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Old 01-07-2010, 01:58 PM   #1
dcovey
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Default Building inspection

Earlier I started a thread about the trouble I was having with my contractor who built my 28x32 garage. He finally finished it after 8 months. I was just happy to get him out of there.

Since I really didn't like living in Kentucky I sold out and took a serious loss on the place. I didn't and still don't look for the housing market to pick up anytime soon and the wife and I were not willing to stay there.

Here is an issue that may be about to rear it's head.

I got an email from my realtor who sold the house last night. It seems the contractor didn't get a final inspection on the garage. Now the city inspectors show up and tell the new owners they have to tear out the drywall and insulation so it can be inspected. She said something about them being told it wasn't built to code...

Any lawyers out there that can tell me what to expect??

Thanks

Dave
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: Building inspection

Per chance was there an "as is" clause in the sales contract?
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Building inspection

I think the contractor would be liable unless you were the gc and pulled the permit.
Where i live the inspections are as follows: footings, framing, plumbing,electric,hvac,insulation and the final. If you only missed the final inspection then you should not have to remove any drywall. The inspector usually checks gfci outlets, railings,glass and a few other items. You need to find out what inpections were done and signed off on. Good luck!
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: Building inspection

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Originally Posted by pcmeiners View Post
Per chance was there an "as is" clause in the sales contract?
My $0.02, is that even without "As is" in the contract you would be fine, as long as you did not specifically make a dislosure about the garage. If you did not in fact know that this was an issue prior to the closing, this is even a better fact. If you were aware of this as an issue then you are at risk for a "Material non-disclosure". Non-disclosure suits typically have merit when something was intentionally witheld, or mistated.

For instance, if you signed a dislosure sheet indicating that you were not aware of any water leaks, when in fact you basement leaked every time it rained, you would be at risk (especially if your neighbors witnessed you pump it out every storm). So in your case, if you didn't know and did not explicity extend a Home Warranty, then it is buyer be ware.

While it may be easiest to just (via your relator) give them the contractor's name, the risk here is that contractor tries to assert that you knew it wasnt code. As such, if it were me (especially if you have left the state), I would just stay out of it, doubt they would serve you over the cost of drywall.

Good Luck
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Building inspection

Hey, they bought it without checking such things were in order - their problem. Over here we pay a sh1tload of money for structural surveys anda search of local authority (council) records for all such things before we get a mortgage agreed.
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Building inspection

One of the first terms I learned in Real Estate class was Caveat Emptor....

Main Entry: caveat emp·tor
Pronunciation: \-ˈem(p)-tər, -ˌtȯr\
Function: noun
Etymology: New Latin, let the buyer beware
Date: 1523
: a principle in commerce: without a warranty the buyer takes the risk


The "sellers disclosure statement" is the only concern as stated above. If they got a good deal and you are out of state I would not worry. The email from your realtor is common in case this might hold up the closing. If there is no misrepresentaion on your part in the paperwork your Realtor needs to earn their money.

Who pulled the permit for the work? If it was the contractor you have the legal footing to ensure he "completed" the job, and that includes a final inspection.

Last edited by Rosco; 01-07-2010 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Building inspection

pcmeiners, If there was an "As is" statement I didn't put it in there, so I can't say..

ctbuilder, I hired this guy to build the garage. He pulled the permit and hired the electrician (who I payed seperately), and the concrete guys. The only inspections I am personnaly aware of were the concrete, and electrical.

farrbar, This was my impression. I never made any attempt to hide anything.. I wasn't aware the inspections were required or not performed.. I let the buyer know who built the garage and also let him know that the contractor had caused a lien to be put on the property because he hadn't paid for the materials. I told him this information as a warning not to use this guy..I also told him how long it took to get the job completed.

bazzateer, I sorta feel the same way. I just couldn't in good conscience do someone wrong on purpose..Don't get me wrong here, I am in no way willing to fund this project especially after losing so much on the sale of the house..

Rosco, I was kinda thinking along the same lines.. The buyers got an extremely good deal. They agreed to a lot higher price until the appraisal came in 15000.00 lower than the agreed upon price. Then of course they wanted to renegotiate for the lower amount. I was of course furious but we agreed on meeting half way. In the end I ONLY lost 50,000.00 just to get out of Kentucky. House was closed on more than 2 months ago, this came as a surprise to us..
The contractor pulled the permits for the job..

My realtor took the builders information from me last week and said she would pass it on. I called and emailed the builder and of course he hasn't answered either one. I haven't heard anything since last week. I hope I don't.

Thanks guys

Dave
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Building inspection

Did you have a lawyer at your closing?

I would contact him/ her to consult on what your responsibility would be.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: Building inspection

bry@n, No lawyer..Only the buyer, his realtor, myself/wife, and my realtor plus the lawyer from BOA who processed the paperwork. I think they only represent the financial end of it not either the seller or buyer.

I have talked to my realtor here in Texas that I used to buy our new home. She said before we get lawyers involved (expensive) there is a clause in our contract that we can use to mediate any disputes. I have told the wife if I have to pay out anything I am going after the contractor for not doing what he was supposed to do. He was playing hide and seek all through the build and he hasn't answered any attempt to contact him.

Thanks

Dave

Thanks

Dave
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: Building inspection

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Per chance was there an "as is" clause in the sales contract?
State laws vary, but usually an "as is" clause provides some but not complete protection for "latent defects" that are not visible at the time of sale.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:37 PM   #11
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Default Re: Building inspection

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Originally Posted by dcovey View Post
bry@n, No lawyer..Only the buyer, his realtor, myself/wife, and my realtor plus the lawyer from BOA who processed the paperwork. I think they only represent the financial end of it not either the seller or buyer.

I have talked to my realtor here in Texas that I used to buy our new home. She said before we get lawyers involved (expensive) there is a clause in our contract that we can use to mediate any disputes. I have told the wife if I have to pay out anything I am going after the contractor for not doing what he was supposed to do. He was playing hide and seek all through the build and he hasn't answered any attempt to contact him.

Thanks

Dave

Thanks

Dave
Dave, I think you just say to your old realtor, based on what you've said here, "I don't know anything about that. I was just the homeowner." And that's it.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:56 PM   #12
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Default Re: Building inspection

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Dave, I think you just say to your old realtor, based on what you've said here, "I don't know anything about that. I was just the homeowner." And that's it.
I agree.

Also, cpnsulting a laeyer with your documents in hand may be the best money spent. Even if it buys you peace of mind.
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: Building inspection

Well guy's, guess what?

Notice the date of the original post (Jan.)

I received an email from the guy who bought the place asking for my address here in Texas his lawyer could send me a questionair for information. Seems the garage deal is still ongoing.

I emailed him back and asked if he was coming after me or what was going on. He said no he wasn't but the lawyer needed information and he wanted to get this thing finished.

So it's not quite back to square one but maybe close.

I have since found out the original contractor never had a license in Madison County KY. and it is a requirement. He pulled the permit and called for the foundation inspection but never called for any others. The electrical inspection was called for by the electrician but the county inspector (who I let in the garage) evidently never recorded his inspection and now they are saying it wasn't done.

County planning office at first answered my emails and calls and said they would help in anyway they can, now will not return my calls and are always out of the office.

I turned the the contractor in to the BBB but have heard nothing to date from them, also tried again to contact the contractor but he still refuses to answer or return my calls. I didn't expect anything from him but I tried.

Personnaly I am getting tired of this.

Thanks for letting me vent.
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:59 PM   #14
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Default Re: Building inspection

I would email the current owner with all of the builders information and let it go at that.
If the lawyer wants to contact you I would suggest you have it done thru your own lawyer. I suspect that this is not going to be a good experience but that it will be an experience we all can learn from. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 06-09-2010, 06:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: Building inspection

Did this buyer pay cash for the property? Because otherwise, I can NOT understand how this would be possible. AFAIK, to get a mortgage, you need title insurance. To get title insurance, the title company would first need to make sure of any possible issues with the property....like the lack of a valid CofO on the garage. Certainly, it would not be possible to get a CofO without all the necessary inspections. Sometimes, a title company will write a policy with "Exceptions"...things they will not warrantee. But the buyer would definately have to sign off on those at closing.

Certainly, it is possible to sell a property without a Cof O on an addition...for example if it is not completed construction. But it seems to me that it is the buyers responsibility to check all this stuff. And usually it is the title company that checks all this on behalf of the buyer.

I don't understand how this got through closing without a CofO on the garage; without someone holding up a red flag anyway. This is why one should always be represented by a lawyer at a closing. Something like this gets missed...hang the lawyer.
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:43 PM   #16
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Default Re: Building inspection

jwhcars,

I have sent the buyer everything I have concerning this. I have even done a lot of the leg work trying to find out what needs to be done. No one in Kentucky can or will tell me anything. After sending the buyer the info on the builder I was under the impression he was taken care of. He contacted the builder and said he was a nice guy. Although he never said he got it taken care of.
After the last email of 1 Jun, I went ahead and filed a complaint with the BBB and they have sent the builder a letter as of 3 Jun. They said they had to give him ten days to respond and then they would send a registered letter if they get no response.


Skyline,

I was unaware of that about the title insurance.

As I said earlier. The garage was supposedly complete back in May 09, but the inspectors didn't show up until Jan 2010, and then they left a note on the door. That was the first time the buyer or myself had any idea there was a problem.
How can the planning commision let something hang out there so long before looking at it?

I know I can't get them to return my calls at this point.
The one time I actually talked to an inspector last week, I was told the rafters were not up to code and he said an electrical inspection had not been done. I know the electrical was done because I happened to be home that day and let him in the garage. I just don't know if he recorded it though.

Another thing occured to me today. What is to prevent the inspectors from filling out some forms and back dating them saying they had notified me of something?

I know I'm getting paranoid at this point!!

BOA is who the buyer used for financing and their representative was the guy passing the papers around for signatures.

By the way, I didn't get the title insurance information on my new place until five months after closing..

I'm just concerned because I cannot get any answers from the buyer, planning commision, contractor, BBB.


Thanks
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:00 PM   #17
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Default Re: Building inspection

I agree with other's comments. You didn't know about the issue and therefore didn't hide anything. The house is sold, you been extra nice in trying to help, but it's time to cut the cord. The new homeowners are completely responsible and need to deal with it unless they are willing to pay you a fee for your help. Just my $.02
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:15 PM   #18
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I agree with other's comments. You didn't know about the issue and therefore didn't hide anything. The house is sold, you been extra nice in trying to help, but it's time to cut the cord. The new homeowners are completely responsible and need to deal with it unless they are willing to pay you a fee for your help. Just my $.02
Kind of what I want to do.. Just hate to make an enemy of the guy that bought. After all if it comes down to it costing me I would rather he was as gentle as possible.

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Old 06-11-2010, 05:43 PM   #19
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Default Re: Building inspection

Back to the top..

I hope there is a lawyer out there willing to provide a little free advice..

Received in the mail today a letter from a lawyer. The guy wants me to pay $15000.00 to have the roof removed, trusses installed and drywall removed and replaced. Basicly tear it down and rebuild.

What the @#$&!!

I have 20 days to pay up or they are going to litigation..

Since I paid $22000.00 that seems a little stupid to me.

Here is what the letter says:

I represent Mr XXX who purchased the property in Kentucky in 2009. After purchasing the property XXX was advised by the building inspection office that the construction of the garage had not been properly permitted and was not constructed according to applicable codes. A letter from the Planning and Developement office substantiating that fact is attached. As a result Mr. XXX will be required to hire a contractor to obtain the necessary permit to do the work to bring the property up to code. He has obtained an estimate from a local contractor (copy attached) which idicates that it will take $15000.00 to bring the property in compliance. I am writing at this point to demand that you make payment to Mr. XXX of the sum of $15000.00 so that he may make necessary repairs and completions to the property.

I would point out that on your sellers disclosure (copy attached) you indicated that all necessary permits and government approvals had been obtained. Misrepresenting this fact constitutes ffraud. In the event this matter is not settled within twenty (20 ) days of the date of my letter it will be my intent to assert litigation for the collection of these amounts asserting breach of contract and fraud for misrepresenting these facts.


Now I'm pissed...

I am making an appointment with legal assistance on Ft Hood to see what options I have.

For clarification on some of the facts of the letter.

#1. I never applied for nor received any permits or inspections. That was the contractor I hired, his signature on everything. I wasn't even aware permits were even required until he told me, and then I was unaware inspections were required other than what I was told (electrical and foundation)until I was notified back in Jan they were not done.
#2. Yes I marked that all permits were received on the sellers disclosure. I saw the permit in the yard during the build. Other than that see #1.

I flat out am stupified about this.

I don't have this kind of money laying around and besides based on what I originally spent it sounds like he can build a new garage for this.

I know the guy wants it fixed and so do I but what happens when I get sued and can't pay. I go after the idiot that built it and like it will be the same results.

Oh, don't doubt I'm going after the builder..

Any lawyer advice??
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:56 PM   #20
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Default Re: Building inspection

Lawyers will go after whoever they think they have the best chance of collecting from, not necessarily who they think was actually negligent.
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:15 PM   #21
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Just my guess, but the buyer would spend more $s getting a lawyer in TX to try to handle the case.
Wonder how deep the new buyers pockets are? Can he handle the expense of an out of state lawyer with the risk that he would never collect a penny on his lawsuit?
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:13 PM   #22
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Default Re: Building inspection

If I were you, I'd call a reputable contractor to inspect the garage and see what the municipality needs to get it inspected. If you can find a contractor that has a good repore with the municipality, He may be able to help you get the building properly inspected with minimal costs or repairs. In most area's permits are the responsibility of the property owner, regardless of who gets them. You clearly did not do your due diligence when hiring your contractor or keeping the project on track. Now, unfortunately your paying for it. Best of luck with your situation.
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:29 PM   #23
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Default Re: Building inspection

Did the buyers of your property have a home inspection? If so, the garage fiasco is their problem. Also, did you initially get a permit for the construction. If so the building department in your old municipality should be held liable. If the guy didn't have a contractors license no permit should have been issued. Also, if the town was inspecting the work as it progressed - footing/slab/framing/electric, etc.., they dropped the ball not you.
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:36 PM   #24
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Default Re: Building inspection

Just my $.02 as a real estate appraiser who deals with these issues and deals with realtors and lawyers daily. I suspect a lot this will irritate lawyers, realtors and the original poster but it's just my $.02. Realtors spend hours and hours crafting verbiage to limit their own liability. They intentionally stick their head in the sand and will go a mile out of their way to avoid hearing something that has to be disclosed. The most often used clause is "buyer to verify" or "per some third party source". Hopefully you had an "as is" clause in your contract. Dig it out and look it over. It is standard commentary in my area. Locally it would be considered an oversight (probably not negligent) to leave it out.

The BBB is worthless. They are completely impotent and it's a waste of your time.

The appraiser who performed the appraisal for the purchase should have verfied that permits were issued and that it was finaled. That is definitely part of his job and I would strongly suspect there is some liability here. I'd be very nervous if I did the appraisal on it.

I've provided expert witness testimony in several cases where one side claimed something simple to fix couldn't be fixed and the whole thing had to be torn apart to fix it. It's a common claim and frequently B.S. I'd look into beefing up or fixing what was there if it came down to it before I agreed for a complete re-do.

Sorry, but I do think you had some obligation to check out the contractor and make sure the inspections are being conducted. I'm personally check the license status of the contractors on my garage project and try to be there for inspections. I inspect the card and stay on top of what needs to be done. This is where I think you are most vulnerable.

What was the contributory value of this garage and why should he be compensated by an amount greater than the lesser of that amount or the cost to cure or remove it?

Don't do the opposing side lawyer's job for him. In many of the cases that I've been involved in (as an appraiser not a lawyer) it has been the words that were volunteered by someone that have sunk their case.

Hopefully you have that "as is" clause. Something to the effect of "buyer accepts the property in its present as is condition with no guarantees or warranties expressed or implied" is typical here.

As far as title goes I can say that I've had multitudes of properties transfer with unpermitted additions, legal non-conforming and non-compliant issue. The difference in my area is when the county files a notice of non-compliance. Then title transfer becomes difficult without correction.

Sorry for the length of post but I feel for the OP and wanted to offer any knowledge I could (even though it might not be worth much or applicable). Good luck to you.
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:28 PM   #25
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Default Re: Building inspection

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Originally Posted by choppintime View Post
Did the buyers of your property have a home inspection? If so, the garage fiasco is their problem. Also, did you initially get a permit for the construction. If so the building department in your old municipality should be held liable. If the guy didn't have a contractors license no permit should have been issued. Also, if the town was inspecting the work as it progressed - footing/slab/framing/electric, etc.., they dropped the ball not you.

This pretty much covers what I was gonna say, now I don't have to type it.

1. As far as I'm concerned home inspectors are the biggest scam in the realty business, their only purpose is to collect $3-500 from idiots who don't know any better. HOWEVER, when a buyer pays that money and signs off on that "inspection" they bought it, lock, stock, and barrel and the courts are standing behind it. Super protection for the seller that the buyer pays for.

2.Obtaining permits and making sure they are inspected and signed off is the responsibility of THE PERSON DOING THE WORK. Just as in the case of the OP, most home owners have no idea that permist are even required, let alone signed off. In most cases the homeowner will never even see the permit, or the inspectors.

3. If there was a permit issued, the municipality was indeed responsible for making sure the contractor was licensed. If a permit was issued to a non-licensed contractor that's not the OP's fault.


The lawyer and the buyer are barking up the wrong tree. The responsible person is the contratcor that did the work. Find the check you paid him with.
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:02 PM   #26
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Just my guess, but the buyer would spend more $s getting a lawyer in TX to try to handle the case.
Wonder how deep the new buyers pockets are? Can he handle the expense of an out of state lawyer with the risk that he would never collect a penny on his lawsuit?
Unknown about that.. Would he have to get a lawyer in TX?

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by gasgas17 View Post
------------------------------------------------
If I were you, I'd call a reputable contractor to inspect the garage and see what the municipality needs to get it inspected. If you can find a contractor that has a good repore with the municipality, He may be able to help you get the building properly inspected with minimal costs or repairs. In most area's permits are the responsibility of the property owner, regardless of who gets them. You clearly did not do your due diligence when hiring your contractor or keeping the project on track. Now, unfortunately your paying for it. Best of luck with your situation
I have a friend there but I personnaly do not know any contractors. I have tried talking to the county but they are always out of the office or somewhere. They have not returned any of my calls. I attempted to do my due dilligence, very hard when there is nothing derogitory(sp) to be found.

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-----------------------------------------------
Did the buyers of your property have a home inspection? If so, the garage fiasco is their problem. Also, did you initially get a permit for the construction. If so the building department in your old municipality should be held liable. If the guy didn't have a contractors license no permit should have been issued. Also, if the town was inspecting the work as it progressed - footing/slab/framing/electric, etc.., they dropped the ball not you.

No they did not get an inspection just an appraisal. Permit was procured by the contractor. It was in the contract that he provided labor, material and permits. The county clerk told me when I called that he was not licensed in the county, but it was a requiredment that he was. Them not checking periodically is something that bugs me. Project was started in Oct 08 and they hung a notice on the guy's door in Dec 09. The only inspection was slab and electrical and they now claim the electrical was not done.
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------------------------------------------------
Just my $.02 as a real estate appraiser who deals with these issues and deals with realtors and lawyers daily. I suspect a lot this will irritate lawyers, realtors and the original poster but it's just my $.02. Realtors spend hours and hours crafting verbiage to limit their own liability. They intentionally stick their head in the sand and will go a mile out of their way to avoid hearing something that has to be disclosed. The most often used clause is "buyer to verify" or "per some third party source". Hopefully you had an "as is" clause in your contract. Dig it out and look it over. It is standard commentary in my area. Locally it would be considered an oversight (probably not negligent) to leave it out.

He signed off on the part that say's buyer accepts property and it's improvements in their "as is" condition as stated herein above subparagraph 6b. EXCEPT for the following inspections: Inspections: Complete property.

It goes on to say if the buyer (at his expense) does not get an inspection with in 10 days and if anything is not up to standard operating condition and the buyer failing to notify sellers agent in writing within three days after inspection, shall constitute an acceptance of such inspected items in their "as is" condition and a waiver of this inspection clause.
As I read and type this it sounds like since he did not have an inspection performed. He bought it?

The BBB is worthless. They are completely impotent and it's a waste of your time.
I have no arguement with this. But short of heading straight to court what do you do. Also, since I checked the BBB on the contractor, I sure would have appreciated knowing what he was.

The appraiser who performed the appraisal for the purchase should have verfied that permits were issued and that it was finaled. That is definitely part of his job and I would strongly suspect there is some liability here. I'd be very nervous if I did the appraisal on it.
That's interesting. I wasn't aware they are supposed to check for such.
I've provided expert witness testimony in several cases where one side claimed something simple to fix couldn't be fixed and the whole thing had to be torn apart to fix it. It's a common claim and frequently B.S. I'd look into beefing up or fixing what was there if it came down to it before I agreed for a complete re-do.
I have called numerous times trying to talk to the county administrator who is in charge of the inspections. Every time he is out, gone to the court house, lunch, gone for the day, or doing inspections. I have left my phone number each time and he has not returned my calls. I did talk to one of the inspectors and he said the rafters were stucturally unsound but was non commital when I suggested a beam and support posts.

Sorry, but I do think you had some obligation to check out the contractor and make sure the inspections are being conducted. I'm personally check the license status of the contractors on my garage project and try to be there for inspections. I inspect the card and stay on top of what needs to be done. This is where I think you are most vulnerable.

Not disagreeing except for my only excuse "ignorance". In Texas out in the county ther are no requirements for permits or anything else, the only caveat (I'm aware of) to that is now you have to have a permit for a septic system. That is why I hired a contractor. When I read the bid for the garage is the first I knew of any permits required, and he had it in it that he would provide. As to inspections, when I talked to the concrete guy's the said I had to have one for the slab before they could pour, and the same contractor said the electrical needed a permit and inspection. Which I had. Now the county say's the electrical was not done even though I was there to let the inspector in the garage.

What was the contributory value of this garage and why should he be compensated by an amount greater than the lesser of that amount or the cost to cure or remove it?
You got me there!!

Don't do the opposing side lawyer's job for him. In many of the cases that I've been involved in (as an appraiser not a lawyer) it has been the words that were volunteered by someone that have sunk their case.

I am retired military. I have an appointment with JAG on Tuesday. After I talk to them I will have a better understanding of where I need to go. My only issue is his lawyer gave me 20 days from 8 Jun to pay him or to court he goes.

Hopefully you have that "as is" clause. Something to the effect of "buyer accepts the property in its present as is condition with no guarantees or warranties expressed or implied" is typical here.
As I said above it is there and if I read it right he has bought it since he never had an inspection performed.

As far as title goes I can say that I've had multitudes of properties transfer with unpermitted additions, legal non-conforming and non-compliant issue. The difference in my area is when the county files a notice of non-compliance. Then title transfer becomes difficult without correction.

Sorry for the length of post but I feel for the OP and wanted to offer any knowledge I could (even though it might not be worth much or applicable). Good luck to you.
I'm also sorry for the length of my answer.

I do however appreciate everyones input. This just bugs me really bad since I honestly had no idea about any of this. I feel like someone is questioning my honesty/integrity and I don't like it.


Thanks to all.
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:05 PM   #27
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This pretty much covers what I was gonna say, now I don't have to type it.

1. As far as I'm concerned home inspectors are the biggest scam in the realty business, their only purpose is to collect $3-500 from idiots who don't know any better. HOWEVER, when a buyer pays that money and signs off on that "inspection" they bought it, lock, stock, and barrel and the courts are standing behind it. Super protection for the seller that the buyer pays for.

2.Obtaining permits and making sure they are inspected and signed off is the responsibility of THE PERSON DOING THE WORK. Just as in the case of the OP, most home owners have no idea that permist are even required, let alone signed off. In most cases the homeowner will never even see the permit, or the inspectors.

3. If there was a permit issued, the municipality was indeed responsible for making sure the contractor was licensed. If a permit was issued to a non-licensed contractor that's not the OP's fault.


The lawyer and the buyer are barking up the wrong tree. The responsible person is the contratcor that did the work. Find the check you paid him with.
Pretty much answered this in my last response. Thanks for the input..
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:08 PM   #28
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What was the contributory value of this garage and why should he be compensated by an amount greater than the lesser of that amount or the cost to cure or remove it?
You got me there!!

Just thought of something sort of funny..

After i received a copy of the appraisal I blew a gasket.. I paid 22700.00 for the garage. It appraised for 10200.00. Now they want 15000.00 to repair it.
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:13 PM   #29
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Lawyers get paid to send those scare letters all time time. Personally, I'd put it in the round file...
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:33 PM   #30
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Ask your JAG lawyer if a change of venue is in order. If their gonna sue then make them come to you. I also think that the JAG lawyer will probably not be the best versed in RE law so be prepared to find one that is. Some Law offices specialize in just this.

I think your learning that the school of hard knocks can be expensive.

Good Luck

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Old 06-12-2010, 08:59 AM   #31
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I suspect that you will feel much better after talking to a lawyer -- they will be able to explain what you are really facing as far as liability.

The seller and their appraiser should have known that there was not a final inspection. Seems lots of people dropped the ball.

As far as repairs or replacement, there is more than one way to do the job. If it comes to it I would have an engineer look at how it was built and design a repair. It will be cheaper than you think. Could be as simple as sistering a 2x to every fourth rafter to provide the required strength. The county/town inspectors will except the engineers design.

Good Luck.
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Old 06-12-2010, 09:38 AM   #32
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Lawyers get paid to send those scare letters all time time. Personally, I'd put it in the round file...
My thoughs exactly. The more the OP gets involved with this, the more he makes himself look like to the lawyer and buyer that he knew about this situation and tried to pull a fast one on them.

OP appears to have operated above board in this sell and should wash his hands of it.
just my 2 cents.
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Old 06-12-2010, 10:24 AM   #33
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My thoughs exactly. The more the OP gets involved with this, the more he makes himself look like to the lawyer and buyer that he knew about this situation and tried to pull a fast one on them.

OP appears to have operated above board in this sell and should wash his hands of it.
just my 2 cents.
My involvement started a month after the buyer was notified by the county inspectors. The buyer was notified on 7 Dec 09 and he asked my realtor (who asked me) on the 6 Jan 10. I called and emailed her then. At first I thought they were talking about a home inspection.

I then called the buyer to find out what he was talking about and he only brought up a electrical inspection and having to take down drywall to inspect it, glazing over any framing issues.
On 12 Jan the buyer again contacts me and said he had talked to the original contractor and say's he is a nice guy and was talking to him. I then emailed the contractor and said I hoped he would do the right thing and take care of the issues. That was the last I heard of it until last week 1 Jun 10.

I flat out was above board throughout the entire deal. I told him of my issues with the builder during the build and offered to help with getting the builder in there after I first heard of it. I even sent him pictures of the garage during the build to show the county so he wouldn't have to take it apart. By his actions or lack of I figured he had it taken care of.
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Old 06-12-2010, 10:28 AM   #34
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I think your learning that the school of hard knocks can be expensive.

Good Luck

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LOL, at my age I learned that lesson a looong time ago, that's why I am asking about it now..
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Old 06-12-2010, 10:58 AM   #35
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Early on you said you let in the electrical inspector in for the inspection....but did not record it.....

If you remember what the guy looked like then I think you have some recourse here....Inspectors do make mistakes.....if there was an issue as to why he would not signe it off then there should be a 'beef' slip explaining what the problem was....no slip? Then he basically approved it. Hence, no reason to rip everything out.

Same thing 'kind of' happened to me when we did our kitchen...came time for final inspection....it was a different inspector than the one that had been coming out....the electrical section was not signed off....but other sections were signed off...signatures that were after the electrical should have happened....his position was "Inspector must have forgot to sign it off, otherwise the other parts would not have been signed."

So...I would push this up the chain at the inspectors office.

Man....I'm glad I do my own permits....just to be on the safe side I'm going to call the county and make sure they show my garage as being done.
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:24 AM   #36
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I just thought of a quick fix for all of this. Call a structural engineer from the area to inspect the garage. If they sign off on it your home free as they will trump the local inspectors. They could make it all go away for 500 bucks. I would still go see a real estate lawyer though.

I sold a house one time that had an abandoned (but empty) under ground oil tank. On the day of the closing final inspection by the buyer, MY real estate agent was kind enough to point out the oil tank vent to the buyer and told her that I should have it removed. Just so happened that when the property was sub divided by the previous owner to me the oil tank ended up half under the next door neighbors drive way. DOH! Only cost me 5 grand. I could have placed her in the hole myself before they back filled it.
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:28 AM   #37
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Early on you said you let in the electrical inspector in for the inspection....but did not record it.....

If you remember what the guy looked like then I think you have some recourse here....Inspectors do make mistakes.....if there was an issue as to why he would not signe it off then there should be a 'beef' slip explaining what the problem was....no slip? Then he basically approved it. Hence, no reason to rip everything out.
I can remember the truck he was in but not him. I ma if I was to see him again, don't know.

On the county paperwork they sent the electrical was not on the original permit. But I noticed it looked like a second one was issued. I asked for it but so far no response. The inspector knew the electrician that done the work as he said no problem and he knew him.

Thanks
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:33 AM   #38
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I just thought of a quick fix for all of this. Call a structural engineer from the area to inspect the garage. If they sign off on it your home free as they will trump the local inspectors. They could make it all go away for 500 bucks. I would still go see a real estate lawyer though.

I sold a house one time that had an abandoned (but empty) under ground oil tank. On the day of the closing final inspection by the buyer, MY real estate agent was kind enough to point out the oil tank vent to the buyer and told her that I should have it removed. Just so happened that when the property was sub divided by the previous owner to me the oil tank ended up half under the next door neighbors drive way. DOH! Only cost me 5 grand. I could have placed her in the hole myself before they back filled it.
I just got off the phone with my only buddy from Kentucky, he is going to ask a contractor friend about this and see who he knows.

I told him not to go any farther than asking for opinions since I want to see what a lawyer say's. Also, as was mentioned earlier I don't want anyone getting the idea I was trying to hide anything. I just want my ducks in order and to find out what options I have.

Thanks

P.S. I feel the same about my realtor. Another little tid bit. My realtor and the buyers realtor work from the same office Century 21.
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:35 PM   #39
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You might try calling an engineer in KY and tell them what size rafters, span, pitch, shingle type etc that you are dealing with and see what they say. I really doubt unless they are severely under sized that they need to be removed. Probably can design a simple solution.

As far as electrical -- have you contacted the electrical contractor? They may have a record of the inspection.
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Old 06-12-2010, 02:34 PM   #40
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Lawyers will go after anyone they think they might be able to collect from. Also they will send a letter trying to scare your and try and get you to pay. Your best bet is to talk to a lawyer, might be the best couple hundred dollars you spend. Hopefully they are just trying to get some money from someone.

Not to rub salt but this is a good lesson for everyone, always check your contractors references and also check with the state for a contractors license and insurance. Every state has a website that you can check if your contractor is licensed or not. Sometimes the contractor with the best price ends up costing more in the end.

Not trying to rub salt or make things worse, just trying to point out lessons for others. Also not saying that you did anything wrong, for all I know you did do all these things. I used to run my own contracting business for years, got sick of trying to compete with unlicensed companies with no insurance.

Best of luck to you in getting this straightened out!
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:18 AM   #41
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What was the contributory value of this garage and why should he be compensated by an amount greater than the lesser of that amount or the cost to cure or remove it?
You got me there!!

Just thought of something sort of funny..

After i received a copy of the appraisal I blew a gasket.. I paid 22700.00 for the garage. It appraised for 10200.00. Now they want 15000.00 to repair it.
A couple of things on this one that might clear up the WTF: 1) There is no relation between cost and value with the possible exception that buyer's tend to pay less than the cost of a new one or at least theoretically the depreciated value of the improvement under the principle of substitution. 2) $10,200 is a pretty specific figure. If you are looking at the Cost Approach section don't put much weight in that. Long story but a lot of appraisers back into that figure. If that amount was in the Sales Comparison approach it indicates your appraiser felt he could value the garage to the $100 accuracy level which is a suspect conclusion at best. Many of the garages on this site (mine included) would be a gross superadequacy for their markets. The market value would be far less than the cost. We tend to get a little carried away with our garages. Incidentally all appraisers carry e&O insurance with a minimum of $300,000 coverage.
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:33 AM   #42
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GarageEnvy,

I understand what you said.

I just remember how I felt when I received the appraisal. I had just finished painting inside the garage a month before selling the house.

It was never used for anything except parking the lawn mowe inside.

Then the real kick in the teeth came with the estimate to repair it from the buyer for 3/4 of what it originally cost to build.

I know I was expecting the place to appraise for less than I gave for it since I was selling at near bottom of the housing bust, but because we wanted to leave so bad we were willing to take the hit to get away from Kentucky and back to Texas.
I just wasn't expecting Kentucky to follow me here!
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:32 PM   #43
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I'm sorry to hear about this situation. I live about 5 miles from the Madison Co. line. Did you live in Richmond?
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:44 PM   #44
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I'm sorry to hear about this situation. I live about 5 miles from the Madison Co. line. Did you live in Richmond?
Thanks.

I lived outside Berea.

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Old 06-16-2010, 04:53 AM   #45
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Thanks.

I lived outside Berea.

Dave
Myself as well. I live just inside the Rockcastle Co. line off of US25. I'm curious as to who the builder was. I understand if you don't want to disclose that info, but if you indeed do, PM me and let me know, as I have plans to build a 30'x30' next year and the two builders I have in mind are local. Don't want to have a similar experience if it can be avoided. Thanks.

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Old 06-16-2010, 07:47 AM   #46
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Myself as well. I live just inside the Rockcastle Co. line off of US25. I'm curious as to who the builder was. I understand if you don't want to disclose that info, but if you indeed do, PM me and let me know, as I have plans to build a 30'x30' next year and the two builders I have in mind are local. Don't want to have a similar experience if it can be avoided. Thanks.

Matt.
Po'Boy,

Check your PM.

I have no problem putting his name out there and I will after I talk to a lawyer in Kentucky and we get the ball rolling on this.

After talking to a lawyer at JAG yesterday it was suggested that I pay to fix the garage and then go after the builder. Unless I wanted to endup with the court costs and attorney fee's added to the cost to repair the building.

I did finally talk with the Madison County inspectors and we came up with an alternative to tearing the roof off down to the walls. Now if the buyer will accept the fix I will not have to basicly build him a new garage.

Dave
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:05 PM   #47
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Did you talk to a Real Estate lawyer? All those clauses in your sales contract are there for a reason. Going after the builder after you pay is not going to be cheap (attorney fees and then the cost of collecting and then actually getting the money).

Get a real estate attorney and at least he can negotiate a settlement. Do not pay the full amount. My opinion is you owe nothing. The contractor is liable and the buyer's attorney knows that his client has a snowball's chance in hell of collecting from him.

Also check your past and current homeowners insurance (it might cover all this) I am not giving legal advice just my opinion.

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Old 06-16-2010, 09:30 PM   #48
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Did you talk to a Real Estate lawyer? All those clauses in your sales contract are there for a reason. Going after the builder after you pay is not going to be cheap (attorney fees and then the cost of collecting and then actually getting the money).

Get a real estate attorney and at least he can negotiate a settlement. Do not pay the full amount. My opinion is you owe nothing. The contractor is liable and the buyer's attorney knows that his client has a snowball's chance in hell of collecting from him.

Also check your past and current homeowners insurance (it might cover all this) I am not giving legal advice just my opinion.
I have emailed a real estate lawyer in Lexington.

Quote:
You have many defenses to the $15,500 claim. You cannot disclose what you do not know. The closing agent for the dwelling should have obtained the CO for the garage before the closing. The list goes on and absolves you of liability.
My problem is, nothing in life is guaranteed, I can't afford to pay him his 3000.00 retainer and then lose, costing me another (up to) 15500.00.

I talked to the county inspector and we have worked out a repair that would include putting a beam down the center, and then bolting the wall to the concrete. The builder used concrete nails. That is all the inspector says it will take. So If I can get the buyer to agree I will pay for it just to be done.

The inspector did tell me that after checking the files an electrical inspection was performed, it just wasn't input into the computer.

I have also talked to an attorney that will take my case on contingency. I will still be out some of the money to pay the lawyer but it would be cheaper than losing the other way.


Am I stupid or what?
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:39 PM   #49
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What you are guilty is of thinking that other people are as honest as you seem to be, good luck with this and thanks for your service to our country.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:21 PM   #50
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Here's an update.

I spoke with several lawyers and one will not say anything without me retaining him. Another said I likely had a good case.

I decided to take another tact and talked to the new owner. What he didn't expect was me driving to Kentucky to talk to him. I prefer email since I don't hear to well, but I felt face to face in this case would ensure he knew I was serious. I read him the riot act (may not have been smart thing to do)and asked why he didn't contact me himself instead of going through a lawyer as I would have worked with him. Afterwards he told me he just wants it fixed and said he thought taking me to court was the only way it would happen. I let him know I was not going to roll over and give him 15000.00 and if that was what he expected he had just as well get a lawyer and we would go to court. I assured him I had spoke to a lawyer as well and he thought I had a good case and could win, or if not the only winners would be our lawyers.

I then told him that I had contacted the county planning administrator and that he recommended we put a laminate beam down the center to support the roof which would make it compliant to code. The new owner agreed to that fix as long as there was no support pole in the middle of the garage.

I figure this should not cost more than 3000.00, which I am willing to pay for. I will then go after the contractor and attempt to get reimbursed. If not I will at least make his life miserable for a while.

As I said I drove to Kentucky to get this figured out. On the way I called the new owner and asked him to contact the county planning administrator and get him to come out to the garage so he could tell us both exactly what it would take to get this done. I then followed up with a call to the county administrator myself as I have lost faith in anything happening. The administrator told me that he had been contacted and would be there at 4:30.

I was there waiting at 4:00 the owner was there by 4:15 and the administrator never showed..
I left the next morning to drive back to Texas without accomplishing my mission but at least the owner knows that if we can ever get the county off their butt I will make it right for him.

The owner made another appointment with the county for the next afternoon and he didn't show for that meeting either. He did however tell him that a 16inch beam would be what he wanted to see for a support.

I sent an email to him this morning to confirm and he recommended I go to lowes and have them figure the load at 20 lbs per foot over a 28 foot span. I asked him if I installed this if it would pass code and if he would issue a OC and he did not answer that part.

I think he (county administrator) is getting ready to play games again, as I may have hurt his feelings when I commented about my driving 1100 miles to meet with him and he didn't show..

Ah well, I guess I can always go to the county commissioners (sp) next..
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:42 PM   #51
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Just an update for anyone interested..

Finally got the bad taste that is Kentucky out of my mouth...
I did get a good contractor this time (Brad Hilton, Berea, KY.) to do a good job on time and for what he bid it for. It cost me $4200.00 and he ended up with a gluelam beam offset about 2 foot from center along side the garage door. He even had to cut the floor and add footing for the center post.

Any way the owner is happy and I am as well since it didn't cost me 15,000.00.

I did file a complaint with the county magistrate for the way the county planning office treated us, and I have been going online searching for the original contractors advertisements and posting about his work.

So for anyone in the South Central/East Kentucky be advised not to use Kip Lambdin/RJ's Construction for your work. In my searching I found another guy he hosed on some work. This guy has him in civil court as of now. Unfortunately he had already started so I cannot join with him.

Dave
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