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What am I doing wrong.

My grandfather originally built the house that I am currently living 65 years ago. It's a small 750 sqft cape located on the corner of a bay and river in the south coast of MA. I am trying to put on an addition as well as fix up an earlier 220 sqft porch that was poorly built in the 70s.

This process started two years ago. When I first talked to the towns building inspector who gave me a punch list of todos that was about a year long of side projects which included having the lot surveyed, check town documents, house drawings, meeting with all town committees and approvals. In this time the building inspector changed.

So I did my homework, and met with all requisite officials, paid to have the property surveyed and a whole bunch of legal fees to paying to update faulty town records some of which were completely missing including a man hole cover that is below sea level on our property that the town had no idea that the sewers are even there. Finally I ended up back at the building inspector and he rejected all the work and sent me through the paces again.

Its now a year latter I have redrawn the house to meet new guidelines set down by the inspector gone through each committee two more times. which at this point they are getting angry with this project as well, two GCs and about 15K in red tape. I am at a loss I am not even sure if this is normal for trying to build a house,

I really want to get this addition underway, I feel that this whole process is a bit ludicrous and am looking for options?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated on where to go next.

MLB Construction
Re: What am I doing wrong.

i've dealt alot with building depts through out eastern mass and every town is different, very different. i am still in the process of getting paperwork ready to build a home on a piece of property on the charles river. for the past, approximately, 2 years i've met with the building department/inpsector more than a dozen times, the conservation committee probably 15 times, two different surveyors and the water/sewer department. this is all for a property that will replace an existing property within the same footprint, essentially grandfathered in. we're still not even close to beginning work on this house. if i was doing this same project on the house across the street which is not on the river, it would have been built by now and the people living in it.

welcome to the world of red tape.

all i can recommend is to get a GC or architect that builds in the town often, knows all the ins and outs of the process and has some connections at the building dept.

Re: What am I doing wrong.

What are doing wrong? you try to go it alone.

You have to understand how things work here in the "free enterprise" USA: you need representation. This country is run by middlemen, lobbyists and representatives. You can call them lawyers, councils, salespeople and what ever else - they are the ones who open doors for you. For a fee.

Like MLB said, get in touch with a person who knows those who approve plans - he will be your middleman. Builders do it, you have to do it too.

Re: What am I doing wrong.

I agree 100% w/ dj1's sentiments. I had a vacation property at the Jersey shore. I tried to do much of the rehab work myself. I did everything by the book but still fought w/ City Hall tooth and nail. I eventually spoke w/ someone from our State's Div. of Licensing and Inspection (just to make them aware of my situation) AND eventually hired a local attorney to handle my affairs since he "knew" everybody and was local to the issue. THIS is how my problems eventually got resolved.

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