06/11/2011

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More on that Court Case. Justice was not done. About that hearing. The owner, even though he got a $20grand judgement against the concrete guy he also got the other defendants legal fees and court costs, almost $10 grand. Add that to his own fired lawyer's $8grand+ charges and the owner got the short end of the stick.<br /> It will be very tough for him to collect on that judgement as that concrete contractor probably doesn't have a pot to go in or a window to toss it out of....<br /> Wish you could have been there. At the end of the first day's hearings the wife had brought the couple's twin 3 month old boys and had them out in the corridor. The defendant's lawyer and the appeaser / inspector both stopped and commented how cute they were and asked their age etc. She should have slapped then both..<br /> The morning of the first day, the plaintiff / homeowner put one of the defendant's expert witnesses on the stand and that guy clearly repeatedly stated that where the problem was should have been "designed" with calculations using ACI 318 which is adopted in the State-wide building Code . After lunch and I'm sure a short talk with the inspector/defendant's lawyer who hired him as one of three expert witnesses, the same guy took the stand and did a total flip - flop. The huge cracks that clearly indicated a structural problem that a PE had designed a fix for became "shrinkage cracks"<br /> Another "expert witness" took the stand who is a local builder. He claimed he only had one "red flag" with an inspector and that was due to a set-back issue. I caught up with him in the corridor during a break and addressed him by his first name. I then proceeded to remind him of a home he built in a municipality I inspect for and the Code violations concerning truss bearing support on that home that required a few bucks to fix.... And that guy claimed, on the stand, that he built 1500 homes in 6 years. The judge noted his testimony in his final findings of fact before he gave the verdict. Evidently the judge can't do math very well. 1500 divided by 6 = 250 or almost one new home every working day for six years.. And these were site built homes and with maybe two crews.. pretty amazing.... The guy is also a realtor. MAYBE, just maybe he's listed that many homes in 6 years but in this area that might even be pushing it.<br /> Noticed something about the other two expert witnesses. Ever notice how a young child can't look you in the eye when they are lying to you. Well two of those expert witnesses had a hard time looking up when answering the defense's lawyers questions . Those questions were all worded for simple yes or no answers. Some were leading questions but the plaintiff never objected.<br /> <br /> All in all it was a sad day in court for the 1 and 2 family dwelling Code in this State.<br /> My next blog will be a reply from a State employee concerning questions I asked Emailed him the night after the hearing was over.<br /> Be sure to read his answers.
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Be part of the solution, not the problem...... So an inspector's role is to point out to the various contractors what doesn't meet code. A week ago a concrete contractor had placed 6 wall brace anchors in the wrong spot.<br /> I came along for the foundation inspection and the owner was there so I pointed out the problem and called the general contractor . The general contractor had received verbal info from the guy at the lumberyard and passed it along to the foundation/concrete guy.<br /> Rather than just write up the Code violation I got on the cell phone and called the maufacturer's field rep. Had a short dicussion with him where he popinted out that you wouldn't install a Maytag dishwasher without having the instructions in front of you. I pointed out that the instructions come with Maytag Dishwashers. It was the weekend so I didn't hammer him to bad but I did secure a promise from him that he would help make it right.<br /> Granted the lumberyard guy had a catalog with all the instructions you could want and he should have showed the builder that page or even made him a copy. I argued with the manufacturer's rep that the instructions should have been in the box the anchors came in.<br /> Before I go any farther, one must realize that building and homes aren't what they use to be. To insure their structural integrity, certain metal braces and engineered fasteners are often used around huge openings and other nonconventional framing. And those engineered parts MUST be installed per the manufacturer.<br /> The above mention dwelling had six anchors improperly placed in a concrete wall. Each was rated around 4000 pounds so this was a huge problem as the concrete was hard and getting harder by the day.<br /> Funny thing happened the next day. I was browsing around a Habitat for Humanity ReStore Store and I found this box about the same size as the one that the anchors came in. It was unopened and marked Maytag. It had parts needed for the installation of a Maytag Dishwasher. I bought it for $5.<br /> Emails were sent to the Manufacturer and I kidded about the Maytag man... That next friday the "Maytag Man" showed up on the jobsite with all the builder needed to retrofit the anchors. Not a cheap bunch of parts by any means. The rep, Curt J, aka Maytag man, did an excellent job of explaining how to fix the problem and how to do it right the first time next time. Curt J. is an asset to that company which is Simpson Strongtie.<br /> That company has never been known by me to let a customer down. They understand customer service, cranky old inspectors and most importantly they know their products.<br /> We all learned something that day. I'm sure that will help the lumberyard and the builder was educated and got what he needed, (minus labor) and I got to get a final jab at the rep when I showed him that $5 box of diswasher parts with the instructions enclosed.<br /> Curt left us with full catalogs and job handbooks for the Strongtie products.<br /> <br /> Some may say that what I did was not the role of an inspector. Some may say its not the role of a highway patrolman to help change a flat tire. Well in my book if you aren't part of the solution you are part of the problem . ... and being a cranky old inspector I can get away with it... So whatever you do, do with your whole heart as working for the Lord and not for man. Col 3:23.<br /> <br />

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