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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just venting as I hate this place more by the day.

So here I am, a guy who has built wired and plumbed more things in my life then most can even count, who wants to invest cash into MY property. By investing MY cash into the property, I make it worth more (added assessed value) therefore increasing property value both of mine as well as my neighbors homes, increasing tax revenue, making it more attractive for new home buyers, etc..

I think we can agree that ME investing MY cash into MY property should be a positive. A good thing right?

So I went by my local dictator headquarters today...or town hall for those that prefer that name. In order to build a new deck, I need a permit of course (cha ching, pay the man) and the building Nazi then wants stamped drawings! So pay an architect $500 tax to build a freaking one tier, 12x20, 30" off the ground f'ing deck. Nice

So moving on, I dreaded even bringing it up, but I decided to ask about the nazi about a 3 season room I wanted to build in place of a sun room I have already torn off of the house. I had done so fairly detailed drawing of proposed 3 season room including foundation construction and requirements, affixing of sill to foundation, affixing of rafters to support wall and ledger, headers, etc.. Of course, you need to pay for more stamped prints here. Best guess, another 700-800 dollars.

Lastly, I had a garage/workshop built a couple of months (hired out as I'm working on 10 other projects and was finishing a bathroom remodel) ago and had started building the workbenches, wiring, subpanel, sheeting interior, etc.. Nazi informed while I'm there that while he did a final inspection after it was built, the overhead door was not in yet and therefore he doesn't consider it a final inspection and needs to come back and get full access inside and out to shop. Guess what...you need not just a licensed electrician to do the work I've done, but one who has paid the kick back to be a town certified licensed electrician. So now I debate what to do here....rip out all the walls and electric? Knock the building back down (I'm seriously considering)? Or pull out all walls and insulation, pay some guy $800 to say 'cool' then put everything back.

F NY and the crappy "Civil Servants" in it and all its taxes, fees, kick backs, and communist controls. I'm not putting another dime into this house and will leave it as it currently sits...degrading like the rest of this crap hole.

<End Vent>
 

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Get a lawyer
 

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Call Al Vauters at news for action, they love exposing stuff like this. ToT has you beat tho, a friend wanted to put an addition on so they hired the architect that WORKS FOR THE TOWN and the inspector said no way, no to spec. Its a complete joke, nobody can get anything done around here with out the payola.
 

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Have you checked into the fines that one might incur were they to do this without the permits (and get caught)? Might save a lot of money that way...
 

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Luckily we don't have to deal with that kind of extortion on this side of the state, no $ for code enforcement, county's broke so we build first, maybe ask later.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I wrote to the head of the code enforcement department via email. Main question first is why an outbuilding, by definition not a dwelling or attached there to, would require a certificate of occupancy which is beyond absurd. I'm sure they'll be watching me like a hawk now for anything being done without a permit.
 

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Apparently it isnt really ""your"" property is it?? Or at least NY state doesnt think so. Liberty my ass.

property:

something owned or possessed; specifically : a piece of real estate

the exclusive right to possess, enjoy, and dispose of a thing

something to which a person or business has a legal title

property - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
 

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+1... Dont pay your taxes and see what happens.... You may have a 400k investment in your property, but they can hold a tax sale for as little as missing a quarterly payment... Best advice get an attorney on the matter....
 

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I am a NY state licensed Architect and accept guns and ammo as a form of payment.

Additions I can understand, stamped deck plans are stupid.
 

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While this may be too late for your sun porch, someone may find it useful. My brother was going to tear off his porch and replace it with another. Unfortunately, you can no longer build that close to the creek. So he tore off the entire roof structure and supports and "repaired" them. When that was done, he tore out the entire floor structure and "repaired" that. He ended up with a new porch in place of the old one and it was perfectly legal.

I have no idea what to do about the electric.
 

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I hear ya Yodamage, even out here in gods country we run into a lot of problems like you described. We had part of an old building fall down over the winter and wanted to clean it up. We started cleaning up and got fined and had to get a permit to clean up the building and had to get approval that the guy we wanted to remove the building was up to snuff.
 

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It's not NY's fault, its a local town law, and the people enforcing it.

We just pay ~$20 for a building permit and then start building, the inspector shows up once, realizes we are overbuilding the hell out of it, and signs off on us until we start running electric.

Definitely some bull**** policies, but just think about how many people THINK they know how to build additions, and royally mess it up, making their house unsafe to live in.
 

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I have been through the gauntlet myself but there is a legitimate reason for the permitting and inspections. (with in reason). imagine being the person buying a house down the road when some guy that watched a few episodes of This Old House thinks he can run new wiring or knows how to vent the sanitary in an addition. Much of what is so important can not be seen. It protects buyers down the road. and those buyers could be us.

but just like so much of our govt...not equally inforced and they pull regulations out of their a$$e$.
 

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The electrical problems I've found over the years in my house make me a firm believer in inspections. I found live 50A 220V wires laying un capped in the crawl space, live cloth coated knob and tube wires laying in a ceiling, a light switch and a ceiling fixture in a shower that were mounted to the studs with no box, romex clamps on boxes that were never tightened, nails through wires, 14ga feed and 12ga to the outlets, and wire splices that they never twisted together just put a wire nut on. (the lights started to flicker when I wiggled the wires) junction boxes buried in the ceiling. I can go on forever. There are way too many hacks out there that see some home show and think they are the next Bob the builder. The permits and inspections are a PITA but umfortunately needed.
 

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This is not common to only NY. Went to Pa where i was raised and my Uncle and friends are going through the same crap. Moved to NY 2 years ago from Orlando, FL. Since the year of the hurricanes, Orange Co has be ripping people off every way they can with this same Permit, licensed Architect required, overkill on the specs and inspections. Just another way for towns and counties to get more money for their agenda projects.
 

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Any homeowner must deal with building codes in one way or another, whether putting up a shed, building a house, or adding something to an existing home. The problem is that various towns/villages enforce them very differently, and have their own BS policies on top of what NYS puts out there. The code enforcement officers are given a LOT of power over residential and commercial builds. If the code enforcement officer assigned to you happens to be an a-hole, they can be a real nightmare, and cost you thousands of additional $$$$ in fines and fees.

I dealt with code inspection nightmares when I built my house in 2007/2008 as the general contractor of the build. The code enforcement guy was a real a-hole (Town of Pendleton) - the problems started when he gave me a verbal "go ahead" on the excavation work and pouring my footers. Then he showed up at my property after my footers were poured, put a stop order on the construction, and charged me double the permit fees for beginning work before he actually "signed" my building permit. This wasn't the only incident where the code inspector told us one thing one day, then changed it a day or two later. There were a few instances where he gave my contractors approval to go forward with their work, and he'd show up a week later to do an inspection and made the contractors rip things out because he "changed his mind" on something. In two cases, he wrote letters using official letterhead and sent them to me threatening stop orders, etc., and the letters would be full of misspellings. The project manager who supervised my home build and myself eventually escalated things with the town supervisor, kept a record of all these letters, I had documented the behavior of the code inspector, and the supervisor was appalled. Unfortunately, these code inspectors are "elected" by the town board. There's not much anyone can do to get rid of them, and they wreak havoc with nearly everyone they deal with. Fortunately, in my case, escalating to the town supervisor paid off. The inspector changed his tune the following week and I got my C/O in the end, within a time frame that allowed me to move everything into my home in the nick of time.

Never trust code enforcement d-bags. They play games, and they'll extort money out of you if you try to fight them. They are experts when it comes to making your life a living hell. The things the code inspector picked on did absolutely nothing for the integrity of my house. A friend of mine built a home in a nearby suburb and completed his build during the Winter. It was a raised ranch so there were sliding patio doors on the 2nd floor - they were bolted shut with plans to install a custom deck w/stairs in the Spring. The building inspector initially told them they could put a sign on the door "do not exit" and he'd sign off on the C/O. Two days later he shows up and tells them they have to build a $5k deck if they want their C/O. Long story short, he had to burn $5k on some temporary deck, installed in frozen ground in January, only to have to tear it down the following spring. Total waste of time and $$$$.

:bang:
 

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In homes that are already 40 or 50 years old it is almost impossible for anyone to say what is a reform vs a repair and when it was done and by who unless you are the original owner and normally a modern home.
The blueprints that I got with my house didn't match already what it was already there including a finished basement area, an extra bathroom and so forth.
Sometimes whenever possible the do not ask do not tell is the best approach to avoid the nazis.
NYS officials belong to a legalized version of organized crime.
 
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