Saturday, July 09, 2005

Building Permits - The Big Day

The big day finally came. On May 23, 2005, we got our building permits! It had taken five months from the start of the process. We were soooo happy. I was glad that now Steve could go at the remodel full tilt and he wouldn't be starting little projects and then having to redo them. We paid for the permits to allow a 510 square foot addition. At this meeting, we were told to call the inspector when we had the footings dug out. Okay, well, I thought this will be soon because Steve has already dug out the foundation!

A few days later, the inspector, Newton, arrived and looked at the dug outs. He also saw the old gas line on the outside of the house by the kitchen wall. "How are you going to run your new gas line?" he asked. We didn't know. "Well," he said, "you can't run it through the slab anymore like in the old days." Our gas line was corroded and it runs in the slab of the old house from the stove to the wall furnace in the front hallway. He suggested we cap off the old line and run a new one through the roof into the old house and through the roof of the addition. Fine, but that meant, we'd have to tear up the ceiling in the kitchen and across the hall and down the wall to the furnace. This was a big deal to me because the ceiling, kitchen and hallway wall in the old part of the house was newly painted. Grrr. I'd been thinking all the work would be on the addition not in the old section of house that was newly remodeled. Nope, now the celing and hall would have to redone. Here are some shots of that experience.

During the same visit, Newton, told us we would need to hire a Deputy Inspector from a list provided by the city. This Deputy Inspector would have to come out to the job site and watch Steve put epoxy into the the holes drilled into the hold downs which attach the old house foundation to the new. Okay, so we got the list and called some of the Deputy Inspectors on the list and asked about time frame and prices. We found that prices charged varied quite a bit so if you need to do this, my suggestion is to call around.

The company we used for a Deputy Inspector was Advanced Special Inspection, Inc. out of Redondo Beach. Great guys and great job they have. Marshall watched as Steve injected epoxy into core holes of the old foundation which will tie into the new slab foundation. This took 30 minutes and I wrote a check to Marshall for $200 for watching this process and in return, he gave us a piece of paper stating "observed placement of 32 - #4 epoxy dowels @ 6" embedment into existing stem wall on north side of home & 9 5/8 holdowns c 10" - etc. All holes were drilled to proper depth and diameter and brushed/blown clean. Proper material uses, per approved plans." This little piece of paper cost us $200. This guy has a great job, he watches you do the work, writes a few lines of notes, gives you the paper and gets money. He doesn't do any physical work, he doesn't get dirty and he goes off to more jobs like this all day long. What a great business - low overhead and easy work. I told Steve maybe he should think of having a company and working as a Special Deputy inspector. Oh, and Marshall had his cell phone, so he could talk to friends as he watched Steve work - I like that kind of job.

With the epoxy done, it was time to back fill the area with gravel which had to be tamped down, then 6 mil black plastic (This is called a moisture barrier and supposedly, this also keeps weeds from growing. But think about it? How are weeds going to push up through the rock layer, then the sand layer, then the cement layer? Seems like overkill having to put down plastic, but it is code so you have to do it. What the city wants, the city gets!) After the plastic came a sand layer and finally the rebars.

After the expoxy inspection, it was time to install the rough-in plumbing for the new bathroom. A friend of ours, Josh, came over to help Steve do this early plumbing set up.

Here you can see the black plastic moisture barrier and sand and pipes for bathroom.

This last picture is where the master bedroom will be placed. Once the rebar was in, we had to call our inspector, Newton, to come out and have a look. Calling the inspector out is actually an easy process - you just go on line to the Building and Safety website, put in your permit number and click on what plan check you need. Usually the next morning you get an automated phone message telling you when the inspector will be out.

The rebar was in and tied down, the gas pipe had been relocated and it was time to get another inspection, so we could pour the cement foundation. The building process was moving along at good pace. Hopefully, our inspector would give the go ahead.


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