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torker
12-19-2008, 02:24 PM
Hope I don't hurt anyones feelings here...
anyway..a building contractor with 25 years experience shows up the other day..wringing his hands.
He's building a house for some people and has to have it done in a few weeks.
This guy builds some pretty cool houses...the ones with all the wonky multi level roof pitches etc.
That's why they hire him...he's very good at what he does.
He gets the thing all up...roof buttoned up..inspector passes it.
Ooops...inspector with 5 years carpentering experience changes his mind.
Nope...he has to put up metal hangers where all the joists meet.
OK...so where do we get these hangers from???
They are so whacked out...no big company would build them without proper engineering and testing. Would take at least a year.
The guy can't believe this...he's never been asked...or even heard of using hangers on this complicated of a deal. The gist of the thing...the weight alone would hold all these in place. It is all on top of a center supporting wall. Where can the roof go??? So he spends a couple days making these...so I can copy them from 1/4" and 3/16" plate. The "inspector"..with no knowledge of welding or fabricating...will "approve" these for him...LOL
I'm still cutting...omg...there's not one straight angle in the whole bunch...all weird compound stuff.
Welding it together is going to be a big challenge...lotta bracing...lotta time.
I'm glad I'm not footing the bill for this. This is just a few of them..there's about 6 more after these four are built..
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/torker/IMG_0044.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/torker/IMG_0043.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v210/torker/IMG_0042.jpg
Russ

wierdscience
12-19-2008, 02:40 PM
Hum,this is one of those times where a press brake would come in handy.At least it would reduce the seam count.

It's not that weird to me though,I've built a stainless steel pig before:D

Willy
12-19-2008, 02:42 PM
I'm sure the contractor didn't hurt your feelings by going up there and making all the patterns.:D

An awful lot of measuring, what with all the various angles and plate sizes!
A lot of steel too, never mind all of the cuts.

Oh well that's the price you pay to live in a funky house. You won't need to heat the shop for a day or two either...your welding equipment should keep it toasty in there for a while. Beats shoveling snow wonderin when the next job will come in.

topct
12-19-2008, 02:57 PM
A building inspector here required a friends pole building to be guy wired to buried cement anchors .

ckelloug
12-19-2008, 03:08 PM
Down here as far as I understand, the inspectors can't do much like this if you have signed drawings from a certified Professional Engineer that the structure will meet its requirements without the stupid reinforcements. Without a P.E. signature then you're at the mercy of the rules in the code and the insane inspector's discretion because it's not an engineered structure for which the PE's license and arse are on the line.

I do know however that Southern Building Code requires reinforcements called "Hurricane Ties" if you are in a hurricane zone where the building parts could actually experience lifting forces. These reinforcements would never see any force at all except in a hurricane situation.

Y'all are absolutely certain that nothing in the simpson-strongtie catalog will even remotely work right?

Regards,
Cameron

torker
12-19-2008, 03:17 PM
Cameron...I am just repeating what the contractor told me. He's been looking for a solution to this for 2 weeks....there is nothing out there that could do the job for him. You'd actually have to see them to believe it... Darin...yup..I'm glad he built the patterns. He actually did a very good job of them.
I'm getting "angleitis" now tho...yeesh! And the waste factor keeps growing. I'm trying to save the guy as much as I can in materials but there aren't two parts on any that are the same...width or hieght. And very few angles are the same either.

topct
12-19-2008, 03:32 PM
I do know however that Southern Building Code requires reinforcements called "Hurricane Ties" if you are in a hurricane zone where the building parts could actually experience lifting forces. These reinforcements would never see any force at all except in a hurricane situation.

That's exactly right, and for good reason. But Spokane Wa. is not in a hurricane zone.

Thus the bizarre requirement in this case. There are a hundreds of open faced, pole construction, equipment shelters here. And none I have seen are guy wired.

I would file a complaint against the inspector. That's what was done here, and the issue has not come up since.

BigBoy1
12-19-2008, 03:46 PM
When my house was under construction, I wanted to install 12 volt door bells. I put the wiring in while the electrical work was being done. Well the electrical inspector came unglued and threatened to cancel the entire building permit because I did electrical work with out a permit.

OK so I go and get the $50 electrical permit for the front and back door bells. All well and good. Then after we are in the house, the inspector comes back to check on the work I did. He went into the basement and after a few minutes he was yelling about have us evicted from the unsafe house for the wiring violations. I went down to see what the problem was and he points to a big ball of wires that were on top of the furnace duct work. He said that was completely against code and that I did such a sloppy job of installing the wiring.

I proceed to show him where the wires were the I installed and the 12 volt transformer location. The big ball wires was NOT something I had done. It was done by the installers of the furnace electrical systems. When told him that the ball of wire was not mine but done by the furnace installers, he said, "Well in that case, the wiring is OK."

Needless to say I have no respect for electrical building inspectors.

Bill

ckelloug
12-19-2008, 04:25 PM
When the inspectors are not idiots, they can be helpful.

Mine actually came back later in the day giving me time to quickly correct a mistake when I ran the 400A service for the house wrong and was going to freeze to death if I didn't get the power back that day. Kudos to James from the Huntsville Electrical Inspection Department. Not all inspectors are kind to DIYers and many locations don't let residents rewire services, much less 400A commercial services on houses with dual disconnect switches.

Good work build those plates torker!

--Cameron

Duffy
12-19-2008, 04:31 PM
Russ, you have all my sympathy.It is probably too late now, but 12 ga sheet would be more than adequate for all of those brackets. I(f you doubt me, look at all the Simpsom Timber brackets at the building supply. I dont think they are more than 16 ga. The hooker is that if it is not spelled out in the Provincial Building Code, then the inspector really has "a duty of care" to require that an engineer design and seal the work.
Remember, the Building Code goes to great lengths to specify MANY ways to assemble a building. In the preamble, it also says that these are not the ONLY ways. It THEN says, if you dont do it the way we show you, then you MUST provide supporting data to, in effect, defend your way. Enter the structural design engineer.
Where things go crazy sometimes, and we old farts rant about "young upstarts with only six years experience which is actually only two years three times over!" It is the fact that new methods supersede old ones which do work, BUT ARE NO LONGER IN THE CODE. Any 1960 code will have a Spiking Table for the number and size of spikes to fasten a joist or rafter to a header. It will also show the design of a leger strip or ribbon board as an alternate to spiking. These methods still work but your building inspector wont recognize them. There is nothing new but what is forgotten.

torker
12-19-2008, 04:46 PM
Hang on..don't shoot the messanger. I have no problem with building codes etc. I am all for them.
I've made a lot of money over the years..rebuilding old houses.
I have cursed the pre building code days many times.
I also don't have a problem with MOST building inspectors.
In this case...I am taking a very experienced builders word.
Duffy...you are right. A "factory" hanger would be made out of far lighter material.
The inspectors reason for calling for 3/16" plate was... "Most people can't weld anything lighter."

clutch
12-19-2008, 05:40 PM
The inspectors reason for calling for 3/16" plate was... "Most people can't weld anything lighter."

That jerk is a little tin God. The 3/16" bravo sierra comment of his clued me in.

Clutch

Rich Carlstedt
12-19-2008, 09:03 PM
Since when is low voltage wiring covered under electrical code?

Bill
In section110.26,(NEC) anything 30 volts AC or less is not covered.
I think your inspector was on some weed.

Rich

dave5605
12-19-2008, 09:33 PM
I didn't notice where he has you putting any holes in the plates for the fasteners.

Its going to be a shame if he comes back later with his tail between his legs and asks you to PLEASE, PLEASE drill the various holes he has marked in the already welded up steel plates. Particularly if the holes have to align with one another for through bolts.

I hate to suggest you ask him about holes BEFORE you weld them all up.
It might open up a whole nother bucket of snakes for both him and you. Be sure to adjust your price accordingly.

I hope you at least have a plasma cutter to help with the cutting.:cool:

torker
12-19-2008, 09:43 PM
I didn't notice where he has you putting any holes in the plates for the fasteners.

Its going to be a shame if he comes back later with his tail between his legs and asks you to PLEASE, PLEASE drill the various holes he has marked in the already welded up steel plates. Particularly if the holes have to align with one another for through bolts.

I hate to suggest you ask him about holes BEFORE you weld them all up.
It might open up a whole nother bucket of snakes for both him and you. Be sure to adjust your price accordingly.

I hope you at least have a plasma cutter to help with the cutting.:cool:
Dave..LOL! Ya...there's lots of holes. This guy is one of the guys who you just love to work with.
He is a fanatic about detail.
And you got it...there are lots of thru holes (plate to plate) at weird angles that I have to figure out.
Yup..I have a plasma cutter...too bad the almost new Hypertherm is acting up...shoulda kept my ol Lincoln.

bruto
12-19-2008, 10:06 PM
Building inspectors who think are fine with me but.....


About 20-odd years ago I was connected with a little nursery school/day care provider, which lost its quarters, and had to rent space for a season. We rented the dining hall of a summer camp. A single, large space, which we partitioned approximately child-high with furniture. The fire inspector came out and noted that the laminated ceiling beams were deeper than some arbitrary amount, so code called for each separate ceiling space between the beams to be counted as a separate room. The result: We had to install 13 smoke detectors in a single room. No kidding.

We moved to another building, which we renovated. The building inspector this time (different town, same mind set) asked if we had any handicapped children or parents. No, I said. Well, said he, you're still going to have to build a ramp for the main entry. The kicker? The main entry had a step approximately 8 inches off the ground at the outside and the same step on the inside. I had to build a handicapped ramp out into the driveway, complete with 4 x 4 foot platform and railings all the way down, for a wheelchair to turn around on, for an 8 inch step. In winter, the ice fell on the ramp, making it unsafe, but by golly, if we ever had had a handicapped person come by, and he had had studded tires on his wheelchair, the ramp would have worked great, at least on the way in. Code did not require a ramp for the same height step on the inside!

That building was heated by a coal furnace. It was an old building with a low dirt floored basement. The building inspector also made us build a complete fire-coded room around the furnace, with 5/8 inch sheetrock inside and out, an automatic steel fire door, and an automatic air damper. He even made us tape the sheetrock on the outside. :(

mechanicalmagic
12-19-2008, 10:38 PM
My favorite Inspector Story:
When I was building my home shop, they requested a few changes as the building was going up, and a re-draw of the plans was needed. So, I added a garage type door. Took the new plans in for approval, everything was fine with "Alfredo", plans approved. Scheduled an inspection for Monday, got RED TAGGED, stop work, cannot proceed. GARAGE DOOR NOT ALLOWED. Well, Alfredo approved the drawings on Friday, all plot lines shown on the print, full disclosure. But on Monday, ALFREDO says it's illegal, yes he was the inspector too.

I soon was on a first name basis with his boss.

Dave J.

RancherBill
12-19-2008, 11:08 PM
I'm with the inspector on this one.

We are having a house built. I had a friend over and was showing him my pride. He pointed out two things that were wrong and explained why it should not have been done this way. I got the code at the library and showed it to the carpenters. :eek: They bitched as they fixed it. :)

I am constantly amazed by accidents in the shop. The building codes are there for good reason, though sometimes they are not apparent. I bet the guy is going to hire a professional architectural draftsman next time. :)

oldtiffie
12-19-2008, 11:31 PM
Originally Posted by torker
The inspectors reason for calling for 3/16" plate was... "Most people can't weld anything lighter."


That jerk is a little tin God. The 3/16" bravo sierra comment of his clued me in.

Clutch

I don't know your Building Codes in the various parts of the US and Canada, but I have a very good acquaintance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) which includes a lot of international codes either incorporated pretty well verbatim or "called up by reference".

Here NO works (other than minor/trivial stuff) can be done without prior formal approval and "Inspection" at prescribed stages of the works. Here, works are generally addressed as "Housing" and "the rest" (which includes all Commercial and Industrial, "Health" and "other" stuff). Some rules are common to more than one and some are common to all building and parts of building "classifications" and "occupancies".

BCA (which includes "Electrical, Plumbing, Heating, Fire, Safety, Disabled access and services etc. etc.) has long ago ditched the old-fashioned "prescriptive" requirements and has two basic requirements for conformance:
1. "performance"; and
2. "deemed to comply".

"Performance" is by design or endorsement by appropriately approved or qualified Professionals (Engineers and the like) and Testing Authorities etc.

"Deemed to comply" are methods, which if adhered to and complied with, are deemed to "comply" (with the "Rules"). They are generally updated and similar to the old "Span" and similar "tables" that were used under "old system" for many purposes and "Trades".

The "Inspector" has to both accept these matters - including all details - at the "Permit" stage as well as seeing that they are complied with on the job before he will or can approve the "Occupation" of the "Building" for its (new, initial or changed or altered) intended use.

That Inspector did you a big favour as it was well within his power and even his obligation, to have the applicant get an Engineer's design on each and every bracket as well as every supporting element and connection. That can cost heaps as every bracket etc. has to be completely designed if there are no "standard" (and "pre-approved") brackets etc. available.

That Inspector really stuck his neck out for you as he effectively entered the "design" stage which he neither should have, nor perhaps was he qualified to do it.

The "3/16 weld ...... " was a "blind" just to give you something to talk about and to "rubbish" him about. It was a deliberate "over-kill" for a deliberately generous "fast-tracking" of the job.

One of the most necessary and thankless jobs is that of "Inspector". He can't win. If he does as you want - you get the credit and he gets little or no thanks as "I was smarter than him!!" and if he is wrong in doing you a favour by letting you do what you want its "him" not "me" that gets the "whacking". If he doesn't find or stop you doing what you should not have done, you are "smart" (and he is stupid) if it "works". If it doesn't work, "you" are not at fault because "he should have seen or found it and made you do it".



Building inspectors who think are fine with me but.....

About 20-odd years ago I was connected with a little nursery school/day care provider, which lost its quarters, and had to rent space for a season. We rented the dining hall of a summer camp. A single, large space, which we partitioned approximately child-high with furniture. The fire inspector came out and noted that the laminated ceiling beams were deeper than some arbitrary amount, so code called for each separate ceiling space between the beams to be counted as a separate room. The result: We had to install 13 smoke detectors in a single room. No kidding.

There is a very sound reason for that. Each "space" surrounded by the ceiling, wall/s and beam/s constitutes a space into which smoke from a fire can ascend to and be contained within before "leaking" past the adjacent beams into the next similar space etc. until it reaches a/the space with a smoke alarm in it. The fire could have gotten a very good hold before a detector remote from the smoke/fire source could detect it. What if the children were asleep,or panicked or got confused or disorientated?



We moved to another building, which we renovated. The building inspector this time (different town, same mind set) asked if we had any handicapped children or parents. No, I said. Well, said he, you're still going to have to build a ramp for the main entry. The kicker? The main entry had a step approximately 8 inches off the ground at the outside and the same step on the inside. I had to build a handicapped ramp out into the driveway, complete with 4 x 4 foot platform and railings all the way down, for a wheelchair to turn around on, for an 8 inch step. In winter, the ice fell on the ramp, making it unsafe, but by golly, if we ever had had a handicapped person come by, and he had had studded tires on his wheelchair, the ramp would have worked great, at least on the way in. Code did not require a ramp for the same height step on the inside!


Yep - you used a building or part of a building for a purpose other than its approved use. That would have "triggered" a scope of works to up-grade it to meet the requirements of the new intended use. "Disabled Access" can and does include ramps, "flats", hand-rails, turning areas etc. as well as special "Disabled" toilet facilities. As there were children involved, the requirements are stricter - including special "Children's" toilets, wash/hand basins, urinals etc. Also for what its worth, "Disabled" is not restricted to wheel-chairs. Think of crippled/maimed/blind people as well as those that are physically and mentally impaired and those on walking frames, crutches and artificial limbs etc. as well as their "helpers" and "attendants". A "twisted knee" or a "corked thigh" may qualify as well.

So, all in all you did pretty well from your perspective even if the "disabled" were "short-changed" from their perspective.



That building was heated by a coal furnace. It was an old building with a low dirt floored basement. The building inspector also made us build a complete fire-coded room around the furnace, with 5/8 inch sheetrock inside and out, an automatic steel fire door, and an automatic air damper. He even made us tape the sheetrock on the outside.

Dead right. The fire/heater etc. in a remote attached room or space is a deadly risk. Its bad enough if everything is on a ground floor where quick effective egress/escape can be effected, but deadly if it is in a basement a lower floor where if a fire got a good hold the basement ceiling and supporting structure both for the boiler room ceiling and the floor for the space above it are "just right" for a fire to take hold, burn a hole, form a "shaft" and create a "draft" and then there is panic as everyone tries for an exit and/or a hire hose - if there is sufficient of them.

The "Rules" as well as the "Inspectors" are there for the public good.

I can tell you that there are just as many "know-it-alls" and "(Big and little) Hitlers" who resent (to put it mildly) "Inspections and Inspectors" when they either disagree with them or force them to do what is intended to be for their own best interests.

Suffice to say that I have been in both "camps" as both a Building Designer, a Contract Administrator, as well as a Building Facilities Administrator for quite a while.

There was a lot of "Ooh-ing" and "Aah"-ing about a recent thread on an accident in a machine shop. I suggest you ask some who have had to attend to the results of some of the preventable tragedies in regard to fire and lack of prevention, egress and fire-fighting/retarding elements etc. in buildings.

This applies equally to failures of structural elements such that a catastrophic collapse or failure occurs.

It is very "not nice" and not easily forgotten if you are a witness and a whole lot less so if you or "your people" are directly or indirectly "involved".

tdmidget
12-19-2008, 11:39 PM
Bruto that may seem dumb to you but as a former firefighter I agree. What if your kid was there?
Without the enclosure around the furnace a fire down there ( remember you already have a fire, hopefully contained in the furnace) could rapidly envelope the entire building. Smoke rises and the beams would act as a barrier to horizontal dispersion delaying the action of a detector on the other side.
Your man knew his stuff. Good for him, probably has unknowingly saved lives.

doctor demo
12-20-2008, 12:06 AM
A building inspector here required a friends pole building to be guy wired to buried cement anchors .
Just about every bldg. inspector I have met is an inspctor because they can't make a living doing anything that requires brains.

Russ, take some pictures of the finished brakets , it might save the contractor some money when he has to have an engineer draw them up and put his stamp on it so he can get a final after the inspector changes his mind again.

Steve

camdigger
12-20-2008, 01:51 AM
Sadly, inspectors and plan reviewers are human and fallible.

I still do not have a good explanation why when I built two buildings 4 months apart, with identical framing details, one might pass review and inspection while the other failed plan review...

A couple calls to the reviewer and his superior later and I got approval to proceed without any modification to the design.

torker
12-20-2008, 07:37 AM
I'm not even going to pretend to know if these things really are nessesary.
If they aren't then it's too bad...the cost will be transfered to the home owner in the end.
I'm sure they have a budget ...maybe with allowances for cost over runs...maybe not.
These kind of unexpected add ons can mount up in a hurry.
When I worked at the cement plant, rebuilding all the stuff that wears out there...I heard one horror story.
The guy was building his dream home near a local lake.
Had all his quotes in....had a good start on the place.
Then the building inspector changed his mind about the sewer system. This added (choke) another $20,000 to the price.
That brought the whole thing to a schreeching halt. The guy just couldn't afford a hit like that.
He must have found the money somewhere because the house eventually got built.
He was really choked...he was surrounded by places that had very marginal sewers...some even had outhouses...but he had to spend over $30,000 on his sewer system.
And he wasn't even close to the lake.

Your Old Dog
12-20-2008, 08:25 AM
I'm with BigBoy. This time of year you need the pickup full of Jack Daniels to get anything approved.

I completely redid my den in our other home. Got the permit for the electrical and did it myself. They guy came out for inspection and found a few minor things that needed redone and then told me to call for re-inspection before finishing off with the wallboard. I called for an appointment a few days later but he wasn't in but just stopped at the house a few days later and the wife told him to come back when I was home. I told her I needed to talk to him if he found other problems. He refused to do that. I told him I would take a weeks vacation if he would promise me he would come some time during that week. He refused. I think it had something to do with my news cruiser in the driveway all marked up with WIVB-TV News on the doors. I went ahead and finished up the den with no final approval. He stopped by several times since then but not when I was home. I left messages on his phone telling him I would not allow admittance to my home without my being there to ask him questions about what he found wrong.

I also know for fact that while working in San Francisco that every building inspector interprets the code differently. What one guy tells you on Main Street differs when you get to the guy on 5th Avenue. It's just the luck of the draw.


Since when is low voltage wiring covered under electrical code?

Bill
In section110.26,(NEC) anything 30 volts AC or less is not covered.
I think your inspector was on some weed.

Rich

Rich that's one of the things he got me for. I had a solid wood beam I had to get by with the wire to install ceiling fans. I chisled out a trough to lay the wire in with intentions of putting the wallboard over that. He said I had to cover that wire with metal where it ran over the beams. I expect if you hit a wire with a nail behind wallboard it is expected to move out of the way if not buttressed by a beam. He said, "I'm not supposed to tell you this but you can just nail some solid metal switch plate covers over it and let them overlap a little".

madman
12-20-2008, 09:52 AM
Just like my Concrete floor repair I chose NOT to do it just liability stuff, if home ever collapsed theyd be after youre Toy Collection pretty quick UNLESS its cash job and no traceability, Let him know you want cash only and so nothing can come back on you if disaster strikes. Mike Merry Xmas

GKman
12-20-2008, 10:00 AM
... room around the furnace, with 5/8 inch sheetrock inside and out, an automatic steel fire door, and an automatic air damper. He even made us tape the sheetrock on the outside. :(

HE didn't make you "tape the sheetrock on the outside". It's the standard for fire separation assemblies. If you are working on commercial buildings it's your job to know that. I just hope he verified that you taped the inside where it's hard to do, where the fire can get through sloppy workmanship, damage the framing and allow the wall with the sheetrock outside to fail.

Handicap accessibility? You wouldn't want those gimps coming home from a tour Iraq able to get in an bother anybody asking for a job application would you?

bruto
12-20-2008, 10:25 AM
Responding to several posts at once:

The smoke detectors: That was 13 smoke detectors in a single room, because the beams were something like 20 inches deep at the ceiling, which was very high. It was a single room. It was not partitioned more than waist high in any area, and was in constant attendance by at least a half dozen wakeful adults at any time. There was no kitchen and no heating plant at all. Technically, the code may have been correct, but the implementation was just plain silly.

The furnace room: I found out later that the code was probably misapplied, because, in case you didn't catch it the first time around, this was a coal boiler, and we were required to meet the code for an oil burner. The coal furnace in question was equipped with a number of safety features, including automatic shutoffs and alarms. We didn't have the time or the money to contest it, but I was told by another inspector who was inspecting my house addition that the codes were almost certainly misapplied.

I also found out later that the step in question was below the height that would have required a ramp.

Rustybolt
12-20-2008, 11:53 AM
Two things first.
I'm from Chicago. We have the best building inspectors money can buy. that is no joke. Secondly my BIL is a civil enineer who made his bones building high end houses since he was 16. Including 4 of his own.

The same thing happened to him(BIL) on his last house. All the floor joists had to have hangers. Even where they overlapped the steel beam. All the roof rafters had to have 4 nails toed in at the bottom and steel connector plates. All of this was supposedly to make the house "tornado proof'. it doesn't take much of an intellect to know that no frame structure is 'tornado proof' unless it's underground.

GKman
12-20-2008, 01:16 PM
You wrote joists, looks like hangers for some pretty serious beams to me.

I worked for several years as a building inspector and as a building official in a town of about 70,000. One each electrical, plumbing, mechanical, building inspectors. I think I’ve seen about everything talked about from both sides and worked pretty hard to correct what problems I could. Electrical inspector and I developed a pamphlet, hell it was a 12 page book by the time I left, trying to guide people through home wiring. It worked. It had a list of common violations like those listed here that grew to over a page. One of my favorite hints after seeing three large service entrance conductors forced through a tight turn threaded plumbing ell (he must have had a wrecker winch to pull them in). “When purchasing your electrical supplies, stay in the electrical isle at the store.”

I also worked on getting violation notices and approvals in writing. An inspector that’s a loose cannon will stop making up crap when he’s required to quote chapter and verse in writing. We sure got some awakening looks from aggrieved owners when we could pull out a file and say “Here, we notified your builder in writing…bla bla, and here is that section in the code book so talk to him about why you can’t get utility hookups.”

A green sticker on a front window “OK TO SHEETROCK”. If they couldn’t call in and couldn’t read they could still be taught Green = OK.

I think the biggest problem, and it will never be solved, is that construction projects are one of the rare occurrences that people produce something with limited knowledge under public scrutiny. We rarely think about the myriad of regulations followed by those who make our cars, appliances, food and kids toys but we sure as hell expect them to be followed. Most of us are inclined to make a quick decision of why a code exists, which is frequently wrong. Egress windows from sleeping rooms are huge not for you to get out with room to spare. It’s for a fireman with a Scott air pack to get in. Code people haven’t been seeing boilers and furnaces spontaneously shooting out fire and burning down buildings for a long time. So why the fire separation walls, sprinklers alarms etc? “In buildings of business use groups furnace rooms, storage rooms and similar spaces shall be equipped, etc…” Wait a minute, storage rooms too. Why not in a warehouse, a factory? Because time after time fire departments have responded to fires starting in these areas. Why? Because there is no place else in an office space to stash the left over paint, cleaning rags, charcoal lighter fluid for picnics and the trash cans with a hot cigarette butt until trash day. If you, or the inspector’s, common sense is locked in on fires starting by boilers shooting flames out the door, you missed the boat.

I hated those lousy backflow preventer hydrants as much as anybody when they came into use. When is water going to go backwards when there is never going to be any pressure on my end. How about when a fire department pumper truck with a 400 hp Cat engine starts sucking on a hydrant a block away. How did sewage from a Chicago hospital leak out into the ground and then into the pressurized water supply and keep a damned fine typhus epidemic going. I don’t know but it did and now codes have reflected changes to protect against it.

So, common sense is not so common with either builders or inspectors. And that boys and girls is why there are codes.

jkilroy
12-20-2008, 02:06 PM
Around here getting a building permit is akin to filing a request with the county to have your building re-appraised for tax purposes. Mind you the county doesn't endorse ANY building code nor inspect anything, only the city but the county tax assessor will be out to see you shortly after getting a permit for sure.

38_Cal
12-20-2008, 02:14 PM
And in my little town...what's a building inspector? Actually, the electrician that I hired to do my shop wiring is licensed and did a darn fine job with getting new wire from the breaker box in the house to the non-quite-finished shop in the detached garage. I've got two room, not quite 320 sq. ft., in it, built by me, that would pass inspection if we had inspectors.

David
Montezuma, IA

RancherBill
12-20-2008, 02:26 PM
With all these stories, I've converted over to the dark side.

I went out to the garage and took all the guards off the machines. On the way back in I cut off the deck. While I was doing that I glimpsed those SS bolts that I had used. I grabbed a couple of steel nails and took the nice bolts out the pressure treated lumber. I'll take them back and exchange them for some 14/2 wire and a 40 amp breaker for the new welder.

All these silly rules are based on research or because somebody found out something the hard way that it was wrong.

Liger Zero
12-20-2008, 02:37 PM
Had an employer decide that he didn't pay overtime anymore to me specifically for some bull**** reason, and that I was required to work 60 hours a week. Did some checking this kind of thing is quasi-legal here... it really isn't but the Department Of Labor seldom does anything to enforce the laws so the worst employers get away with some outrageous behavior.

This was a little sheetmetal company with two press-brakes, a welding department, a laser, a timesaver and a small machining area. Everything was crammed into a small building, and wired together by whoever the owner could bull**** into doing the work.

As a result, we were always blowing breakers and we had several machine controllers smoke themselves.

Well when the news broke that I was required to work unpaid overtime or else I told the owner that he might want to reconsider that because my wife is the daughter of the town code enforcement officer.

Owner's reply was "everything here is up to code, we're grandfathered in under all the special loopholes that apply to small companies and we're protected by the State thanks to the Empire Zone program." Pure blue smoke on his part.

Needless to say whatever money he had envisioned saving by not paying me overtime was quickly swallowed up by the pages of code violations that the inspector found.

He's shut down now, I got my back wages, and the building has been gutted and more or less condemned because of all the "non-code" modifications that the previous owner installed.

Moral of the story: Tin-plated-dictator Code Enforcement officers have their uses. :)

Oh and you better believe the wiring in my workshop is up to code. He wouldn't "let" his daughter anywhere near me if it wasn't. :p

torker
12-20-2008, 02:53 PM
All this reminds me of a friend of mine...he built a house...just one..
He got laid off once and needed a job.
Just for fun he applied for the building inspestors job that came up.
I laughed...he built one house and had no other carpenter qualifications.
I didn't laugh for long.
They very nearly hired him...he went back for several interviews...and would have got the job if a fully qualified guy didn't pop up out of the woodwork at the last minute.
My ex BIL...he built several houses...just private deals for himself.
He applied for the building inspectors job on Lethbridge, Alberta.
He got the job.
A few years later..he ended up being the head building inspector for North Vancouver.
No tickets for the trade...nothing.
He took two years of drafting in university..that was as close as he came.
I really laughed tho...he got sued for selling his house with an illegal septic system that he knew about....and hid the fact. Shame, shame...

chief
12-20-2008, 07:42 PM
A big part of my job to to sort out conflicts like this. I have found that in most cases the the inspector is poorly trained. They don't fully understand
the differences in the NEC,CFR,NFPA and other codes. The biggest mistake
is that the inspector reads the first sentence in paragraph and thinks he understands the whole paragragh.
The first line of of defense in these matters are to ask capy of the code,
and the chapter and verse. They have to produce it. All of this on the web
some don't accept no for an answer.
BTW, the NFPA website will allow you to view material but not print it. The local fire department should have a copy of it.

Ries
12-20-2008, 08:42 PM
Hmmm- those brackets dont look that funny to me- over the years, I have made similar brackets for a few houses.
Pretty common, actually, in hybrid timber frame/stick built houses, to need custom oddball brackets like that to accomodate wierd angles in big glue lams.

I just made a set that werent QUITE that funny looking for an architect for an outdoor trellis roof about a month ago. They were more or less 90 degrees, though.

I have done a few, though that were just as catty-wampus as the ones you show- but usually, they were in the drawings from the beginning, not added in at the last minute.

And they were almost always at least 1/8", and more commonly 3/16", just like yours.

oldtiffie
12-20-2008, 09:15 PM
Without dwelling on the "expertise" or "experience" or "competence" or otherwise of "Inspectors" (which in some cases may be Qualified Professional Engineers) they see more "interesting" and "odd" stuff that does or doesn't "work" in a year than many practitioners, no matter how skilled etc. may see in a year or at all. They know of many things that "comply" that are not in the "rules" but either comply or have been "accepted". They talk among themselves too and expand that knowledge.

If you can "tap in" to such a source it can do wonders.

I can see no reason why the incidence of "dick-heads" among "Inspectors" should be much (if any) different to that of many other vocations - "Machinists" included!!

You may be quite surprised at how many "problem" jobs and clients/builders there are if you are privy to a discussion such as this thread among "Inspectors"!!

torker
12-20-2008, 11:00 PM
Ries..I've seen metal joiners like you mentioned for center joinery etc also.
I'd actually like to see this roof structure for myself. the further I get into making these things....this is a very complicated roof I'd say.
The angles etc...have got to be a dogs breakfast.
Oh ya..I guess I did call them joists...I'm not a real carpenter so they must be beams of somekind.
Tiffie...LOL Good point.
Some of the nightmares I've discovered while rebuilding houses...
I'm sure these guys see stuff like this all the time.
I'm betting house reno's and add ons are probably the number one DIY activity on the planet.
And I'm betting there are some whacked out things people try.