Written by Mercedes Hayes

Probablyrepparttar most intimidating part of building your own house isrepparttar 100408 permit process. Not only dorepparttar 100409 the requirements vary from township to township, but at timesrepparttar 100410 decisions made seem so subjective that we find ourselves seething in frustration. However, permits and inspections are a necessary step, and they are in place predominately for your protection. Ask any earthquake victim in Iran. Because I am concerned here with new construction, I won't go intorepparttar 100411 permits required for renovation; that's another story.

In a new development,repparttar 100412 buyer usually doesn't have to think about permits;repparttar 100413 builder takes care of allrepparttar 100414 details. With independent projects, you may end up engaging a contractor who hires allrepparttar 100415 sub-contractors and takes care ofrepparttar 100416 permits. This makes life infinitely easier forrepparttar 100417 buyer, but you'll pay for that convenience. In rural areas, because township officials are usually volunteers, they tend to work only one or two hours a week, and often after five o'clock. If you miss their time, you'll probably have to wait another week. This could run your builder ragged and cause unwelcome delays.  

If you decide to getrepparttar 100418 permits yourself,repparttar 100419 first thing you want to do is go torepparttar 100420 township office and acquire their Code Requirements for Single Family Dwellings, and also their Building Permit Requirement Checklist (or whatever they call these documents). The Code Requirements will cover everything from smoke detectors to egress windows, from stair requirements to insulation, from foundations to chimneys and anything in between. It wouldn't hurt to send a copy to your log home manufacturer, just in case. The Building Permit checklist, though more simply worded, will berepparttar 100421 most important document to familiarize yourself with. If even one of these items are unchecked, you won't get that permit that day!

Once you startrepparttar 100422 process, you come to realize thatrepparttar 100423 Construction Permit isrepparttar 100424 most important,repparttar 100425 most sought-after,repparttar 100426 most critical objective in your immediate scope. Without it, you cannot even break ground. Since everything ties together,repparttar 100427 township wants to make sure you have your "ducks in a row" before they "permit" you to start. There will usually be a one-year time limit torepparttar 100428 permit, or a six-month time limit if construction is stopped inrepparttar 100429 middle. You should budget about $1500-$2000 for your average building permit, unless there unusual circumstances attached to your project (wetlands delineation, variances, etc.).

Because every township is different, I'll limit myself to my own building project, which took place in rural NJ. We chose to sign up as Homeowner Builder, whichrepparttar 100430 owners can opt to do if they are going to live in their own house. We were technically responsible for gettingrepparttar 100431 permits andrepparttar 100432 subs (although we hired a contractor who hired most ofrepparttar 100433 subs for us). This meant that we had to climb a steep learning curve to understand allrepparttar 100434 components ofrepparttar 100435 project.

Here is what we had to acquire to qualify forrepparttar 100436 building permit: 

TAX CERTIFICATION: This document came fromrepparttar 100437 township, and verified that not only did we own this piece of land, we were up to date with our property tax payments.

TWO SETS OF SEALED BUILDING PLANS: We learned very quickly how important this was. What they wanted was an Architect's or Building Engineer's stamp onrepparttar 100438 plans that came fromrepparttar 100439 log home manufacturer. Do not assume thatrepparttar 100440 plans will come pre-stamped. Not all manufacturers haverepparttar 100441 ability to apply a seal from every state. Our plans were not sealed, and we had to scramble around and find someone willing to stamp someone else's plans. This is not an easy task, because most architects do not want to take on that responsibility. This snag set our project back two months. 

Included inrepparttar 100442 building plan will probably be a separate foundation plan, since most log homes do not provide a foundation as part ofrepparttar 100443 building. If there is a separate foundation plan, it too will need to be stamped by a qualified engineer or architect.

SIGNED, SEALED ELECTRIC PERMIT APPLICATION: Don't expectrepparttar 100444 log home manufacturer to provide electrical drawings. Once you hire an electrician, you'll have to sit down with him and determine where you are putting your outlets, light switches and fixtures. Local code will determine how close together your outlets will go. Do yourself a favor and put in many more outlets than you think you will need; retrofitting could be unsightly. Also, plan on twice as many light fixtures than a standard home – wood sucks up light like a sponge. While you are at it, it helps to include your cable wires, phone wires and CAT5 in every room, even though you may not think you'll need it. Once you move intorepparttar 100445 house, you may change a room's usage from your original conception – we did, and regretted our shortsightedness.  

5 Reasons Fireplace Owners Think Early Spring is "Firewood Time"

Written by Susan Penney

Asrepparttar weather hints of warmth andrepparttar 100407 spring buds appear on trees, firewood may not berepparttar 100408 first thing that comes to mind. But early spring isrepparttar 100409 ideal time to buy or gather your firewood for your fireplace or woodstove. Why? Here are 5 good reasons:

1.Firewood needs at least six months to season. If you want your firewood ready forrepparttar 100410 cool days of next fall, now’srepparttar 100411 time to be getting it.

2.Insects living underrepparttar 100412 bark are dormant in early spring. When you store firewood now for use next fall or winter, any insects will likely die before you bringrepparttar 100413 firewood into your home. That’s a plus!

3.Prices for firewood are generally down in early spring, andrepparttar 100414 supplies are good. Buying now instead of waiting for cold weather to buy your firewood will save you money.

4.Fuel costs, especiallyrepparttar 100415 cost of heating oil, are rising. Many people will be turning to their fireplaces as a source of supplemental heat, especially when they see their fuel bills next winter. So next fall is expected not only to haverepparttar 100416 regular seasonal increase in firewood prices but also to see additional price increases due to unusually high demands. Buying your firewood now puts you ahead of those price increases that are forecast for firewood next fall.

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