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Re: [TowerTalk] Bay Area Structural Engineer Needed

To: jimlux <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Bay Area Structural Engineer Needed
From: Kevin Normoyle <>
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2011 11:12:58 -0700
List-post: <">>
Jim made a lot of good points

Jim mentioned

"Perhaps that's why hiring a professional up front is worth it?  They'll know 
the local
processes, know what is special and what isn't, and know the right and wrong 
way to describe what you want to do."

Permit desks definitely treat "professionals" differently than homeowners. 
Enough so it's easy to get cynical and think it's a little "insiders' group" .  
But sitting in the room at the permit desk waiting for your turn, is really 
instructive for seeing what the permit desk has to deal with, how they think, 
and pointers on how you should act.

Most homeowners I've seen at permit desks are focused on trying to avoid the 
cost of building something right. That just stiffens the resolve of the permit 
desk, because you get lumped into the general category of "arguing homeowners 
that actually don't understand real issues:...or accept that there are laws to 
comply with, whether you agree or disagree.

But then again, paying professionals doesn't guarantee a good job. Unless you 
can pay a lot.

I think what works well, is to try to turn yourself into a good enough 
professional for the job. That way you can do a better job at deciding where 
spend money and where you don't.

Like for instance: if the permit desk says they want plot drawings on certain 
size paper, you just do that, and take accurate measurements, and show all 
setbacks etc. You might need some program to do drawings on your computer. 
used Visio a lot for home projects that need drawings)

what works: treat the permit folks like professionals. And to know enough, and 
act like, and expect them to treat you like a professional. You want to revel 
the details.

And be ready for different people to be occasionally wrong. If you think of it 
as a joint project, where the govt workers are required to have a say, but can 
sometimes be wrong..then it'll work out.


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