Permit update

Last week we finally got word back from the building inspector. Below are his questions/issues  which I have been working on. The most troublesome of which is the second point. I have since confirmed that the inspector is looking for is an engineer’s stamp for the foundation (not clear in the letter below). The inspector never guaranteed that he would OK my design for the shallow frost protected foundation, but that he would consider it if I submitted detailed support and calculations. Since last week I have been trying to find an engineer who has time to complete the project on short notice. If I can’t get a stamp for it by the middle of next week, I will be aborting the notion of doing the shallow foundation.


I reviewed the plans for the new single family home and detached garage you propose to construct. The following are questions, or issues found during the review,

  1. Since the driveway to the home is located off from Charles Street , A Charles Street address will have to be assigned,
  2. As a home owner, you have designed the home and a frost protected shallow foundation, can you please provide this office with credentials you hold as a designer?
  3. The design for frost protected shallow foundation shows insulation board being used, how is the insulation board is protected against termite infestation, see 780 CMR section 5320.
  4. According to elevation plans, the overall height for the new home is approximately 30 feet, is this accurate?
  5. What is the finished ceiling height for the study room located on the 3rd floor?
  6. Plans indicate you are using a single top plate, how are the walls being tied together? See section 5602.3.2 regarding top plates.
  7. Plans indicate you are using full dimensional lumber, is the lumber being used native lumber? If so, please refer to 780 CMR 110.R4 regarding native lumber, the grading and restrictions for native lumber.
  8. Plans are unclear to me as to the length the 2”X10” floor joists are spanning, please provide the span.
  9. Plans show the trusses are designed for a 44 lb live load, roof systems for this area must be designed for a 50 lb ground snow load, please ensure manufacturer for the trusses are aware and resubmit calculations for trusses.
  10. Since a prescriptive method is not being used for the energy code, please submit the res-check calculation work sheet for the energy code.
  11. Plans show a detached garage is proposed, see 780 CMR table 5602.10.5 for braced walls panels, plans are unclear whether you the front wall meets this requirement, please provide information how this wall meets braced wall requirement.

Once these questions/issues are resolved a permit can be issued.


5 thoughts on “Permit update

  1. (2) You might try Bob Leet, Whetstone Engineering, in Wendell, MA for a stamp. There is a good history with this technology, as you are aware. If the Army Corp can spec it, shouldn’t be too hard to get a stamp.
    (3) I was advised to nail or Tapcon expanded metal lathe to the foundation through the foam board to insure better adhesion of the surface cement. I didn’t do this when the concrete was green so it took fore effort and really didn’t go down deep enough below grade. You may want to go for a copper based flashing cap, as our aluminum flashing is clearly showing signs of chemical incompatibility.
    (7) If you have to go through the grading process, you might consider a mix including reused lumber, as it needs to be stamped again.

  2. Spartan–
    Standards have been developed by the American Society of Civil Engineers and approved by both IRC and IBC. I would think you would be able to simply reference their book “Design and Construction of Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations”. Check it out if you haven’t—-

    • This is basically what I did, unfortunately, once the building inspector says you need a stamp, there isn’t really any alternative. On the plus side, I have succeeded in hiring an engineer who, on short notice, will be able to review and stamp the plans.

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