Home Buying in Charlestown>Question Details

Foster, Home Buyer in Boston College, MA

What is the process to certifying an illegal roofdeck?

Asked by Foster, Boston College, MA Fri Apr 15, 2011

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If you own a condominium - you will have to deal with the bylaws of the Master deed. If there is no provision making it legal in the association I doubt you can changed the Master deed without having a high percentage of owners willing to make the change. So check there first to see if it's legal if you have a condo.
then I would go down to the Inspectional services department for the City of Boston which is located at 1010 Mass Ave. You are more likely to speak with someone if you show up in person. There are city codes and regulations, and then Charlestown may have some neighborhood requirements. 1010 Mass Ave will let you know if there is a Charlestown Historical Commission that also needs to weigh in on the process.

So your answer depends on why it was illegal in the first place!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011
Scott nailed it... gauge how much work is needed, then go to the city to find out what's needed to bring it to code and get it approved. Usually the Building dept will work with you as much as possible as someone trying to right a wrong. Keep in mind it may be necessary or more cost effective to tear it down instead of getting it approved. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 23, 2011
You should have a general contractor & a structural engineer take a look at it to see if it's up to code and then approach the city for approvals based upon what the engineer & contractor say. Illegal or non-permitted work can open up a huge can of worms but is alot better than having something go wrong & then find out there is no insurance coverage.
Web Reference: http://www.MedfordHouse.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011
call the local building Inspector and see if there were permits issued when it was built. if not, have the inspector take a look at the structure and see if it meets code. if it does not, he/she will have a code book that will specifically say what is required.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011
First your deck must be up to code - especially railing height. Go to building inspector's office on Mass ave - i dealt with them a couple of times, and they seemed friendly and easy to work with.

Another thing is that your deck should not exceed snow load (decks are heavy). And consider that your rubber roof (I presume) may need a repair.

Here is much info about roof decks: http://www.coolflatroof.com/flat-roof-decks.php
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2014
Start with the town building Inspector and go from there. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 18, 2011
If it is a condo, you have to make sure your first in compliance with the HOA to see if they even allow than you will have to check with the city about getting it permitted. Hard to say with out knowing your exact situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011
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