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RE: Seismic Design of a Garden Trellis

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According to this plan checker in San Jose, not only do you need a building permit, but you need calculations and design drawings signed and stamped by a licensed engineer or architect.


But you don’t need signed engineering calculations and drawings for a 2000 square foot house built under conventional construction provisions – totally logical and consistent.


At least he didn’t say you had to go through planning commission…  make sure you figure out the dead weight of the wisteria before you submit, he might reject the permit…


Issues like this and fighting the need for a business license in every city I do a building are what I always dreamed about as a young boy wanting to design.


Have a good weekend and thanks for the info Nels. I already argued some of those points (the accessory building argument), but to no avail.





-----Original Message-----
From: Nels Roselund, SE [mailto:njineer(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, September 12, 2003 4:18 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Seismic Design of a Garden Trellis




UBC Section 101.3 states the scope of the code; it applies to " .  .  .   any building or structure .   .   .   ".


Section 106.2 lists work exempt from Permit.  The closest thing to a trellis in that list seems to be item 1. "One-story detached accessory building  used as too storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses provided the floor area does not exceed 120 sq ft."  It's probably taller than item 2., a 6 ft fence, so it won't do you any good to try to call the trellis a fence.


I'm planning a wisteria trellis in my front yard and had never considered getting a building permit for it.  Now what?


Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer
South San Gabriel, CA