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Unread 02-09-2007, 07:54 PM   #1
ddmoit
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Building code/permit racket

This post inspired me to head over to the Mud Box and vent a bit...

http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...139#post494139

Jeez, who owns a house in Massachusetts? The person paying the mortgage or the state? If you can't even move a drain in your own house, is it really yours? I can't believe this state was one of the original 13. John Adams must be turning in his grave.

I know that these codes were put in under the guise of concern for our well-being, but it's nothing more than a legalized crime syndicate.
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Unread 02-09-2007, 09:07 PM   #2
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Building permits are essentially nothing more than another tax. There is a minor amount of code enforcement, but quite frankly, the majority of building inspectors are nothing more than failed contractors who passed a few tests and landed a goverment job with decent benefits and really long donut hours.

I pull permits only when they catch me on my own house(haven't ever caught me, but I suspect when I put the addition on this spring they just might) My jobs are a different story, there is too much liability in not pulling permits when I'm working on someone else's house.
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Unread 02-09-2007, 09:24 PM   #3
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Strong union states historically have disallowed unlicensed contractors from getting permits. fortunately Oregon has an exception for home owners - but who gets a permit?

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Unread 02-09-2007, 09:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EEEO
...essentially nothing more than another tax. There is a minor amount of code enforcement....
I agree, Eric. I see far more effort in collecting the money than enforcing codes for the good of the homeowner. It's a shame.
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Unread 02-09-2007, 09:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
enforcing codes
Yeah the code is pretty enforcing here it's below 0!
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Unread 02-09-2007, 09:55 PM   #6
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well, i live in Mass and I posted on that thread. I am from NC and am moving back. In certain parts of NC, the permit person will tell you that the fine for not getting a permit is the same as the cost of the permit - you choose. So I have seen the opposite of it. I think I feel safer because Mass. cares, and I never thought about the whole strong union issue. This is the only thing that homeowners can't do themselves. I wanted to add a floor above a vaulted space and I could do it legally, as long as I drew up a plan and submit it to the building inspector. My building inspector is a joke . . . that is another story, but legally I can do everything else. My thought is that the houses here are so darn old that building permits and regulation may be more important than in NC where most of the houses are brand new and fairly simple. But the union thing is an important consideration. I have enjoyed my time in Mass., but this state certainly is set in their ways.

For example, I had some carpet installed on my stairs. I asked the flooring guy about some mistakes my husband had made on the hardwood flooring upstairs. he said that it wasn't that bad but we shouldn't have used shoe molding. I told him that the flooring needed x amount of expansion joint and the directions even said it. He said they just butt it against the base molding. That is the way all my flooring is done in this house (except what I have changed). Everything is different here. When I put my house on the market, my realtor has to show the house even though the buyer's agent is there as well. so ridiculous. in NC, the buyer makes an appointment and gets a code to enter the house. No need for the selling agent to be there as well.

I don't think Mass is bad. Home of Click and Clack and This Old House. But I just watched an episode of This Old HOuse and the plumber installed a copper pan without a pre-slope.
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Unread 02-09-2007, 10:12 PM   #7
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I'm glad you joined the thread here Deborah. I almost started spouting off in the original thread, but I realized it wasn't the place for it before I did.

I guess you have more tolerance for state interference in your life than I do. I don't think I could live in Massachusetts.

I could die happy if I could just bust these two myths in the minds of my fellow countrymen:

1. Only the state can protect us.

2. When the state endeavors to protect us, we are protected.
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Unread 02-09-2007, 10:18 PM   #8
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> But the union thing is an important consideration...

Back in the 60's my dad worked for a major aerospace corporation and was manning a trade show booth in NYC. He went to plug in an extension cord to power some equipment and was stopped and informed that a licensed (ie union) electrician was required to do this - had to pay $50 or somthin just to plug in an extension cord.

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Last edited by dl; 02-09-2007 at 10:37 PM.
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Unread 02-09-2007, 10:44 PM   #9
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I just paid $130 for that same service of an extention cord being plugged-in for a trade show that started yesterday.
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Unread 02-09-2007, 11:00 PM   #10
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yer talkin' apples & oranges. The trade shows are private functions and are negotiated contracts.

Codes & enforcement are not union generated, although they can be union supported. In Oregon & Washington, for example, there is very little union work in residential construction/renovation, yet the states both require residential permits and inspections.

Codes are generated by problems- by work done wrong or so poorly that it creates a hazard or damage.

Personally I'd rather have them around, and I wish they were enforced as the minimums they are- you shouldn't be happy if your house is only to code- and with a bite, rather than the nudge/wink.
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Unread 02-09-2007, 11:11 PM   #11
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Trade shows are private functions, but unions are propped up through government coercion. Take that away and the free market would rid us of unions tomorrow.

I like codes and standards too - just not forced upon me at the point of a gun.

Take for example the tile code that is so revered here. They have no police force, no army, no jails - and yet merchants who cater to the tile business adhere to the code because the free market dictates that it's good for business.
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Unread 02-09-2007, 11:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lavrans
Codes & enforcement are not union generated, although they can be union supported.
I would respectfully disagree. While most codes arise out of problems, unions have proposed and gotten a number of codes on the books.

As far as the trade show goes, yep...that's a negotiated contract deal. I don't have a problem with it, but it's spendy. But I roll my eyes when the union workers charge what they do, then overload a 100' 12 gauge extention cord to supply 20 amps worth of power. Yeah, yeah, yeah.....it's temporary power......end rant.
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Unread 02-09-2007, 11:17 PM   #13
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I'll agree with you on that if you're talking commercial...
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Unread 02-10-2007, 12:28 AM   #14
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I don't have a problem with the codes either - they're a good thing and largely reasonable. I do everything to code, permit or not, but I do have a problem not allowing a home owner to "do it right" and get a permit directly for work on his own home.

afa Oregon and unions, when I moved to OR I couldn't work as an electrician even though I'd been a crew chief in CA. Everyone on crew (not just head honcho contractor) had to be state licensed and only path was four year union apprenticeship at peon wages. I chose to drive mixer instead but had to join the teamsters, take a pay cut, and no off season guaranteed hours (let alone no air-conditioned, leather upholstered, BOSE stereo equipped trucks) like my non-union mixer job in CA. This was nearly thirty years ago - things have probably changed as unions are losing ground most places.

afa tradeshows, yeah that's a different issue, but it illustrates the (one time) power of the unions, and yeah, it reachs to the state legislatures and affects building code policy (eg permit policy, who can do work) if not the building code itself which has largely gone national in any case (except for showers apparantly ).

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Unread 02-10-2007, 11:16 AM   #15
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Codes are a good thing but who says a savvy home owner can't do just a good of a job as a licensed contractor?. Let people pull a permit and then have it inspected to see if it's up to snuff and if it's just as good as a licensed contractor then what's the difference?. I can see some exceptions for electrical "maybe a test" but for the rest right is right.

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