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Re: Residential building permit

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At 08:38 AM 12/13/2004 -0500, you wrote:
I am interested in how enforcement of this is done it different juriditions, In Frederick Co. MD, for instance, the plans reviewers act like engineers, unregistered, every time they approve a steel beam or metal building foundtion or retaining walls. The state board of engineers, paper tigers, allow the counties or cities to act like engineers without regard to registration, I digress.

Jeff Fertich, PE
Gettysburg, PA

In Giles, Floyd, and similar low-population counties in S/W Virginia, there is rarely a requirement for engineering of any type. Residences are generally permitted and inspected based on the contractor's skill and experience, and only in really questionable cases is a professional brought in. Commercial buildings are often built with plans which are no more detailed than a complete set of $800 prints from Donald Gardner, though they are required to be sealed.

In Montgomery County and the town of Blacksburg (right between Floyd and Giles), where there is a larger population, i's will be dotted and t's will be crossed. If you have a single piece of hot-rolled steel, you'd better have a letter from an engineer. Want to build a log home in Mongomery County? You'd better have a sealed set of structural plans. In fact, anything that isn't explicitly defined in the IRC will require a professional seal.

I've heard that Montgomery County, MD (right next to Fred. Co.) actually requires a PE inspection of both foundation preparation and footings. I can only imagine that someone's multi-million dollar house in Potomac settled or cracked, and the *ss they chose to chew on happened to have the authority to make things happen in the local government. PG county, MD, is pretty tight - I know they require permits for simple residential decks (even at/near grade), and require decks to be fully self-supporting (no tie-in to the band). This came from a few deck failures where decks were supported on LSL rimboard which got wet and failed. I suspect Howard Co. (MD) is at least as bad as Montgomery, though in the 20 years (and two decks, and three barns) when I was there we never pulled a permit for anything.

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