Posted in Behind the Scenes, Progress

The Walipini Project – part 2

I finally remembered to bookmark the relevant local code I need to follow.

I called the Building Department today and inquired about what info I might be missing, and was told the person I should speak to is out on inspections. They took my name and number and he will get back to me.

I also found an online walk through on our town’s site of the permit process here. Unfortunately, it seems to only be written about whole house construction, but at least this part helped give me an idea of how many interruptions there might be for interim inspections during the build:
Permit in hand, the construction process may begin. The Inspection Sequence is as follows.

Footings– Once poured and stripped, call for inspection BEFORE backfill.

Foundation Wall– Once poured, stripped, moisture proofed, with drainage pipe in place, stone covered to code and silt cloth installed, as well as tail off. Call for inspection BEFORE backfill.

Rough Frame– Once fully framed, roof and windows in place, and fully weather tight, and plumbing and electrical rough sign offs are in place, you are ready to call for rough frame inspection. If a fireplace has been installed, inspection for exterior combustion air, and clearance to flammables will also be completed.

Insulation Inspection– After all insulation and vapor barrier, as well as ventilation has been installed, call for insulation inspection.

I did find a table with data related to “Lot, area, frontage, yard, and height requirements”. I saw a footnote that there must be a five foot minimum to the side property line, but that’s where the edge of the house currently is, so that’s not an issue. I was worried that there may have been a change to minimum width since the house was built and would have to adjust accordingly. Overall, we should be fine in those requirements, but it’s good info to know for certain up front.

I was happy to find a lot of the permit related forms online because they give me clear direction in information I will need to provide. I also think they will help keep me on top of planning this way because I’ll have to consider the various aspects as things develop.

One really important thing I found out from looking at the various forms is I may have to also deal with the Board of Health because of the water containment system. I just called them, and when I told her what we wanted to do, at first she said, “Well this will be a first for us.” She also said she needs to do some research and get back to me, asking me to spell the name of what we would be building (I told her she could wiki it for the basics). I did think to ask her about cisterns, and she said she did not think we are allowed to build one. That was a bit of a surprise because I know of older cisterns that exist from our house search (one home had them on the property plans the town’s engineering department showed me), but at least I’ll know for certain when she gets back to me.

I did see on the Homeowner permit application a mention of a Licensed Construction Supervisor. Further down on the form, though, it seems the owner can claim to be their own Agent, but it seems that’s more for contact needs. When I talk to the Building Department, I’ll ask about them.

I did confirm the frost depth requirement for this area for the walipini foundation (4′ below grade minimum). One thing I’m not sure about (but will ask) is if the grade in this case should be considered the outside grade, or either the open cold sink depth (lowest, but much smaller percentage of overall floor space), or the working floor area of the walipini. (My terminology may be incorrect in trying to differentiate between cold sink and the higher used floor space.)

I’ve focused on earth removal and addition specific code at this point. I’ve been collecting data and making a list of what I find that’s relevant on what requirements need to be met to move this project forward. I am also trying to get a sense of time frame from initial permit application to breaking ground.

The reason for my focus on those two subjects is because although there is some mention of greenhouse structures, they exclude any differences of both the fact that our project will be attached to our home (they only speak of free standing greenhouses), as well as the fact that it will require earth moving as part of the build (they don’t even cover foundations in the greenhouse related code). I can deduce from related code regarding excavation and additions what will be required, but I want to be sure that my understanding and therefore application of that information is correct before moving further in the planning process.

My short term goal is to finish my initial rough drafts of what we hope to do. Turns out I do not still have any sort of paper of a large enough size for drafting, not even legal sized paper or a roll of kraft paper. The storage tube only had old drafts and drawings in it. So I have to look into if there’s a nearby place I can buy more, or if I have to order some online. I will start a grid paper rough for the time being after I discovered my lack of supplies because I don’t know how long it might be before I have drafting paper again. I am a bit itchy to see at least the elevation and floor plans to scale rather than the rough sketches I’ve been making.

I also need to mark out the exact depth we’ll be taking down the grade on the west and south sides of the house for my own reminder how that will affect the elevations. The regrading work will be done in advance of the walipini build, but I won’t finish that before May. I should have the measurements for that done today when I go outside shortly to do some yard clean up.

The Walipini Project

Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – Code and lists
Part 3 – Follow up call from the Building Inspector

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