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SIGNED, SEALED PLUMBING PERMIT APPLICATION: This is another set of drawings that will not come from log home manufacturer. You and plumber must figure out where fixtures are going, and if you live in country remember that plumbing needs to hook into your septic. (This permit is separate from septic design permit).
APPROVED COUNTY SEPTIC DESIGN: The septic design came from local civil engineer. The permit application came from township, but septic approval came from county.
HVAC DIAGRAM showing where your ductwork is going.
DRIVEWAY PERMIT: In our case, this came from Director of Public Works. We had to make provision for a pipe to be installed beneath a 24' paved apron at end of driveway. This allowed water runoff unimpeded access to stream down block.
STATE WELL PERMIT and TOWNSHIP WELL PERMIT if you are digging your own well. If there is a drought going on, they might put a hold on new well permits, which will put a hold on whole project. So get it as quickly as possible.
PLOT PLAN AND ZONING APPROVAL: Plot Plan will come from local civil engineer. This is not same as a survey, which will be required by mortgage company. The plot plan shows location of house, driveway, well and septic as well as perimeter of building envelope.
WATER TABLE INVESTIGATION REPORT: this will help you determine whether you can dig a basement, or do you need to raise house up?
These are big ones. You might have local wetland delineation issues, easements, or setbacks to worry about. Once you get that Construction Permit, treat yourself to a celebratory dinner. You'll have earned it!
The Construction Permit needs to be prominently displayed on job site. You also need to keep one of those sealed sets of building plans on site at all times, just in case you get a surprise visit from an inspector. Hopefully by now you will have made friends with township inspector, because he's going to have a big say in ease or difficulty of your project. The inspections are all spelled out and will be required at each step in process before you can move on. This could cause a delay of one to several days (not counting bad weather), so think ahead – but not too far ahead. The first inspection will come pretty quick. When your excavator digs hole for your foundation, the township may inspect bottom of footing trenches before placement of footings. If you are using a Superior Walls precast foundation system, there will be no footings so this inspection will be unnecessary. However, footings for your deck and porches will need to be inspected.
There will be a foundation inspection before backfill is shoveled in. The big inspection will be framing inspection. This must be done before insulation is added. Then, there will be an inspection for plumbing, electrical panel and wiring, septic or sewer service, then insulation. At end of project, there will be a final inspection before issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy; inspector will look at finishing work, smoke detectors, fixtures, etc. There may be other inspections in between, depending on township.
Unless you are acting as your own general contractor, inspections should not concern you, except that if something fails whole project grinds to a halt. If you are Homeowner Builder, you will probably be arranging inspections yourself, and it helps to know what township is looking for.
Mercedes Hayes is a Hiawatha Log Home dealer and also a Realtor in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She designed her own log home which was featured in the 2004 Floor Plan Guide of Log Home Living magazine. You can learn more about log homes by visiting www.JerseyLogHomes.com.