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LoneRanger 09-11-2009 12:47 AM

New Owner Confused about Permits
As a new and overwhelmed homeowner, I'll appreciate any thoughts you guys can give-

Our townhouse was built around 25-30 years ago. The basement was intended as a living area, as evidenced by the original fireplace. However, when I moved in, there was no floor covering, just bare concrete. The home inspector found a couple of minor things regarding current code- a light switch too close to the shower and an exposed light bulb over the shower. There is also one notch of crooked drywall in a room partition.

These things lead me to wonder if the previous homeowner did any of the finishing work his/herself, and if so, shouldn't the permit process have caught those items? Does this mean the previous owner failed to get a permit, and if so, is that something I need to go get inspections or permits for? I worry about anything that can start a fire because I've read horror stories of folks who were denied claims due to faulty or non-permitted work. What should I do? Or am I crazy for even wondering about this?

Thanks very much-

Bob Mariani 09-11-2009 06:30 AM

The two electrical issues are safety related but not a fire hazard. But as you are suspecting it is an indication that things are not done correctly. To find out about the permit issue you need to contact your local building department. To find out about your risk talk to your insurance agent. Being concerned over this is a good thing. Now follow up. Have a qualified contractor inspect the work for safety issues.

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