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Howard Ain, Troubleshooter: No Building Permit Required

CINCINNATI (Howard Ain) -- We all know the importance of getting building permits when having work done on your home, but not all areas require them. That's what a Highland County woman learned, a little too late.

Local 12 TroubleShooter Howard Ain says she's now run into problems. Susan Smyth wanted to have a pole barn built to use for her horses.

Susan Smyth: "I wanted to build a facility where I could work with children who needed help, and adults, with horses basically using the horses for therapy."

That was her ultimate goal, but first she needed the barn built and in Highland County no permit is required for agricultural use structures.

Smyth: "From the very beginning, even after the building was constructed, I never could keep the main door adjusted. It was constantly out of adjustment. It never would shut right from the very beginning."

Then she noticed one wall was buckling.

"I saw a lot of it giving. A lot of changes and buckling in the wood structure. The poles, one of the poles actually bent."

Howard Ain: "Smyth says when she had the ground dug up in this area to see what was going on she found several of the wood posts were not properly resting on the cement footers as they're supposed to, you can see that right here."

Smyth says the builder told her it looks like fill dirt used in this area was washed away by rain. But because there was no permit, there was no inspection, so, she's not sure exactly what the problem is and how to fix it.

Smyth: "I trusted, I trusted. I've spent a lot of money and I want my barn."

So, I went to Highland County Engineer Dean Otworth who said a structural engineer is needed.

Dean Otworth: "Where they are going to have significant dollars into that building then they would want to go ahead and hire a professional to do the design and also review site plan and make sure that the building is built according to plan."

Now, following Dean Otworth's advice, Smyth says she will get a structural engineer to look at the problem and draw up plans how to fix it.




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