Regulations frustrating Buckley Bay home builder

Scott Kneeland is trying to build a post-and-beam house in Buckley Bay, but changes in B.C. Building Code definitions are hampering him.

Scott Kneeland is trying to build a post-and-beam house in Buckley Bay, but changes in B.C. Building Code definitions are hampering the process.

Comox Valley Regional District officials asked the semi-retired builder to have an architect draw up plans. Kneeland refused and submitted his own plans.

He was then told to hire a professional engineer because he says the CVRD could not deal with grading or scaling the posts and beams, which he had rough-milled. He hired an engineer for $800 to pass his plans.

When a construction stage failed during his first inspection, Kneeland asked what could be done to correct it.

“His (inspector) response was, ‘I can’t say because you would hold me liable to it.’ He couldn’t tell me what to do because that would place the liability on the CVRD,” Kneeland said.

It was then suggested he hire a building envelope engineer, who said there was nothing wrong with Kneeland’s construction but who would charge $1,000 to file an official report.

“The liability issue and the B.C. codes are getting so ridiculous that for the small guy it’s impossible,” Kneeland said, noting the B.C. Policies Board has a No Exceptions rule.

“You guys are obliging me to pay $1,000 to protect your liabilities … Fifteen years ago in the trade, a builder could discuss with an inspector on the site and find a solution. That’s completely gone now.”

Doug McPherson, regional district manager of building services, recognizes the challenges of the prescriptive requirements of the B.C. Building Code. If a builder varies from the requirements, an alternative solution is to hire a registered professional.

Which involves a fee.

“I think what this boils down to is the new requirement of the capillary break or rainscreening, and the installation of the capillary break strips,” McPherson said.

Kneeland’s capillary break strips are installed horizontally, but the building code says nominally-vertically.

“I certainly empathize with his situation but my hands are tied,” McPherson said.

Just Posted

Comox Valley firefighters assist with wildfire effort

Four Courtenay firefighters are in Fort St. James helping with the fight… Continue reading

Woman rescued from Stotan Falls calling for safety measures

3L Developments did not comment on immediate plans to add safety precautions

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

More than 22,000 blood donors needed

Canadian Blood Services is urging Canadians to help meet patients’ needs this… Continue reading

Kiyoshi Kosky running for Courtenay City Council

I am Kiyoshi Kosky and am running in the upcoming Courtenay Municipal… Continue reading

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Most Read