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amodoko 09-24-2012 11:36 PM

Should I/ Can I get a permit for a redone tub and surround after it was completed?
Hey guys, a while ago I had ripped out a tub and surround and put in a new tub, removed the sheetrock on the walls, installed new durock cement board and a vapor barrier, and then tiled the surround. I also had to make some small adjustments to the pvc plumbing below (put in a new p-trap by solvent welding/pvc cement) just so it would line up to the new tub's drain (since the new tub's drain was located about an inch or two off from the old tub's drain).

Anyways, this is in a condo unit that I own. I am very happy with the new tub and surround as the shower has worked wonderfully without any issues or water leaks. I asked a friend of mine that owns a real estate company if I should obtain a permit before I started working on it and he said not to worry about it and it would be a non issue since most people don't get permits.

Now I kind of wish I had, mostly because I think a permit is a good thing to have for insurance policies and for when you sell your property... the new owner will have peace of mind. Also, I feel like we are going to be selling this property in the next five years and I don't really know how to go about selling it without a permit for the new shower.

I am planning on redoing our second bathroom in the condo and installing a brand new tiled shower there as well. I also will plan on tiling bathroom floors, adding hardwood floors, painting walls, and possibly upgrading the kitchen. I won't be knocking down walls or anything, nor will I be changing square footage, but I will be prettying things up a bit with the things I mentioned above. I will be getting permits this time around since a few years down the road when I sell the place the buyer will know things were done correctly and I won't be held liable for anything.

I took photographs of the process of putting in the tub and surround and was wondering if I could just go get a permit with the old photos? Or should I just forget about getting the permit all together and not even mention anything about that one non-permitted shower and hope that when it is time to sell the buyer and inspector won't say anything? That one tub/surround/shower will be the only thing without a permit, since everything else I will get permits for this time around.

Thanks in advance

joecaption 09-24-2012 11:42 PM

How would an inspector even know about it?
You do not need a permit for all the other small jobs your going to be doing.

PaliBob 09-25-2012 03:27 AM


Originally Posted by amodoko (Post 1016828)
... and I won't be held liable for anything.

IMO A permit does not absolve you of any future legal actions. An example of this would if you found a construction fault in your Condo. The original contractor could not say:
"Hey it is not my fault. I had a permit and the work was OK'd by the city inspector"

amodoko 09-25-2012 05:04 AM

Thanks for the replies. Joecaption, this is the first property that my family has owned and I didn't know if inspectors had some old schematics or pictures of the interiors of homes or something to check to see if any work was done, so I guess that was why I thought it was possible for him/her to know if something had been redone since I moved in.

I'm actually less concerned about the inspector, and more concerned about when the new buyer asks me if I've done any work and if all the work has permits. I don't want to lie and say yes when the one bathroom didn't have a permit. That's why I was thinking I could go and get one.

And in response to not needing permits for "the other small jobs" I will be doing, I was told that in general when you redo any plumbing (which may be the case) that it usually requires a permit. I may end up redoing a bit of plumbing when I rip out our second shower and tile in a new one so I thought that would at least need a permit. I've heard that some areas in the US require you to have a permit just for exposing studs.

But as I said, this is my first home purchase and will be my first home sale, so I don't really know much about the permit stuff that's why I was asking.

CoconutPete 09-25-2012 07:58 AM

As Joe said, you don't need to pull a permit for every little thing you do. I would probably have pulled 500 permits by now for my house, and gone broke in the process. I wouldn't worry about it this time and maybe just go to city hall next time or call and speak with your local building inspector and tell him about your project. I did that a few times.

Please don't listen to your friend anymore, I'm sorry I know I don't know him, but his "logic" is absolutely moronic.


Originally Posted by amodoko (Post 1016828)
I asked a friend of mine that owns a real estate company if I should obtain a permit before I started working on it and he said not to worry about it and it would be a non issue since most people don't get permits.

So by his logic, it's OK to do or not to do something because lots of people do it. Lots of people do meth - that doesn't mean it's "OK" or a "good idea" to do it now does it? :eek:

md2lgyk 09-25-2012 08:38 AM

Only your local building department can tell you what things require a permit. Also, consider that in some places a homeowner can't legally do plumbing and/or electrical work, even on their own home.

amodoko 09-25-2012 03:37 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone, I do appreciate it. I guess I will just go talk to my city hall/local inspector as well as the condo association (since they have weird rules about projects) about my future plans and permits and I will just forget about the one shower I already did and hope that it doesn't make a difference when I sell the place.

Hopefully they won't require me to have more than one permit (for the new shower I am going to do). Thanks for everyone's replies:)

MissKat 11-08-2012 09:07 AM

As a DIYer, I like to pull permits because I know I have someone coming over to make sure I did it right. I have a good relationship with our guys, they are all really nice and helpful.

redman88 11-10-2012 05:33 PM

I am going to be updating my shed in a few months. I am going to e talking to the building inspector Monday morning about permits and stuff for that project. My question to you would be did you move plumbing or structure? As I understand it if that didn't happen most of the time permits are not required. Could be wrong

amodoko 11-10-2012 06:02 PM

Since I originally started this thread roughly 2 months ago, I've actually talked to my local inspector about this stuff. He seems pretty nice so far, and basically said if you redo a shower, no permit is needed unless you redo plumbing, electrical, or structural. Same thing with changing your flooring, no permit needed. He considered my work cosmetic. But every municipality has different rules and some inspectors are more nit picky than others, so I can't say for sure what your inspector will want from you. But from my little, one time experience, what you're saying holds true that generally no permit is needed as long as you don't alter plumbing, electrical, or structural.

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