Friday, March 11, 2011

City Inspection First Week of April

The group met and reviewed the pre-inspection report. Everyone worked well together and we had a very productive session. I guess after ten years living together we have figured out how to deal with each other.

One of our TIC owners is a licensed civil engineer, so that helps a great deal when reviewing building codes, and assessing what can and should be done.

We have decided to address basic things in our pre-inspection report, such as ungrounded electrical outlets, gas heater strapping, safety pans for our stoves.

We are going to wait for the City's official inspection to make decisions about bigger ticket repairs, such as replacing wall heaters, our common laundry area, opening up walls for electrical inspections and so on.

Because some of the renovations on our units took place ten years ago, the City does not appear to have complete permit records online. So we also need to either dig up paper records in our files, or try to find records on microfiche, so they can be available when City inspectors arrive.

They are coming the first week of April... This will be the biggest test for how high the hurdle will be to condo convert our 101 year old building.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Pre-Inspection Report

We've received our written pre-inspection report. This is an optional inspection by a former City inspector, to help identify things the actual City inspectors might cite us for, as required for condo conversion. Here is one of my partner's response to the document:

"I'm not terribly impressed with his report. For $600 I guess it will do... Certainly a few inaccuracies that we should address with him and have corrected. For example, my 220 electric for laundry was permitted and signed off - thankfully I kept copies. He outrageously suggests that I should remove $5000 worth of permitted laundry??? I don't think so!!"

And another: "A number of things on my list are not applicable - looks like he just cut and pasted."

Because some of our unit remodels go back to 2000, in many cases, he directs us to research permits on microfilm. It would have been helpful on this document to have been given a clue about where we go to do this. How would the average homeowner know the process for researching ten-year old inspections and permits on microfiche? Like, a URL or the name of the City department at least. I suppose there is a department called Building Inspection, but with this City you never know. After all, the condo lottery is managed by the Department of Public Works, Bureau of Street Use and Land Mapping Division. That's intuitive!

Note that on things like a kitchen "remodel" there needs to be separate plumbing, electric, AND general building inspector permits on file. What a crazy city. To put a new appliance in your kitchen you might need three inspector visits. No wonder the city has almost 30,000 employees.

Anyway, the list we have been given overall doesn't look too bad. We have a good contractor lined up to get work done.

The group will be meeting this Sunday, to decide what on this list we should address before the actual inspectors arrive.