We are considering the purchase of an Eichler that was remodeled extensively, in a manner not in keeping with the Eichler aesthetic.
The floor to ceiling windows at the rear of the house were replaced with standard windows and standard sliders. The windows now go from about 18" above the floor to about 6' above the floor. Above these standard windows are sheetrock walls.
We would love to be able to bring the house back to its former glory, including the floor to ceiling windows, but is it possible to have such windows installed now, considering current codes and so forth?
Does anyone have any experience with this? We would love to hear your input.
I live in San Jose, so can't speak directly to Oakland requirments. However, Iwould be very surprised if replacing a wall of your home with a combination of floor-to-ceiling glass and sliding doors could be done without at least a permit (a planning document/specifications might also be required).
While others can tell you what they did, the only sure way to know what is required or allowed is to contact your City's building department. At least in San Jose, if you have work done without a permit--even if you were unaware a permit was needed or your contractor told you it wasn't needed--the homeowner is at fault. Rectifying it after the fact could be as severe as removing it so don't take the chance.
In fairness to the building departments, they are there to ensure public safety. You wouldn't want to move into a house where the homeowner had rewired without a permit--how would you know if he had done it correctly if it had never been inspected?
Most cities have a website these days, with an area for each department. Start there. Either go speak to them in person (I've done this several times in San Jose) or call them. Good luck.
P.S. City of Oakland main page (you have to scroll down to Planning and Development):