Tag Archives: Building Violation

Fire Departments in the Building Violation Business?

Whether it’s a mezzanine or a missing extinguisher, Fire Departments around the country are on the hunt for building and code violations and they have added a built in feature; getting you to pay daily fines. Try to fight them? Not even a chance! With highly skilled and trained enforcement officers, most such as the Metro-Dade Fire Department are working hand-in-hand with the Neighborhood Code Compliance Office’s that has been recently revamped by Mr. Charlie Danger and these guys know exactly what to look for. Hiring a well-qualified Architect / Contractors office to mediate these infractions is probably the only and best defense to combat these inspectors because they will cite everything down to the old coffee machine that is plugged into a burned electrical wall outlet.

My partner and I spend countless hours at building departments trying to negotiate a reasonable and realistic settlements for our clients. Sounds easy? Well, not even close, especially, when they are trying to throw everything but the kitchen sink at you. They are trained to make you weak. And you say, “Is this the government agency and what we pay taxes for?” Well, the best answer is yes. Property taxes alone are not enough to pay the bills; commercial businesses have become the target for additional revenue to pay for the county’s earmarks (i.e. the baseball stadiums and waterparks, etc…).

The internal additive is, the bigger the violation the harder it is to satisfy within the allotted time given. This is where negotiating a reasonable settlement is the best way to meet the deadline. For instance, I will give an example of a simple small warehouse with an illegal mezzanine. The citation will read, “The mezzanine has to be removed, unsafe structure Florida Building Code; blah,blah” First thoughts are: “how about my offices below? That mezzanine has been there for 20 years! And, you’re only giving me how long to correct this”? Yes, and don’t forget, your displaced employees, loss of business and stress. Then you think, I’ll just talk to the inspector and see if I can sweet talk him or paperclip the 20 to the back of the driver’s license trick or I will file a complaint because the inspector was nasty to my employee. Folks, It does not work!

Remember, you are at the disadvantage and these inspectors will not chance losing their paycheck in this economy for you. And yes, unlike us, they get a paycheck once a week and your new founded problem is not their problem or even a hardship. Sounds harsh, but it’s true and as you can see, my job is not as easy as you would think but I do make my client problems my own and I immediately take ownership of the situation, meeting with the inspectors, drawing the plans and finally, getting our construction crew on site to ratify these issues so you can get back to work. I’m with you every step of the way; not a project manager.
Recently, I have met with condo association boards and it amazes me that Bob the cabinet maker that has been cited for building shelves that extend to the top of the warehouse, flammable glues that can set the entire building on fire and, Oh yes, not even one fire extinguisher in the entire facility. You know, the guy that does not even speak at the normal meetings or a simple hello while passing buy is the new leader of a complex that is riddled with code compliance issues and of course he knows the code and the first suggestion is: “Let’s sue the County, they can’t do this” After listening to this guy ramble for 20 minutes or so, I will ask, “What is your premise” Of course that went over his head but he is mad and wants justice.

Be careful with the Bob’s in your association that is ready to spend association funds to sue a county. And yes, it is ridiculous because cities and counties have attorneys too and will spend your tax dollars hiring other top law firms to defend them. The only thing an association can do legally together is, to hire an attorney to make sure your problem does not become theirs and as far as you hiring an attorney to sue? They will settle every time, unless of course, you have a lot of money to defend a case, in court, with a non-winning cast to prove a point. I cut through all of this aggravation and hone in one the resolution of the problem.
My name is Marc, my clients know me as the Fireman of Construction; I put out fires.
the kitchen sink at you. They are will trained to make you weak. And you say, “Is this government that I pay for?” Well, the best answer is yes. Property taxes alone do not pay the bills; commercial businesses have become the target for additional revenue to pay for the county’s earmarks (i.e. the baseball stadiums and waterparks).

The internal additive is, the bigger the violation the harder it is to satisfy within the allotted time. This is where negotiating a reasonable settlement is the best way to meet the deadline. For instance, I will give an example of a simple small warehouse with an illegal mezzanine. The citation will read, “The mezzanine has to be removed, unsafe structure Florida Building Code blah,blah” First thoughts are: “how about my offices below? That mezzanine has been there for 20 years! And, you’re only giving me how long to correct this”? Yes, and don’t forget, your displaced employees, loss of revenue and stress. Well, remember; these inspectors get a paycheck every week and your new problems are not a hardship.
As you can see my job is not as easy as you would think but I do make my client problems my own and I immediately take ownership of the situation, meet with the inspectors, draw the plans and get our construction crew on site to ratify these issues so you can get back to work.

Recently, I have met with condo association boards and it amazes me that Bob the cabinet maker that has been cited for building shelves that extend to the top of the warehouse, flammable glues that can set the entire building on fire and, Oh yes, not even one fire extinguisher in the entire facility. You know, the guy that does not even speak at the normal meetings or a simple hello while passing buy is the new leader of a complex that is riddled with code compliance issues and of course he knows the code and the first suggestion is: “Let’s sue the County, they can’t do this” After listening to this guy ramble for 20 minutes or so, I will ask, “What is your premise” Of course that went over his head but he is mad and wants justice.

Be careful with the Bob’s in your association that is ready to spend association funds to sue a county. And yes, it is ridiculous because cities and counties have attorneys too and will spend your tax dollars hiring other top law firms to defend them. The only thing an association can do legally together is, to hire an attorney to make sure your problem does not become theirs and as far as you hiring an attorney to sue? They will settle every time, unless of course, you have a lot of money to defend a case, in court, with a non-winning cast to prove a point. I cut through all of this aggravation and hone in one the resolution of the problem.

Our name is Marc & Mike Scavuzzo we are here to help and our clients know us as the Fireman of Construction; We put out fires.

Scavuzzo & Associates P.A., Marc Scavuzzo CGC 1515090, Michael A. Scavuzzo RA 00004956

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Filed under Building Inspector, Building Violations, General Construction