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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone run into this or is it just a MA liberal thing? A home owner hired me to replace their rotted deck. We went back and forth, signed a contract, I go to pull a permit and the town requires a plot plan done by a certified surveyor for any decks or porches, even if its just replacing the existing deck. So I call a surveyor, $950 and a 4 week lead time :censored: I am going to see if they have any record of it ever being done before and I could just give them a copy of the old one seeing how its the exact same :censored:
 

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I assume you are doing a total new deck and posts instead of just some "pretty" decking.

Some owners like to call a new deck an "replacement". If they can it often leads to since changes that lead into get into land use, codes and many other things.

A survey and permit are cost to the owner that a contractor should not have a cover since the owner wants a price before looking into the local requirements.

You may have discovered a smart owner that knew the requirements and gave the job to the lowest contractor that included it in the bid price where others did not include it in the bid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was doing this as a favor to a friend who rents the house from him. The owner is in Spain, so we've been conducting business via emails and he didn't have anyone else even bid on it. It was a "I need this done in two weeks, how much will it cost me?". Which would have worked out fine if it wasn't for the surveyor BS. This is the first town I've run into with this rule. Its just a basic 12x12 PT deck coming down and a very over built 12x12 PT deck going back up. New everything, same footprint. The town also requires this for any front porch or landing.
 

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Go to the Register of Deeds office. Most all lots are recorded there. The original plot plan done by a surveyor should be on file or on micro film. You'll need the tax parcel number also.

I've gotten these. Draw the structure on a copy. Note the setbacks of the structure on the copy. As long as the set backs you draw in and actually build are ok, I believe you'll be ok.
 

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Go to the Register of Deeds office. Most all lots are recorded there. The original plot plan done by a surveyor should be on file or on micro film. You'll need the tax parcel number also.

I've gotten these. Draw the structure on a copy. Note the setbacks of the structure on the copy. As long as the set backs you draw in and actually build are ok, I believe you'll be ok.

I've run into towns that required the proposed plot plan be certified and stamped by a surveyor (and provide 3 copies). Then you need an "as built" before final inspection. The surveyor I used on the last one was $550 for the plot plan, and another $300ish for the "as built". Lead time was slower than yours BFD.

Other towns I've completely replaced decks, stairs, or landings without those crazy requirements. As long as you're putting it back up in exactly the same place.

I guess I'm just saying it's town dependant and you may be able to get away with We Fix Houses' idea, or at least just getting an as built would eliminate that 4 week delay before you could start building.

Worth looking into anyway. If they didn't say it had to be stamped then definitely give We Fix's idea a shot, worst case scenario they tell you "nice try".

Also, definitely do not eat that cost.
 

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If you have a slight change in the width due to a little overhang, a set back requirement AND an unfriendly neighbor there might even be a claim for privacy invasion and not meeting the set back that was old requirement.

I saw it on one deck that "grew" about 12" wider due to a new overhang. The neighbor demanded it was too close and probably not meeting the code because it was actually new construction and could not be grandfathered in. - Turned out the neighbor's home was sited a little off and he lost a little land due to a new survey that he ended up paying for.

Don't eat the costs when you were dealing from a distance. Local code differences are a problem, but they keep out the riff-raff that don't include it in a contract/proposal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've run into towns that required the proposed plot plan be certified and stamped by a surveyor (and provide 3 copies). Then you need an "as built" before final inspection. The surveyor I used on the last one was $550 for the plot plan, and another $300ish for the "as built". Lead time was slower than yours BFD.

Other towns I've completely replaced decks, stairs, or landings without those crazy requirements. As long as you're putting it back up in exactly the same place.

I guess I'm just saying it's town dependant and you may be able to get away with We Fix Houses' idea, or at least just getting an as built would eliminate that 4 week delay before you could start building.

Worth looking into anyway. If they didn't say it had to be stamped then definitely give We Fix's idea a shot, worst case scenario they tell you "nice try".

Also, definitely do not eat that cost.
Its in Milford and I believe they require a stamp. Such a crock of crap. They'll let illegals do whatever they want in the town, but they even want this crap for a front porch? The cost for permits is more than the work :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Go to the Register of Deeds office. Most all lots are recorded there. The original plot plan done by a surveyor should be on file or on micro film. You'll need the tax parcel number also.

I've gotten these. Draw the structure on a copy. Note the setbacks of the structure on the copy. As long as the set backs you draw in and actually build are ok, I believe you'll be ok.
I'm going to ask tomorrow if this will fly with them
 

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BFD
we town are we talking about.

New home owner ? recent purchase ?

Check for deeded plot plan
or as built survey

Is it close to set backs ?
If so that's the reason

If not try to sweet talk inspector in person

Let me know the town or who the inspector is and I'll see if I can Help

Jeff
what town are
 

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I was doing this as a favor to a friend who rents the house from him. The owner is in Spain, so we've been conducting business via emails and he didn't have anyone else even bid on it. It was a "I need this done in two weeks, how much will it cost me?". Which would have worked out fine if it wasn't for the surveyor BS. This is the first town I've run into with this rule. Its just a basic 12x12 PT deck coming down and a very over built 12x12 PT deck going back up. New everything, same footprint. The town also requires this for any front porch or landing.
Rehobeth ,Ma Requires you to jump through every hoop they can think of
The Head insp was N attleboro inspector prior to going there
N/A was the only town (at the time ) that Has Drywall screw inspections :eek:
I think all these little towns in ma realize the stricter the codes the more fees and inspections they can do so yeah I think its a masshole thing , I cant stand this State sometimes :censored:
Sorry did nor read on before replying Good luck I hope the registry of deeds works out for you
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, its Milford. Its an older split level. The owner has had it forever and there is a solid 50' to the closest property line. This is just a town ordinance that IMO makes a mountain out of a mole hill. A couple people built things too close to the line and put up a stink that they had to tear it down or get a variance, so they make everyone have this done. I wasn't kidding before, they specifically say they even want it for a front porch, even if your in the middle of 2 acres. I'm going to check tomorrow or friday to see if there is any way around it. The lead time is worse than the money right now. The owner is having his son come up for other things on the 20th and was planning on doing the inspection and final payment then. I am tempted to say screw it and do the work and apply for the permits once I can have the survey done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
They'll be watching

Westborough has drywall screw inspection also...
:eek: why do we have to be licensed? We need to pay someone else to tell us how to build what we have to go learn to build and have a stack of books that tells us how to build, we need to pay people to come out and measure to a property line, we need to pay them to make sure we put screws in the right way? I need to move to NH
 

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BFD, I'm not sure if this pertains to your particular situation, but I know some towns are tougher or more strict with contractors they're not familiar with.

I tried to be politically correct there, that's a nice way of saying what I mean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
BFD, I'm not sure if this pertains to your particular situation, but I know some towns are tougher or more strict with contractors they're not familiar with.

I tried to be politically correct there, that's a nice way of saying what I mean.
There is a LOT of that around here. I am so spread out though, I might see these guys once or twice a year, so I get no passes from them :sad:
 

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MY WAY.

When ever I get a job in a NEW town,

Way prior to the start, I go introduce myself to the inspector.

I explain what the job is. and ask If there's any special requirement in HIS town. Usually they'll let you know . If
there's something different than what your used to. You'll have time to deal with it.

Not saying you did anything wrong. But, inspectors sometimes have a chip on their shoulder.:whistling:whistling:whistling
 
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