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The history of my house in permits

Posted 03-04-2011 at 10:29 AM by WillK

I don't know that in my case there was much value to my current work in researching the history of my permits, but it was interesting to do this in terms of learning the story of my house. Very interesting actually.

I was actually anticipating, given the quality (lack of) of repairs that I might find that I'm the first person in the history of this house to have pulled a building permit, but there would probably be plumbing and electrical permits. It turns out I was more wrong than right in those assumptions, but the work that is of the worst quality was definitely not done under permit.

As a refresher, I think I mentioned this previously, my house was build in 1917. This was 4 years before the city it is in was incorporated, so I had a pretty good idea I wasn't going to find original as-built plans through the city. The city has records going back apparently to 2004 kept on computer, and before that they have taken all hard-copy records and sorted them by adress and retained them on microfische. I was able to review the microfische at the building department for no charge (other than parking).

Here's what I found in chronological order:
April 15, 1926 building permit for a chicken coop
July 23, 1928 sewer permit to tie into the sewer system
August 6, 1928 plumbing permit to install a stack
November 12, 1941 building permit to frame a private garage
October 18, 1945 building permit for an addition
September 16, 1950 electrical permit to install a range circuit
July 3, 1970 building permit to install a metal swimming pool
November 17, 1986 plumbing permit for new water service (there are new copper supply lines for the kitchen and bathroom)
August 5, 2003 building permit for replacement windows
August 30, 2004 building permit for reroofing of the garage

The 1970 permit was issued to an owner with the same last name as the previous permits, so must have been a descendant. I know the family from whom I bought the house had bought it in 1973, so apparently we might be the third family to own the house.

I expected to find a permit for the new service panel, it seemed to have been professionally done, but there was no permit to be found. Which isn't a major concern since over time I plan to completely replace the electrical system by working through one area of the house at a time.

Same goes for the house structure.
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