permit right at the first meeting over the counter.

As for inspectors and their attitudes --- I tend to look at it that there all types of people who make the world go around. On my current job we have had 4 different inspectors come by. One is a big grouch --- big deal. Just be nice and ignore the attitude. There are grouches everywhere you go --- city inspectors have not cornered the market on that.

My only other comment would be an open letter to those residents who are wary of their neighbors and their projects. My personal experience is that things go much smoother if you take the time to talk to your neighbor before assuming the worst.

On my current project I had two different neighbors anonymously try to stop my project because they thought I was building outside of zoning rules or my permit. I don't know if it was because they didn't like what we were doing or that they had a legitimate concern. But why waste the city's time running inspectors out to check on their claims when you could at least ask your neighbor what is going on with the project? Talk. Communicate.

BTW - same goes both ways --- if you're going to do a project, talk to your neighbors and let them know. Find out if they have any issues with parking, etc. so you can do your best to mitigate the impact on their daily routines (for the next 6-12 months). By doing so, you'll find that when your neighbor has a problem, they'll come to you first and not go to the city to complain....and then the problem is typically fixed right away and everyone is happy.


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