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Plan check overview

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List members,
Thanks to all who responded to my post on plan check requirements. I am in
the throws of a career change and needed information. My partner and founder
(55%) who ran all the business end of a design only firm was killed by a
drunk driver. The remaining partners sold enough of the company to provide a
contractor with 55% ownership. Well I tried. After 20+ years of turning in
plans for  plan check I have taken a position that works both sides of the
counter. We do design work in cities we do not plan check in. As a result I
will say that I have been discouraged with the profession and it is not the
people who are reading this who are at fault.  I would sign and stamp about
1 in 10 of the plans I see on first review and some I would never stamp.
Sure they work but cheeze. I have to a certain extent lost faith in people.
I would like to share a recent experience I had with an architect. The work
was a foundation field revision to a residence. The numbers and his stamp
were there but the fix was weak. I felt a better fix was available from a
cost, safety, and practical stand point. I asked "Have you placed the
concrete yet?" and was told they had. So I sign off on it. He goes down to
the next counter spot and tells the inspector he finally got approval and to
come and inspect. So as you can see plan checking can create an attitude.
I really feel a conflict. The scope of plan checking really is so broad in
building types, etc. that to do professional work, as I feel I have in my
nitch to this point, would require a major life style change. I have
attended seminars of interest and love the 30 to 45 min. pre-dinner seminars
by SEAOC. I seldom stay for dinner as I am just not a extrovert at all. My
evenings are very valuable. I am on the city planning commission and am
active in my church. The only TV I watch is the Laker playoffs and
Olympic/college (real) wrestling. My 3 sons and I have 4 1973 or older GM
dune pounding trucks and a 68 Camaro (no smog). Nothing under 350 HP. As an
example I had to choose between bolting in my fresh street and strip tranny
with 3000 stall torque converter in the freshly cammed camaro (it hits 7500
RPM quick now and is streetable) or go to the seminar on holy shear walls. I
missed the seminar and ruined some tires.
It amazes me how some of you on this list learn and retain so well. I love
learning but just wish I could remember better. The guidance obtained from
this list is that resolution of conflicts or interpretations requires
providing the EOR the ability to obtain, from the source, the intent of the
code and take responsibility for his work. The check lists I found as a
result of this post were very helpful. The pointing in the code by our
Alaskan frontiersman that it is the plan checkers charge to enforce all
items in the code really hit hard.
Again thanks to all I am grateful,
Bob Hanson, S.E.

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