DIY addition draws city's, neighbors' ire
That project has since divided the neighborhood, and it’s put Walsh at odds with city officials. In April, the city’s chief building inspector ordered Walsh to tear down what he had built. He had taken too long to finish the job, the city said.
“I thought this was the Live Free or Die state,” Walsh said at his home at 343 Sagamore St. this week. “I should be able to build something at my own pace in my own yard.”
Walsh is no longer sitting. He’s abandoned the DIY approach. He’s hired a contractor to do the exterior work. All this week, a crew of about a half-dozen have been working on the addition.
• Over the last two years, building inspectors twice revoked his building permit. Walsh obtained his most recent permit June 18, but only after he had to take the unusual step of hiring an engineer to certify the half-built addition was not damaged over the winter.
“I’m not saying we were fast,” Walsh said about the past two years. A divorced dad of four and a bread-truck driver, he said money’s been tight. He said gall bladder surgery sidelined him at one point. And he said the city put a halt to the project after he made minor revisions to the building permit.
Walsh’s house is a testament to the proud New England tradition of house adder-ons. His plans call for a two-story addition that will dwarf the original home — a flat-roofed, two-story ranch that is puny in a neighborhood of 1 1/2- and two-story capes and raised ranches.
Walsh was working alongside contractors when I visited this week. He and contractor Cale Houston were confident they will meet their deadine.
In the buiding trades, everything is interconnected, and altering the length of one wall can throw off the centerweight of a project.
“It went on and on and on. At least four neighbors called,” Albin said. “It was a mess.”
“I want to forgive my neighbors,” said Walsh, who attends a local Christian church. “I want to be loving to them. I don’t want to return evil for evil.”
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