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Failed Footer Inspection, Not allowed to pour then found this

Discussion in 'Residential Foundation Codes' started by jar546, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. High Desert

    High Desert Gold Member

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    Maybe in your area, but I have a very hard time approving something I haven't seen. For me it has nothing whatsoever to do with "who's in charge" but everything to do with ensuring the vertical and lateral loads are adequately transferred. I really don't care if they tear it out or provide me with an engineer's report. If they couldn't get an engineer to verify the adequacy of the footings, a tear out may be the only option.
     
    #21 High Desert, Nov 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2010
  2. High Desert

    High Desert Gold Member

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    Maybe in your neck of the woods. I have a hard time approving something I haven't seen. For me it has nothing to do with "who's in charge" but everything to do with how the vertical and lateral loads are tranferred. I really don't care how they verify code compliance, tearing it out or providing an engineers report. If they couldn't get an engineer to verify compliance, a tear out may be the only solution.
     
  3. beach

    beach Gold Member

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  4. High Desert

    High Desert Gold Member

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    We do next day inspections day after day, week after week, month after month....and the "contract employee" cable guy can't give me an estimated time for the service call I have to schedule 2 weeks in advance for? Sorry I got off subject... maybe that's a good one why contracting out government services won't work with contract employees.
     
  5. beach

    beach Gold Member

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    Try contracting out plan checks....... architects, contractors, homeowners, etc. really start to appreciate the "Non-contract" government employee.
     
  6. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Sawhorse

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    Beach said,

    " If I had to worry about losing my job while enforcing the code, I'd be asking if you want fries with that burger."

    Well, I just got a similar situation. Having just started a new job; and, a few weeks into it; I have been told to issue a C of O for an Industrial addition on a slope.

    The material used to bring the area of the foundation level; they call it "screed" (a gray gravel-like material) is washing a way around the perimeter about 4 feet from the slab. I'm told this is a great base which was compacted for two days before forming and pouring the foundation for a steel frame building addition.

    My first call out I am told is for the final inspection. In the office I was told by the City Administrator that no inspections have been conducted. Other city employees confirm that the footing, slab, structure, electrical, Mechanical (HVAC on top of the structure); have not been inspected; and no records of any inspections. I have been informed that I "will issue a C of O".

    Well, Beach, we do have something in common. Glad I kept my apartment.

    Uncle Bob
     
    #26 Uncle Bob, Nov 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2010
  7. RJJ

    RJJ Platinum Member

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    TimNY: I agree. UB: you are on point as always! MT you raise good questions. Beach: Love the approach! George: It is not so much who is in charge. It comes down to doing a job correctly and that includes inspections. Just one of the little details sometimes ignored by contractors. If it is left unchallenged then it will just continue and we are left with no order in the process. Having inspections with plans on site is not something new. This is just a case of I will do as I please.
     
  8. GHRoberts

    GHRoberts Silver Member

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    The attitude of tear out the work is used to show who is in charge. If you want to be a thug, you can be one. There are other less costly ways to show compliance.
     
  9. GHRoberts

    GHRoberts Silver Member

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    I am not employed by the contractor so there is no need for me to provide a letter.

    If I were employed by the contractor, I would be in the position to determine if the footings were sufficient. I could provide a letter regarding the sufficiency if asked.
     
  10. GHRoberts

    GHRoberts Silver Member

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    I am not employed by the contractor so there is no need for me to provide a letter.

    If I were employed by the contractor, I would be in the position to determine if the footings were sufficient. I could provide a letter regarding the sufficiency if asked.
     
  11. Robert Ellenberg

    Robert Ellenberg Sawhorse

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    UB--There is currently a mood in the country to change such business as usual among bureaucrats. Whether or not it carries to where you new job is, I don't know. However, it sounds from you post that you don't intend to compromise your integrity just to keep your job. If so, try and take the opportunity to bring this to the public attention. Start by sending a written note (or email) to the official above you to confirm that he is instructing you to issue the CO even though the building is not compliant. Stay there and keep documenting things.
     
  12. Jobsaver

    Jobsaver Sawhorse

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    This is the a thing to be determined, and it sounds like a determination is made. What are you going to do about it?
     
  13. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Sawhorse

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    Lets take this to a different view. How can you pass this and CYA at the same time?

    2006 IRC TABLE R403.1 states

    1,500 lbs soil capacity with a 12" footing will support a 1 story conventional light–frame construction or a 1 story 4-inch brick veneer over light frame or 8-inch hollow concrete masonry

    Foot note a. Where minimum footing width is 12 inches, use of a single wythe of solid or fully grouted 12-inch nominal concrete masonry units is permitted.

    Depending on the soils and unbalanced back fill he may be compliant with TABLE R404.1.1(1) PLAIN MASONRY FOUNDATION WALLS.

    So JAR is this a single story IRC building?
     
  14. beach

    beach Gold Member

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    If you were employed by the contractor, what would it take for you as an engineer to determine the footings were sufficient and provide a stamped letter stating so?

    Would you need to verify steel placement, lap splices, depth/width, soil bearing, etc.? If so, how would you accomplish that?

    Or, would you provide a stamped letter stating that, to the best of your knowledge, the footing, steel, etc. were installed per plan/code without actually being able to verify it and hope for the best?

    My point is how does an engineer know more about how the footings and steel were installed after the fact any more than an inspector would...... I don't think I'd accept a stamped letter from an engineer unless I knew how he verified it, then.... why would you need an engineer?
     
    #34 beach, Nov 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2010
  15. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Sawhorse

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    Beach In non seismic zones the engineer or inspector could approve it as a plain concrete design with no steel.
     
  16. beach

    beach Gold Member

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    Thanks Mt, I'm used to seismic zones..... block walls, footings, etc. always get steel. Of course, the approved plans dictate how it is to be built.....
     
  17. north star

    north star Sawhorse

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    * * * *

    To me, it sounds like brudgers and GHRoberts are related!







    Uncle Bob,

    Sorry to hear about your situation. If they're already asking /

    requiring you to sign off on non-compliant / non-inspected

    projects, they are setting the tone for all future applications.

    Once this door has been opened, it will be virtually impossible

    to close again, ...until a new administration comes in to office.

    Have you looked at teaching "the codes", rather than trying

    to enforce them, or possibly as an independent contractor?

    The Oklahoma territories sound like an all uphill battle!

    Hang in there!



    * * * *
     
  18. Jobsaver

    Jobsaver Sawhorse

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    One of the criteria for determining the appropriate course of action is to be consistant with like situations, and to make sure the remedy fits the violation.

    But always insist on a permit being pulled within one-three days, or issue a citation and red-tag the job with a stop work order.

    What historically does one do in case of a missed footing inspection? In my ahj, we maintain an informal "you get one freebie" rule. Usually, as is the case with the subject jobsite, the inspector did have the opportunity to view the footing depth, width, and, I believe, the existance of rebar. He does have some knowledge of what is there.

    In other cases, you may consider a depth of experience with the subcontractor who actually cleans the trench and ties the steel; You have inspected dozens, perhaps hundreds of other footings for the same sub, who historically, has been very consistant, (not necessarily the person having responsibility for calling in the inspection).

    Perhaps it is your policy to give no exceptions, and to require a full demolition. Whatever your policy is, try to be consistant and fair.

    What RJJ has verified in the subject case, is that the inspections have not been properly performed because of rebellion against the code enforcement system. It is not the case of a honest mistake or misunderstanding. In similar cases in my own ahj, I have virtually always required some level of demo, and a letter from the "permit holder" for anything that cannot be verifed, and a severe warning for a first offense. In any case, I have to have a very strong sense that the actual construction meets the minimum code requirements.

    Only RJJ is in a position, based on what he has seen, and his experience with the people and workers involved, the exact remedy that will:

    A) demonstrate compliance (technical compliance)

    B) develop a proper respect for the building and code enforcement laws (workable relationship)

    In this case, had I actually seen the steel on my first visit to the jobsite, and a grounding electrode was present emerging from the concrete, and, I came to believe I had developed a understanding with the "permit holder", I might simply require the "permit holder" to excavate a dozen or so holes to get a visual inspection of the trench (form) depth (even if a known quantity).

    In another case, for missed in-wall inspections, I have required full demolition of newly installed wallboard, more because of the defiance against the inspection process than to see behind the wallboard. I had no more problems during the construction of that commercial building.

    I expect some to be critical of these methods. But they are efficient and effective. And, to really do a good job as a municipal inspector, efficiences and effectiveness count.
     
  19. GHRoberts

    GHRoberts Silver Member

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    I did not say an engineer was required. My engineering opinion is that a lot of fuss is being made about a non-issue. But non-issues seem to drive a lot of people.
     
  20. beach

    beach Gold Member

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    George,

    Maybe I'm not being clear.... If a contractor contacted you, an engineer, because he needs to satisfy the building dept. so he can continue working, and wanted to hire you to provide a stamped letter stating that, in your opinion, the foundation is acceptable. Being that, in your opinion, it is a "non-issue" do you provide the letter and if you do, do you actually verify that the foundation matches the approved plans?
     

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