Friday, May 22, 2009

Where's the ACLU When I Need Them?

This basement project has me going...

Going to the "City Licensing Place" (Room 300) to obtain the appropriate permit...

Only to find that the work we would like to do is not allowed.

And the work we have done already is technically illegal because we did not obtain a "Demolition Permit".

So, we dutifully paid the $70 for the demo permit and then had to make NEW plans because we could not do what we wanted to do, go back to Room 300 a week later to re-submit the plans for what we do not want to do.
(Because we can't do what we want to do.)
And we got to pay an additional $400!

Fast-forward to today...

I'm minding my own bidness in my own house when I noticed a couple of helmeted blokes in my backyard.
Sure, the hard hats say "Xcel Energy" on them; but, I've seen "Alias" and who knows who these guys are.

"Can I help you?" I asked politely

"Yeah, these connections aren't code so we're here to replace them".

"Ahhh... Electrician Guy said you might be here, but that was two weeks ago."

"We'll have the power off for about 15 minutes or so..."


The Show So Far:

My wife and I entertain quite a bit, we thought that making a second kitchen in our "finished basement"* would be a fabulous opportunity to be capable of entertaining even better than we had been.
So, after the windows were installed we asked Contractor Doug to see what could be done about the stairs, because if you can't fix the stairs, you'll never get any real furniture down there so what's the point?
Con-Doug reconfigured our stairs and made them better. We can get real furniture down there now... (Or "could").
Let's get to work on the rest of the space and convert this corner into a kitchen...

The City says no to our plan because second kitchens are not allowed in the City.

"We can't remodel our basement the way we want to?"
(It does not matter that I say we are not planning on renting the basement, especially since there is no egress, the City
feels compelled to prevent our doing it for the safety of future owners of the property, real or imagined.)

Without bothering to see if anyone is home, 2 service people (they were men) appear on my property without permission
from the property owner. They have come right through the door in the fence and are now in my backyard.

What happened to the knock on the door and the polite:
"Hi, we're from your local Power Company, here is our ID and we see that the connections made to provide 200 amp service are not up to code and while your electrician made perfectly acceptable connections, we can't allow them, so we're here to change them. Would you mind if we set up and took care of the problem"?

When did it become okay to just walk onto someone's property and have at it?
When did it become okay to have your rights as a homeowner denied because of what might happen?

And, as long as I'm ranting...

According to our Home-Purchasing-Contract-Agreement-Folder-Of-Documents, the "finished basement" added $27,000 to the purchase price of our property.
If the basement had been finished properly this would be of no concern.

However, "Mr. M.Z.", (you know who you are) you did not finish the basement properly and we were "taken" for a $27K ride.
(No vapor barriers or insulation, furring strips nailed to concrete and sheet-rocked over... Not to mention the horrendous electrical nightmare, nine junction boxes sheet-rocked over!)

We sought to do the right thing and get permits for our work (which will be executed correctly) and discovered no permits were obtained for Mr. M.Z.'s oh-so-shoddy work.

And, 2.5 years later we have no legal recourse aside from me standing in front of your property, (which was purchased with your ill-gotten gains) hurling insults and selling lemonade to recoup our losses.

Alas, "Let the Buyer Beware"
Thanks Mr. Brady!
No reason Greg should have all the fun!

This basement project has me going...

Fortunately, because I'm an American I can still buy and possess firearms!!
Perhaps it's time to exercise my 2ND Amendment rights...