Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Resumption of my layout construction

12564 views
125 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 12,762 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, December 24, 2023 8:55 AM

rrebell

You should see some of the work appoved by inspectors. Back in the day I got an inspection done in Maryland for an apt building and it it passed, no problem except no one ever bothered to enter the building. 

 

Maybe not so much now, but back in the day it happened all the time. We have an interesting situation in our little town. Our county only has three incorporated small towns. The county handles all the building inspections, but technically the three towns have jurisdiction inside their town limits.

So the towns each have a building department, and town residents/contractors  have to apply for their building permits there for work in the town. And there is a guy in charge of that department. But the county inspector comes to do the actual inspection.

Our town is very historic (incorporated 1785) with lots of old buildings, most very well maintained and many in very original condition. And tourism/town image is a very big deal. 

So the town fathers are very interested in historic preservation and go to great lengths to support private individuals in caring for their properties in that regard.

So the town buiding code official has the last say about what is allowed and what needs a permit, and when exceptions can be made to modern codes for historic reasons. The State also has a historic presevation code that gives local government this option/power.

I do lots of work in the town, and if it is of a repair nature, no one even asks if you you have a permit unless you have to close a street or something.

8 years ago we did a complete restoration of one of the larger homes in town, 17 months, complete restoration, inside and out, and while we did have permits for electrical, plumbing, HVAC and one area of structural changes, we had no resistance from the inspector.

We rebuilt a large porch, replaced missing architectural elements, replaced all the windows with historically correct looking updated ones, replaced all the plumbing and electric, and much more with only minimal inspections of the mechanical systems and that one area of framing, which was to make a 1960's addition better match the 1904 original structure.

 

None of this work to repair the porch and replace missing features that had been changed over the years required a permit - it was considered a repair. When I asked the town building commisioner if he wanted drawings for the rebuilding of the porch turret roof his answer was "no, just have the inspector glance at it the next time he is there". The inspector is a semi retired historic Architect....

The final inspction was a simple walk thru.

It is understood that while safety and good workmanship is necessary, nit picking an old house about modern codes is just not going to happen in this town.

In fact when we had an issue with the sewer line, the Public Works Dept was right there and very helpful. 

Common sense still exists in some places.

Sheldon 

    

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,507 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, December 24, 2023 8:24 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
So let me ask you this, where you are, can homeowners do their own work?

Hi Sheldon,

Homeowners can do their own work but they still have to get all the permits and inspections. The DIYers will probably be inspected very thoroughly, but the seasoned, reliable contractors often just get a signature without the work being looked at.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 7,564 posts
Posted by rrebell on Monday, December 25, 2023 8:20 AM

Brings back memories, my mentor used to say as long as you reuse one nail, it is a repair, LOL.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,507 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, January 4, 2024 8:16 PM

Hi folks,

I am slowly making progress in the garage layout room. I managed to sell my Radial Arm Saw (gave it away would be more accurate - they don't sell for much these days). Getting it out of the garage opened up a whole lot of space!

The floor definitely has to be properly refinished! I was trying to roll the layout table around and it would hardly budge. I used 4" heavy duty casters but I should have used much larger casters! I may swap them for 8" units at some point. I won't have the floor done until next summer even though the garage is heated because the floor slab extends beyond the garage doors by about 10".

We are still sorting through all the junk on the shelves. We have seven medium sized totes and boxes full of stuff to go to recycling and there is still more to sort through.

I will have to build a stand for my spray booth. I had been using the RAS table. It doesn't have to be anything fancy but I do want it on casters.

Cheers!!

Dave

 

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,507 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 14, 2024 7:54 PM

Some of you will have read this in the Diner, but I thought I would post it here as well because it relates directly to my layout.

I saw some aged concrete sidewalks on eBay and they initially looked like something worth investing in. However, upon closer examination, I realized that the cracks in the slabs were not realistic.

There were two problems. The first was that most of the cracks started in the middle of the slabs, not at the edge or at an expansion joint. Concrete slabs can certainly have cracks that do not go all the way across the slab, but those cracks will not be wide enough to see in HO. A slab has to completely break into two pieces before the crack can be widened by frost or the ground settling underneath.

The second problem was that most of the cracks crossed directly over the expansion joints from one slab to the next. That's definitely not realistic. The whole idea behind molding perpendicular joints into the concrete is to stop cracks at the joints. Slabs that are next to each other may both have cracks but they won't (usually) line up at the expansion joints.

Call me fussy, but those crack patterns would drive me nuts over time.

I took the liberty of contacting the seller to mention how I thought the cracks should be placed, and he got right back to me! I was fully expecting to get a blast telling me to mind my own business but he was actually very gratefull for my suggestion. Within a few hours he had modified his design so I put my money where my mouth was and bought 2800' on the spot.

Picture 1 of 10

The cracks and joints need to be muted a bit, and they need some weathering, but they are going to save me a ton of works.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,507 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 4:10 AM

I just scored a set of five PRR TOFC flatcars with trailers on them. The price was right and they are new in their boxes so I'm happy. I now have about 25 TOFC cars with trailers.Big Smile

Then I stopped to think about how I would actually use all of these flatcars on the layout and I realized that all I could do with the current plan would be to run them around in circles. That will get boring really fast! The net result was that I went back to my layout plan and eliminated several industries so I could design a decent transfer yard.

In no time at all I had what I think is a decent working yard. It will hold 17 flat cars on four tracks with a fifth track available for switching, and it has a run around as well.

I'll have to study it a bit more to make sure that it works, but the important thing is that I now have desinations for all my favourite types of trains.

Cheers!!

Dave

 

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!