Illegal renovation

Problem is somedays I just read the Style and Metro section of the Post and sometimes never get to the other parts, lucky for me DCist pointed out the article in the A section of the paper about illegal construction. A good timely reminder for me to call DCRA about a house not far from me where the contractor has been doing some work.
So besides calling the city I’m just gonna bad mouth the property here too. So if you ever buy it take a very good inspector with you, and a level.
First odd thing about the house was they tore the whole rear off. Removed all the bricks and replaced them with concrete cinder block. That was odd. It would have made sense if they built out, but no. Same dimensions. Then covered the block up with stucco. The only difference were the size of the windows and doors in the back.
After that it was on again off again construction with poor clean up work. Trash and extra concrete would make its way down the alley.
Lately the thing is working after 7pm. Legally contractors are allowed to work from 7am to 7pm. This guy would work past that time, or on other days after that time, leaving me to guess that this is secondary work. One evening, as the light has remained up until late 8ish, I noticed this guy working alone with a couple beers. Another night, well near midnight, he was doing some sawing and hammering that could be heard well in the alley. I guess it was for the deck. There isn’t much light in the alley at midnight, so it seems like a bad idea to work on an elevated (one floor) deck.
So would be buyers of 1617 New Jersey Ave NW you’ve been warned. It might be best if you are making a 400K to 1/2 million dollar investment to check the permits and maybe chat with the neighbors to see if the construction was on the up & up.

4 thoughts on “Illegal renovation”

  1. I couldn’t find anywhere online to report these type of things or abandoned houses. Of course they won’t make it easy.

  2. You can always contact the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center at (202) 727-1000.

    They will point you in the right direction for ANYTHING relating to problems in the city–traffic lights out, sewers backing up, downed trees, etc. They also assign a “request number” to your call, so you can reference your original complaint later on if you have to.

    And yes, the STOP WORK ORDERS are real, and they are posted quick fast and in a hurry (at least in my ‘hood of Logan Circle). Don’t ask me how I know, just accept as fact that if you have to drop a dime, the District Gov’t is quick to respond in this regard.

  3. Yeah that citywide call center is great. They should be back to you sometime around Christmas 2009.

    Useless…there was an abandoned (stolen) car that sat on my street for 10 weeks before they came and did something. I called every week and the same answer “we are looking into it”.

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