HIPC cautions those who act as their own contractors

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

The Holiday Island Planning Commission (HIPC) spoke at length Friday with a homeowner who wants to act as his own contractor and gave him some advice.

Property owner Peter Crisp appeared before the commission with a rough plan to enclose an existing garage into a living room and add a new garage to his home at 3 Summit Drive.

His lot is on the corner of Summit and Stateline drives.

Crisp said there is no front door to the home. Access is through a door in the existing garage, he said.

"I was told when I bought the home that the owner who built it was from Chicago and was afraid of break-ins," he said.

Crisp had a rough sketch of what he wants to do. He and the commission discussed his plans and noted he needs to have the plan drawn on his survey. HIPC furnished him with a copy of it.

He said he had spoken with a contractor whose price was "way out there" and said he would like to be his own general contractor for the project.

By state law, homeowners are allowed to be their own general contractors to build one house per year for their own habitation. This is a change from a few years ago, when the state allowed property owners to build three houses. The change came about as a result of some contractors abusing the allowance to avoid having to be licensed.

HIPC cautioned Crisp about the problems involved with property owners acting as their own contractors.

"You might have trouble finding subcontractors," said member Kevin Crosson. "We have a couple houses now that had permits taken out on them and have been sitting there because contractors were not available for three months."

He said a remodel and garage permit is normally granted 90 days to completion.

"The project has to have a finished external appearance within that time frame," Crosson said. "Roof, floors, siding, etc."

The commission gave Crisp a set of building regulations and urged him to find all the pins on his property lines, draw a plot plan for his project, and return with a materials list.

In other business, HIPC:

  • Approved Permit #1985 for 150 days to Chuck Boheneck to build a 1,116-square-foot home at 22 Arapaho Lane for property owner Carol Dorn. A 5-foot variance on the front setback was also approved.

  • Approved in the minutes for Gordon Harris to add a deck onto his house at 3 Bandy Drive.

  • Clarified for property owner Russell Burke and plumbing contractor Tim Hupp that the commission requires copper piping for internal waterlines. Service lines going to the house can be made of PVC and must be buried below the frost line, at least 18 inches deep.

  • Approved in the minutes for Jack Roney to add a 12-foot by 12-foot storage shed on skids in back of his home at 3 Horseshoe Drive.

    The commission meets every Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. in the Park next to Wade Williams' office at Holiday Island. Requests are considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

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