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The Cost Of Housing

Discussion in 'Consumer Affairs' started by Revoltingest, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    A friend who owns a construction company (renovation & additions primarily)
    just told me that he compared the prices of his jobs with permits to jobs without
    permits. Getting permits meant a 20% to 25% higher total job price.
    Much of this was due to labor inefficiency...
    - Breaking a project into many separate jobs with waiting periods between inspections.
    - Waiting for inspectors, conducting inspections, & resolving issues with building departments.

    For example, if he put in a water heater, there are 3 separate inspectors
    to meet with on 3 separate occasions (return trips to the job)....
    - Plumbing
    - Electrical
    - Mechanical
    Each is very simple, & could be done by a single inspector, but the
    contractor has no say in the process.

    On occasion, some county departments will let complex projects be signed off on by a
    licensed architect. This saves a fortune for the customer (who ultimately pays all costs).
    There's much room for improvement, but little incentive for change.
     
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  2. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    Oh, there's another downside for the property owner who gets permits....
    The final inspection includes the tax assessor, who will raise the state
    equalized property tax valuation....& the taxes. (Getting a permit
    removes the Headlee Amendment yearly tax increase limitation.)
     
  3. suncowiam

    suncowiam Well-Known Member

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    I'm assuming you are against this being that you are a libertarian?
     
  4. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    Against what...the process we have now, or my suggestion?
     
  5. suncowiam

    suncowiam Well-Known Member

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    The current process.
     
  6. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    I oppose it primarily for non-libertarian reasons....
    - It's horribly inconvenient, lengthening time spend living in construction.
    - It's expensive because it's so wasteful.
    - It increases the cost of housing.
     
  7. 2ndpillar

    2ndpillar Well-Known Member

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    Try complying with the 2012 International residential code of 900 pages, which is unclear and many times makes no sense. Who needs an R49 (20 inches of blown insulation) for ceilings? If you take the fun out of building, then you wind up with no builders. The coming "great earthquake" is going to show how crazy the building codes actually are. The building officials seem rigid because they seem not to understand the science of structures, and look to their politicians for guidance. Bad move.
     
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  8. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    My friend often has to educate the inspectors on how to interpret the code.
     
  9. suncowiam

    suncowiam Well-Known Member

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    I agree with those negatives but supposedly inspections are to increase the quality of work and increase overall safety... Supposedly. It really depends on the contractor.
     
  10. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    The goal of safety is good.
    But it can be done more efficiently.
    One problem we have is unions controlling the process.
    That's why no single inspector can pass a water heater.

    Sometimes inspections are so slow that (by state law)
    contractors have the state come into inspect. By the time
    they invoke that, a month of inactivity has passed. You '
    can imagine an entire project grinding to a halt for a month,
    & managing one's labor force. It's one reason that builders run
    simultaneous jobs, each of which proceeds at a snail's pace,
    with workers being shifted from one to another.

    Btw, can you guess how often I have permits pulled for jobs?
     
  11. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    yeah
    where I live....the property value goes up when concrete is poured

    we do not have a concrete driveway for that reason

    that hurts the business of concrete suppliers

    maybe they should have a talk with the local tax assessor
     
  12. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    Been there & done that.
    They always say that the state requires them to raise assessments
    for this or that reason. Of course, once one hire's a lawyer, does
    the research, & files an appeal....then they become flexible.
     
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  13. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member
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    It’s a revenue source (hidden tax) and it justifies sombody’s job.
    It is still,possible to slip by the permit process in rural counties in Texas, but some of the results are frightening.
     
  14. Watchmen

    Watchmen Well-Known Member
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    Regulations are seriously hindering business. It’s too much. Enough is enough.
     
  15. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    When we had a major remodel done, the project was automatically broken into many separate jobs because the general contractor used subcontractors for electrical, plumbing and the like. Inspections happened pretty quickly out here.

    When we had a new water heater put in, no inspection was necessary. You seem to be living in the wrong state.

    That's not true out here in unionized California or at least in the county where I live. Inspections were done at logical points such as before drywall was put up and work concealed. And we had a single inspector for all work or at least should have had one if the schedule had worked out.

    And in our case, we had an incompetent contractor taken to task by an inspector which no doubt saved us a lot of money in the long run.

    The problem is not straw men like, gasp, shutter, unions, but a badly organized system in some places. I would not want to live in a house where significant work was done without inspections to keep contractors honest. And having someone sign off without knowing what was done and seeing it personally is to me too risky for my taste.
     
  16. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    The reason for the inefficiency is greed. Any time money changes hands, the state wants a piece of it, so it never sees a code it doesn't want to exploit as a form of taxation. The unions want to maintain their high wages for their members (and overall construction costs) by eliminating competition through government edict, so they encourage excessive government scrutiny in building processes. The architects like all that government interference because it ensures that they get hired, and are well paid to navigate all that technical complexity. The fact is that an inspection process that was originally intended to make sure that the buildings we construct are reasonably strong and safe became a means for a lot of different interests to gain and protect their 'profit turf' in the construction process.

    We don't do anything in this country for it's own sake, anymore. We do it to make as much money from the doing as we can. So the things we do become ever more absurd, complex, and inefficient as everyone involved is trying to squeeze as much profit for themselves out of the doing of it as possible. We could build very good, long-lasting, safe, efficient, and simple automobiles that would cost much less than they do now, last much longer, be far cheaper, and more environmentally friendly then they are, now. But we don't build automobiles for people's use. We build them for profit. So we fill them with all kinds of unnecessary complexity and we design them to fail after 10 years so that we can keep the cost of them as high as possible, and the demand for them perpetual. And everyone gets into the act and supports this greed-obsessed process: the government, the unions, the manufacturers, the advertisers, the sellers, and so on. And we have all come to simply accept it as though greed were some inevitable and inescapable force, like gravity. Until it becomes so expensive and inefficient that we can no longer afford the things that our society (and government) and profit-driven economy has made it mandatory that we must have, to survive.

    The unfortunate thing about greed is that it is contagious even as it poisons everything it touches. As soon as one person practices it and gets away with it, the next person has to practice it, too, just to keep up, economically. And so everyone ends up colluding in the escalation of it until it gets totally out of hand. As it has in our current culture. And of course everyone blames everyone else for it, which does absolutely nothing to stop it.
     
    #16 PureX, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  17. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    It's why I hate Democrat policy. It's all they know how to do aside from their love of raising taxes.
     
  18. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    More of the "unfunded mandate" variety.
     
  19. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    Some thoughts.....
    - You imagine "straw men", but you've never done business in The People's Republic
    Of Ann Arbor. Conditions will vary. So your being happy with how it goes in your area
    doesn't mean that it's the same here, & that things shouldn't be improved, Komrade.
    - I never proposed that anyone sign off without knowing & inspecting the work.
    The question is who & how.
    - I have work done without permits 95+% of the time. My contractors know more
    than the inspectors, & I monitor the jobs personally. (This usually costs more because
    I like to change things.)
    - The water heater inspection regime here is new.
     
  20. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    It's funny in a funny way that leftist California has, at least in part, less government nuttiness than other parts of the country.

    When you wrote
    it triggered my comment about lack of inspections. I have a couple of friends who are architects and from what I've seen, their knowledge of the nit picky but critical details is somewhere around zero, even "Architects of Record". So I see no way that someone in that position would know the details needed to judge how well the work was done (outside of the usual exceptions, of course).

    Thus an "inspection" by one such person would be to me no better than no inspection. Capiche, Comrade?
     
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