Municipal Permits and Schedules

After an owner has gone through the work of hiring an architect or designer, finalizing the design and then choosing a contractor, they are naturally eager to begin construction. Besides negotiating the contract, choosing materials and working out design details, there is the "small" matter of securing the correct permits to begin work. When we first started out in business, getting a building permit was a pretty straightforward affair. For smaller jobs, we could just stroll right into the building department  (now known as Inspectional Services), and walk out with a permit. Permits for jobs that were more complicated or had major structural elements might take a week or so to get approval. 

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Municipal Permits and Schedules

BASEMENT LIVING SPACE

These dramatic images show a house jacking project in the Cambridgeport neighborhood of Cambridge. The intent here is to raise the house high enough to provide a liveable space in the basement area, one which complies with state and local codes for headroom, safe access, natural light, ventilation and drainage. All of these requirements are specifically addressed in the Code.

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BASEMENT LIVING SPACE

URBAN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION PROBLEM SOLVER

Sometimes the master carpenter is like a musician, exhibiting the technical skill to make complex moldings turn a corner, leaving a perfect joint, one too tight to get a hair or a razor into. And sometimes they are there to solve deceptively simple but stubborn problems, like a basement access that is so awkward and inconvenient that it can’t be used from year to year.

 

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URBAN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION PROBLEM SOLVER

Flood Prevention with Stormwater Drainage Systems

As we see and hear about the epic flooding and destruction in Houston, it's hard to imagine what the Boston area would look like if it suffered a similar storm.  We are located on the Atlantic coast, and huge hurricanes can happen here (1938 and 1954, among others). 

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Flood Prevention with Stormwater Drainage Systems

Urban Living Revisited

By Doug Hanna

After four years of self-imposed exile in the far suburbs I recently moved back to the city. There is nothing better than being out in nature with the blue herons, owls, hawks and flocks of turkeys you call your neighbors, but in time the solitude and beauty of living out in the woods can be offset by long and frustrating commute and the occasional feeling of isolation. Fun fact: In the past four years, I've driven approximately 40,000 miles for my daily commute alone, taking up upwards of 1,500 hours of time or around two months of my life. 

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Urban Living Revisited

Volatility in the Greater Boston Real Estate Market

By Doug Hanna  

The current crazy ride in the local real estate market may seem unprecedented, but it's happened before. In 1981, as new parents, my wife and I bought a triple-decker in Somerville. The day we moved in, the neighbor from across the street strolled over and greeted me as follows: "Ya paid too much for it!"  Three years later, when we sold the house for more than twice the amount we paid, I paid a visit to my neighbor, who had become a friend, and gave him the news. He just shook his head.

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Volatility in the Greater Boston Real Estate Market