Monday, October 18, 2010

Permits. How do we fix it?

Sure, anyone can criticize. I'm especially good at it. Offering up real solutions.... that's a different thing.
There are a few ways. The first one is using the existing "mess". Real target dates. No more, "Well, someone will call you when it's ready." A hard and fast date. You walk in on Oct 1, your permit will be complete Oct 14. Two weeks. Am I being too lenient? I think I am. I think it should be less. Inspectors? 24 hours for a visit, and a reference number when you call. I'm tired of "Oh I'm really busy". Ya? SO AM I! I called Three times for an inspection on a basement floor, and finally took pictures and poured it. Later I got the "You have to get a camera in there, or tear it up. I have 2 words for you Mr Inspector. You can figure it out... you've heard them before. Real deliverable dates, no more BS.
The other solution has CUPE up in arms. Fire them all.
Get a draughtsman to draw up the plans. Retain an architect to review code compliance and an engineer to review the structural. Then hire either them, or private inspectors  (who carry E&O insurance) to enter a contract to visit the project at various stages with 24 hours notice. Easy.
Other jurisdictions have gone to "self inspections" for electrical and plumbing, but even I see the problem with that insofar as the NBC and the whole building. The issue is, right now no one really inspects the "whole" building. Inspectors don't get into the mud, crawl into a crawl space, or spend too much time freezing their asses off outside in the winter. A private guy with his own insurance would, or her wouldn't be in business long.
Mike Holmes likes inspectors and permits. I would too if it was all as nice as it is on TV. No budget, no clients, and no problems getting a permit. Mike can't come to Winnipeg. He couldn't just tear it out and "make it right". He'd HAVE to tear it out, and apply for a permit... and STOP.
Stay where you are Mike.

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