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Old 03-21-2011, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
6,138 posts, read 7,816,077 times
Reputation: 4142
Valid subjects often outlive their OP. The subject of "NON heated homes" is quite germane right now in Maine. The legislature enacted a building code which is very short sighted. It applies in all towns with a population of over 2,000 right now. It applies to all towns by July 1, 2012. There is a bill in to postpone the new code and its restrictions because the inspectors to meet the requirements simply do not exist in Maine. There are expensive classes people can take to be allowed to do the new inspections, but it's a risk for the student because the code may be changed or revoked. That's the background.

The new code mandates an energy efficiency audit for each dwelling. Since the author is apparently oblivious to rural Maine you would need an energy audit for a logging camp or hunting camp because people sleep there. You would need thicker walls and more insulation in a building that will be occupied only in the summer months. Not enough insulation? No occupancy permit. I have never seen an occupancy permit - ever. I can't say there is no town in Maine that requires one, but they sure don't exist up here.

I think building codes are a good reference. Wiring systems should be safe. Plumbing systems should be adequate. However, the codes can be abused. They don't allow for the earth bermed home built into the side of a hill. They don't allow for a straw bale house. I don't think a straw bale house is a good idea, but people seeking alternative lifestyles do build them. Now for a little philosophy:

We are going to receive fewer government services in the future because the wagon pullers are tapped out. Income tax revenue will fall. Towns and states can't print money. We are all going to need to adapt to a new paradigm. This is not the time to increase regulations on struggling families. We have people living under bridges and in crude shelters in Portland and Bangor. Those situations might be better places to put our tax dollars rather than attacking people who actually work.

 
Old 03-21-2011, 08:21 AM
 
Location: South Portland, Maine
2,348 posts, read 3,422,394 times
Reputation: 1467
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmist View Post
I get apt complexes that pay utilities, especially water, but it was the house rentals that pay them is what confused me. And then to only see a $50 increase to include heat confused me even more, figured I must be missing something because who in their right mind would choose to pay their own utilities if they can have them paid by a landlord at a fixed price no matter how warm they make it.

What do you mean they set it at a min & max level? Are you locked out of the thermostat?

How about summer, do you need AC as well and then heat in winter too? Or do you have some months where neither AC or heat is needed?

I would guess our summer cooling=maine heating... but then trying to figure out which place has more time of using neither.

I am not sure why, but something is pulling me to the Bangor area because it seems much less expensive than Portland, but still sizeable enough to be convenient. Is this the 2nd largest city there after Portland? Any other cities in this arena to consider?

Thanks for your help!
It is confusing but I wouldn't read much into it. Adds cost per letter and are pretty expensive.. dont read into them.. just take them at face value and if you have questions call the landlord..

Homes in Maine generally do not have central ac. And when you rent generally you will pay for electricity.. So now that means if you own an ac, the landlord allows it, and YOUR using an ac then it will cost you to run it..

Running ac is up to you.. it is subjective.. some apts might be located in a cooler spot or offer more in the way of windows and such to allow for good ventalation.. I run one in the bedroom at night because though I dont mind the heat in summer I hate to sleep in it..

Lewiston is the 2nd largest city after portland..

Bangor would naturally be MUCH less expensive.. the city has half the people as Portland and it is much further north.. Outside of bangor it is very rural..

they are two completely different cities with different cultures..
 
Old 03-21-2011, 08:33 AM
 
Location: South Portland, Maine
2,348 posts, read 3,422,394 times
Reputation: 1467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post

I think building codes are a good reference. Wiring systems should be safe. Plumbing systems should be adequate. However, the codes can be abused. They don't allow for the earth bermed home built into the side of a hill. They don't allow for a straw bale house. I don't think a straw bale house is a good idea, but people seeking alternative lifestyles do build them. Now for a little philosophy:
A few years back I was required to dissconnect my roof drain from the city sewer as the city was trying to keep from having to spend money to treat rain water.. A valid reason as far as I was concerned

The city was installing new rain water pipes and I decided to pay to connect to that..

I used schedule 40 pvc?? (the cheaper thinner stuff) INSIDE the building to connect the center roof drain pipe which was an old cast iron drain pipe to connect the new connection that came into the basement..

Well, aparantly state code says any inside plumbing has to be schedule 80??

Needless to say code enforcement had something to say about it.. I could have let the water from my roof drain into the basement and there was no code against that.. but when i decided to connect to the drain it HAD to be schedule 80?? ( the thicker more expensive stuff... maybe i got it backwards??)

Well there is a little clause in the code book that says something to the effect of what you were saying.. NMLM... basically if the system I am using is safe and proven to work then leave it alone..

So I didnt have to change anything..
 
Old 03-21-2011, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Corinth, ME
2,712 posts, read 3,487,226 times
Reputation: 1858
While I often disagree philosophically with NMLM (being decidedly on the "crunchy" side ) I pretty much have to agree here. I lived in WI when that state adopted a state-wide building code. I took some of the classes for inspectors-to-be (not because I was wanting to become one, but because I was doing some owner-building and needed to KNOW what standards I would be held to) but at that time they were not "expensive" classes. They were offered through community colleges, in the evening, so that the contractors who made up the bulk of the attendees, could get to class.

But at least in WI, in those days, they had the common sense to know that a cabin/camp was not a house and a house was not a commercial building and to make allowances for variations (and variances.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post

We are going to receive fewer government services in the future because the wagon pullers are tapped out. Income tax revenue will fall. Towns and states can't print money. We are all going to need to adapt to a new paradigm. This is not the time to increase regulations on struggling families. We have people living under bridges and in crude shelters in Portland and Bangor. Those situations might be better places to put our tax dollars rather than attacking people who actually work.
AMEN!
 
Old 03-21-2011, 09:26 AM
 
406 posts, read 310,832 times
Reputation: 423
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post
Valid subjects often outlive their OP. The subject of "NON heated homes" is quite germane right now in Maine. The legislature enacted a building code which is very short sighted. It applies in all towns with a population of over 2,000 right now. It applies to all towns by July 1, 2012. There is a bill in to postpone the new code and its restrictions because the inspectors to meet the requirements simply do not exist in Maine. There are expensive classes people can take to be allowed to do the new inspections, but it's a risk for the student because the code may be changed or revoked. That's the background.

The new code mandates an energy efficiency audit for each dwelling. Since the author is apparently oblivious to rural Maine you would need an energy audit for a logging camp or hunting camp because people sleep there. You would need thicker walls and more insulation in a building that will be occupied only in the summer months. Not enough insulation? No occupancy permit. I have never seen an occupancy permit - ever. I can't say there is no town in Maine that requires one, but they sure don't exist up here.

I think building codes are a good reference. Wiring systems should be safe. Plumbing systems should be adequate. However, the codes can be abused. They don't allow for the earth bermed home built into the side of a hill. They don't allow for a straw bale house. I don't think a straw bale house is a good idea, but people seeking alternative lifestyles do build them. Now for a little philosophy:

We are going to receive fewer government services in the future because the wagon pullers are tapped out. Income tax revenue will fall. Towns and states can't print money. We are all going to need to adapt to a new paradigm. This is not the time to increase regulations on struggling families. We have people living under bridges and in crude shelters in Portland and Bangor. Those situations might be better places to put our tax dollars rather than attacking people who actually work.
You really hit the nail on the head here.

I'm all for increased energy efficiency in my home, but this draconian way of shoving a certain kind of insulation - a certain depth of insulation, onto and into *every* structure a person might sleep in, is just so unworkable.

It's amazing that this building code stuff is coming *now* - now that we need to do things in a more flexible, less formal, cheaper, manner - now that people are going to be living in all kinds of make-shift housing, now that Energy Decline is upon us - in every state, not just Maine.

Along with the rise of home-rule laws regarding local farms, local farm products, bought by local people, we need to be thoughtfully allowing a return to less grandiose ways of living and that includes our buildings.

In my town, there is a good deal of new and newer housing. It's mostly mobile and modular construction - fairly energy efficient I'd imagine, though maybe not. There's also a lot of older housing, some of which has been maintained over the years and parts of which might, more or less, be up to code. But there's also a LOT of older housing that's practically falling down - virtual shacks, owned by poorer folks. I would suppose a good amount of these folks would like to build a newer house on their property and move out of their 1901 shack. Mind you, they wouldn't want to build a 3000 sq ft castle, but they want and could really use to move out of the sagging shack with the tarps and plastic all over the exterior - but if the state, in its *wisdom*, requires all kinds of new codes and inspections - in my town that has no inspectors, then people are going to be forced to spend even more years in the old shack - defeating the very purpose of the building code.

I guess state government would rather people live in shacks and dream of an ultra efficient home rather than be allowed to afford a decently efficient home (at least more efficient than the shack) *now.*

Energy Decline is going to change everything. We might as well not fight it, but that's exactly what government is doing by shoving this one-size-fits-all building code on the entire state.

Last edited by beltrams; 03-21-2011 at 09:34 AM..
 
Old 03-21-2011, 09:46 AM
 
406 posts, read 310,832 times
Reputation: 423
I should also add that some people might want to live in simple, older "shacks" regardless of their means, and far be it from me, or govt. to pass judgment on them.
 
Old 03-21-2011, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Northern Maine
6,138 posts, read 7,816,077 times
Reputation: 4142
In our town the richest guy in town has a cheap 2 bedroom trailer next door. The two neighbors went to kindergarten together 70 years ago. They played baseball together. They graduated together. They hunt and fish together. One became very prosperous with prudent investments and one lived an ordinary, but honorable life. Why should government tell these two old friends they can't be neighbors?
 
Old 03-21-2011, 01:43 PM
 
Location: South Portland, Maine
2,348 posts, read 3,422,394 times
Reputation: 1467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post
In our town the richest guy in town has a cheap 2 bedroom trailer next door. The two neighbors went to kindergarten together 70 years ago. They played baseball together. They graduated together. They hunt and fish together. One became very prosperous with prudent investments and one lived an ordinary, but honorable life. Why should government tell these two old friends they can't be neighbors?
Aparently you didnt know that government knows better..

And they intend to rectify this travesty and assure that BOTH of those men............ are living in a Cheap 2 br trailer!
 
Old 03-21-2011, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
21,658 posts, read 27,591,498 times
Reputation: 8688
Quote:
Originally Posted by flycessna View Post
Aparently you didnt know that government knows better..

And they intend to rectify this travesty and assure that BOTH of those men............ are living in a Cheap 2 br trailer!
I think this thread is sliding down a steep slope.
 
Old 03-21-2011, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Northern Maine
6,138 posts, read 7,816,077 times
Reputation: 4142
Help is on the way! We have a new government in Augusta. We can stop the slide, but the climb back out of this hole will take time.
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