A Little Off The Top

Photo by    Joss Woodhead

Photo by Joss Woodhead

A few years ago I was hired to fix an error a homeowner made while building his house. It wasn't a small error, in fact is was the biggest I've seen over my 47 years of framing. 

I was called for a job in a subdivision of the Greater Vancouver area. We were told that the homeowners had just completed their framing and added an additional 18 inches from their permitted (approved) plan to their upper floor height. Upon the routine framing inspection, it was found, noted, and promptly failed.

To make the change, we had a large housemoving company come in, put jacks under the roof and lift it up. With the roof in the air, we could then reduce the upper floor wall studs before putting the roof back to the approved height.

To fix the error, we estimated it was around $180,000. Apart from the outrageous price, this may sound like an unfair required fix, but the client did not follow their approved plan. These bylaws are put in place for everyone and allowance should not be given to one person.

Perhaps it was deliberately done with hopes of not getting caught or completely accidental, either way you wouldn't want something so small, like a little more ceiling height, to raise up to something so big (pun intended).

So, next time you make any changes to your plans, discuss it with your licensed residential builder and design team first - before it could cost you your savings.


Jeffery Wayne is retired General Contractor, Framer and contributor of Building Home. When he's not busy building multi-million dollar houses or working on personal projects, he's spending time in coffee shops and on the water.