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Old 12-23-2016, 02:23 PM   #1
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Permits Necessary?


Hi All,

I have a rookie question in regards to building permits. I reside in a live/work loft in downtown Los Angeles and I am wanting to build somewhat of a cubicle. Management said I can build whatever I'd like just as long as it within the building code guidelines. As to try and avoid building permits I was wondering if it was possible to build an 11' x 16' cubicle, 8' high with no ceiling. My loft is 12' high so I would be building the cubicle's ceiling open to the entire loft room. This cubicle would act more as a room divider with a door.

I would be building the cubicle next to an existing wall which already has an outlet. Therefore, no electrical work needed.


Thank you for your thoughts.

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Last edited by Bob213; 12-23-2016 at 02:39 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old 12-23-2016, 03:59 PM   #2
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Re: Permits Necessary?


Your building inspector will be happy to discuss the need for a building permit, and the process to apply for one if needed. No one on an internet chat forum such as this can offer you reliable information on the need for a building permit.
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Old 12-23-2016, 10:39 PM   #3
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Re: Permits Necessary?


Since what you want to build it's going to be freestanding and contain no electrical, plumbing or any other utility it was mine I wouldn't worry about a building permit. Even though technically one may be required and the only way to find out would be to ask your local AHJ as suggested by Daniel.
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Old 12-23-2016, 11:29 PM   #4
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Re: Permits Necessary?


As a general statement I would not thing your proposal would warrant a permit, but as others have said, your building department will be the final decider. Many municipalities, particularly large urban ones, have their own rules.

You mention "management" "live/work", which suggests a rental or some other type of multiple dwelling or commercial structure, which may change everything. I'm actually a little surprised they seem to be taking such a hands-off approach and taking a verbal statement on your intended construction (how will they know you don't end up building something with electrical and plumbing?)
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Old 12-24-2016, 07:42 PM   #5
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Re: Permits Necessary?


The International Building Code requires permits for all partition construction over 5"-9" in height. More importantly the City of LA has strict rules for Live/Work buildings. As a former California Building Inspector (not LA) I can tell you that If your building was not legally permitted as "Joint Living and Working Quarters", there may be far more serious issues. The recent disaster in Oakland that claimed 36 lives was an example of what can go wrong in an unpermitted and non code-compliant live/work situation. Make sure you are living in a safe place.
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Old 12-25-2016, 01:09 AM   #6
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Re: Permits Necessary?


In my previous post the maximum partition height without a permit should have read 5'-9" (69").
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Old 12-26-2016, 05:55 PM   #7
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Re: Permits Necessary?


Thank you all for your advice and input. It is very much appreciated. IdahoBob, I will certainly look deeper into it. 69" is not a bad height. Thanks again.
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:02 PM   #8
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Re: Permits Necessary?


I would think as long as it isnt a structural component, a permit wouldnt be needed. My own opinion, but you did say LA - may want to at least make a random call to the city

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