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Today's post from our building inspection department is short and sweet - but important.
When you receive your building or development permit (they're printed on yellow paper) please post the permit in a prominent location.
This lets everyone know that you've been a good, law-abiding, permit-obtaining citizen.
It also does help our inspectors find your site when they are out and about doing field work.
Oh, yeah, it's also the law: by regulation, neighbours can appeal a building permit during  a period from 10 days after it's been posted. 
Now, we know that the lovely yellow paper doesn't fare well against wind, rain and the other elements: that's why, starting October, we started mailing permits with a handy-dandy plastic sheet .  Or, alternately, photocopy it place it on the inside of a window visible from the street.
Thanks - and happy building!

Hopefully, by now, reading these pages knows our enforcement folks at the planning department are really working on making sure decks are built using Code-compliant 6x6 posts.
The message is getting out, because we’re seeing fewer decks built using 4x4 posts, and fewer attached decks built using deck blocks (which really, shouldn’t be used for most decks at all!)
However, another issue has emerged that needs a bit of attention: folks attaching what are intended to be load-bearing elements (beams) to the sides of posts.
Our message, in two words, “Please don’t.”
Beams for decks must be fully supported by resting atop load-bearing posts.

We could bore you with all the jargon in the Code book, but the basic take-away is this: beams must be supported by resting atop a load-bearing element.

This means that beams for decks have to be attached to the top of posts. (See image), and that anything else is not structurally sound by Code.
Sadly, there are some who will screw a crossmember intended to be a deck beam to the side of a post. This means that all the weight the beam or single joist carries is transferred to the screws used to hold it in place.
A Code-compliant 6x6 post can handle more than 10,000 pounds of weight while on a good day a screw can only handle a hundred pounds or so: there’s no comparison, when you think about it.
This is why we urge anyone thinking about a deck – either as a before-winter project or a dream for next spring – to call us first. As part of the permit application process, our inspectors will evaluate your plans and help you do it right.
We serve all the unincorporated areas of Charlotte and southern York counties, as well as Harvey, McAdam, Saint Andrews and St. George.

For the most part, those of us living in New Brunswick escaped the wrath of Hurricane Dorian – but as images and video from Nova Scotia show, the power of a hurricane is immense.

And New Brunswick will be hit: it’s not a matter of “if,” but a matter of “when” a hurricane will hit us. The lesson? Prepare now.

Hurricanes cause damage in two key ways: high winds and flooding/storm surges.
Here’s what our inspectors suggest as things to do in forthcoming renovations or new builds to better weather a hurricane.

1) Use hurricane ties to secure rafters/trusses to roof plates. This is easy to do in a new build, not so easy to do in a renovation setting.

A hurricane clip used in this outdoor deck roof. Exposed roofs (carports, verandas) are susceptible to wind uplift, so going with hurricane ties is a wise way to help mitigate the threat of wind damage.

2) Specify heel or drop-chord trusses in new builds. This allows for exterior sheathing to help tie rafters to the rest of the building

3) Over-use eaves protection membrane. In many cases, the combination of high winds and intense rainfall causes water to be wind-driven in places it normally doesn’t go. Alternately, roofs are exposed to rain after the winds remove shingles. Flashing roof joints with ice and water shield membrane, even when not called for by Code, can help reduce water damage.

4) Avoid gable roofs. Though popular, gable roofs present a face to wind that other roofing systems (hip style, in particular) do not.

5) Plan for strong wind and rain by pre-building a blocking system for roofs vented using an end-gable vent.

6) When using soffit-and-peak venting, only provide as much soffit venting as required by Code, to reduce wind intrusion into attics

7) Over-nail roof sheathing to truss/rafter members. Codes for U.S. areas subjected to high wind mandate nailing every six inches on all truss members, not just at sheathing joints.

8) Avoid staples for fastening asphalt shingles. Areas of the U.S. exposed to hurricanes mandate roofing nails, because they perform better in high-wind situations.

9) Build so that valuable portions of a home will be above flood levels.

10) For homes in areas subject to flooding, raise them using concrete walls that have “vents” at the sides to allow for easy infiltration and outflow of flood waters.

An illustration on best practice for building in anticipation of flooding. The lower portion, shown here, is built with concrete or concrete block, extending to 1 metre above expected worse-case flood level.

11) Install a backflow prevention valve.

A backflow prevention valve: for less than $100, this simple device can help reduce flood damage from backed-up sewers

12) Place outbuildings on concrete slabs or other footings.

These tips are taken from our “preparing for climate change” pamphlet, or a more comprehensive “preparing for climate change – a guide for builders” available for free at our offices.