Kitchen Remodel in San Francisco - Advice Please

EddyPAugust 3, 2012

My wife and I are finally getting around to updating the kitchen in our home in SF. Perhaps I'm just freaking out, but I'm beginning to worry that I will miss an important inspection or a building code that I wasn't aware of. The electrician and plumber will pull their own permits, but the rest I'm hoping to do myself - including taking down one partitioning wall to open up the kitchen. Here's what I anticipate I'll need: an insulation inspection; a drywall inspection and then finally a finish inspection. Have I forgotten anything? As for materials, are there SF guidelines for insulation and drywall?

Thanks in advance for the help.

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Fori is not pleased

The city permit office should be able to help with building codes.

And the kitchen forum here is pretty useful if you haven't been.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 7:39PM
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City Of San Francisco is very strict building permit type program. It based on tennant directed code and you need to have a checklist of the things you need to do before doing the work. Most building inspectors are very strict unless you are "one of the boys". But if you are detail and do the work according to code; you will be fine.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 11:59PM
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For the most part the "good-ol-boy" favoritism does not exist.
Have you verified that the wall you are removing is non-bearing?
Why, if you are not stripping all of the interior material off of the affected exterior walls, would you need an insulation inspection?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:53AM
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I have indeed verified that the wall is not load-bearing. Regarding the remaining walls, the lath and plaster is all coming off - we'll do new electrical wiring and plumbing for the updated appliances. Thus, I believe I'll need an insulation inspection followed by a sheetrock inspection. Is this true or am I mis-undersanding something?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:40PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Prior to any work at all beginning, you would need to file a plan from a structural engineer verifying that the wall is not load bearing and indicating the plans of how to safely take it down and ensure seismic integrity of the remaining structure. You will also have to have a plan showing the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical changes that taking down the wall will demand. You may also be responsible for upgrading the home's bracing for seismic events as well as dealing with safety upgrades for the electrical and gas services.

You live in one of the most expensive and bureaucratic locales in the US. Nothing about your project will be "simple". And not a lot will be DIYable either.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 1:03AM
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As said before, if you are not removing the interior finish material from the exterior walls, you should not need a separate insulation inspection. You, however, can install one of the 3 types of commonly used insulation which can be reviewed in conjunction with the rough plumbing and elec. inspections.
You, in all probability, will not need the additional expense of a letter from a structural engineer saying that the wall is not bearing nor will have a significant impact on the structures structural integrity.

Who and how was it verified that the wall to be removed was non-bearing?

If you do not have a forced air heating and air conditioning system you will not need a rebalancing study accomplished. These are usually demanded as a Title 24 compliance and are generally initiated as a result of a whole house energy upgrade associated with window change outs and conditioning appliance upgrades.

Yes, you'll need interior finish application inspections.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 8:49AM
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Thank you for your responses.

Perhaps I should have provided a bit more detail. I already have a Job Card and Building Permit. This was achieved by going down to the Building Inspection/Planning Office and having them review the architectural plans (both before and after). In addition to this, I needed to detail the scope of the project. As mentioned in my original post, the electrician and plumber have pooled their own permits for their part of the project.

For my part, I anticipate doing the demolition, installing the insulation, putting up the drywall, hanging the cabinets, tiling the backsplash and painting. I will hire for the hardwood floor and countertop/sink. The plumber will do the fixtures and the necessary connections to the new appliances. The electrician will install the recessed LEDs and under cabinet fluorescents.

To answer your specific questions, the wall was deemed to be solely partitioning by the architect and the engineer at the Building Inspection Office concurred. My understanding is this was enough. The items required to comply with Title 24 are outlined on the plans.

Hollysprings, is there anything on my list that you would recommend that I do NOT tackle?

Thanks again for your responses.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 11:46AM
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