December 12, 2003
Phantom Building Departments
In an earlier post I talked about the Forensic Construction Expert work I perform on a routine basis. Yesterday while working on a very big case I discovered the home in the center of the controversy was built without a building permit. My first impression was, "You've got to be kidding me!"
I called the Mercer County, Ohio officials and discovered that Franklin Township - a division of Mercer County - does not have a building department. They do have a Zoning Department but Steve Keithley, the zoning official, told me, "Once we approve your house with respect to lot setbacks and such you can build with toothpicks and wire with extension cords if you like."
What is the point? If you are getting ready to build in a rural area, make sure there is a building department. If there is not one, then include in your contract with the builder that he must build the house to code. You must obtain a copy of the code from a neighboring county or city government and reference specifically the exact code title and copyright data so there is no question which set of standards you expect to be met.
Posted by Tim Carter at December 12, 2003 11:45 AM