Friday, October 12, 2018

Code Compliance Depts vs Modular Housing Industry

Heading into the MHBA Summit this week and reading that Plan Review people were going to speak about the Current Regulatory Landscape I wasn’t going to miss another session of them blaming the modular industry for massive delays in getting submitted plans reviewed and approved.

Photo Courtesy of Prince George's County.MD

As I sat there with my coffee and bowl of free Hershey Miniatures I waited for NY’s Dept of State speaker to once again defend their slow approval times.

For the first 15 minutes I began formulating another article about there being no improvement since last year. Then Don Thomas started telling us that plan approvals had dropped to a manageable 2 weeks. What! Did I hear that correctly?

He told everyone, both factory attendees and builders, that once a plan is received and logged in it should take about 2 weeks +/- to return it approved. Even though they are still shorthanded they have improved things that much on their end.

So why are so many factories and builders still complaining about their process.

As Don Thomas continued speaking about the process he began giving example after example of Third Party agencies missing key information on the plans, checks not being received with plan submissions, required notations missing, wrong IRC reference numbers used, PE’s submitting wrong calculations, mail sent to the Dept of State’s main address instead of Plan Review’s address and so much more.

It was at this point that I began to realize that even though both the factory and Third Party agency did their jobs it might not be enough. It simply makes no sense to have to pay someone to review other’s work and then have that work reviewed again just to make sure everything is correct on the plan submitted to the state.

Now I began wondering why so much required information is submitted either incorrectly or missing entirely.

It’s not like the state people are finding major building code violations making the project unsafe. Rather it’s the submitted plans are redlined and returned because of basic clerical errors, sometimes up to 80 on a single house plan.

Builders ask "why did the state hold up my plans for 8 weeks before they approved them?” but should they really be asking their factory to see their returned plans listing clerical error after clerical error that caused the delay in the first place.

Screaming at the state isn’t the answer. Yelling at the factory isn’t either. It appears a vast majority of the time it’s just plan old human error or omission that is the culprit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The culprit is NY State refuses to accept a third party approval without having to conduct their own. Seems like double jeopardy to me and adds to the cost.