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Old 07-22-2012, 08:49 AM   #16
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A Permit After 19 Years?


When I'm running the job I call the inspector out at the beginning and make sure they know they are the most important person in the world. Things always ran smoothly after that. I've been on jobs where the foreman challenged the inspector and they had nothing but problems.

I checked the codes before beginning work. I saw nothing in them indicating I needed a permit for anything I was doing. Even when I quoted their code and gave her the number, she said it was out of her hands even though she wrote up the violation. Then she told me I would have to draw up plans for replacing the front steps, which are identical to the old ones, and provide a plat of survey showing the location of the hot tub.

As I re-read their code, preparing for tomorrow's confrontation, I saw that no plans are required for anything 150 sq/ft or less. She must have missed that too. I guess the order of the day is fake it until you make it.

No wonder so many avoid taking out a permit. Maybe if they stopped making things up and followed the codes they might generate more revenue because people wouldn't fear the nightmare they can create.

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Old 07-22-2012, 09:05 AM   #17
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A Permit After 19 Years?


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No wonder so many avoid taking out a permit. Maybe if they stopped making things up and followed the codes they might generate more revenue because people wouldn't fear the nightmare they can create.
BINGO !!! in effect, they are stabbing themselves in the foot.

i have heard many bad things about the inspectors around here. from independent sources.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:43 AM   #18
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A Permit After 19 Years?


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BINGO !!! in effect, they are stabbing themselves in the foot.

i have heard many bad things about the inspectors around here. from independent sources.
I think that's true, they do hurt themselves. I've never met a homeowner who didn't fear an inspector coming in and finding something wrong and it costing them $$$$.

If they were smart, they would create an image of the inspector being your friend, making sure everything is done right and giving you a sense of security, instead of some government agent with the power of interpreting the code however they want and making your life miserable.
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:28 PM   #19
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A Permit After 19 Years?


Well, I went in to argue my case.

I checked in and waited to get called. When they called me a 30-something woman was waiting for me at the counter. I showed her the stop work order and then showed told her this falls under the exemption, "Ordinary repair and maintenance."

"If you replace it, you need a permit." she replied.

I showed her the definition of "Ordinary repair and maintenance", as stated in their code, and pointed out it includes replacement.

"Just a minute," and she went into some office to talk to someone, taking the pages of the code I had printed out.

She came back out and said there was nothing she could do. The decision was out of her hands. "You'll have to talk to Steve," and she handed me his business card.

I asked if he was in.

"No. Steve is here from 8-8:30 AM but if you call him he's really good about calling back." Then she handed me a permit application, a brochure about hot tubs and swimming pools and thanked me for coming in.

I was hoping to get an answer, any answer. I mean this is their main (and only) headquarters. Surely someone there has the authority to make a ruling on how someone could get red tagged when the code says no permit required.

Then it hit me... What was I thinking? This is a government agency!
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:11 PM   #20
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A Permit After 19 Years?


Julie. what what that you were saying. the about being smart part .....
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:21 AM   #21
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A Permit After 19 Years?


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Not in my world…All I want is a signature so I can move on.

I can’t imagine leaving something out for the inspector to find just to make them feel good.
Then I guess you weren't ever in the military. Whatever is being inspected (your weapon, your barracks room, your workspace), it's a certainty the inspector will keep looking until something is found. So you leave a thing or two for them to find. Then they're satisfied and the inspection is usually over.
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:59 PM   #22
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A Permit After 19 Years?


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I checked the codes before beginning work. I saw nothing in them indicating I needed a permit for anything I was doing. Even when I quoted their code and gave her the number, she said it was out of her hands even though she wrote up the violation. Then she told me I would have to draw up plans for replacing the front steps, which are identical to the old ones, and provide a plat of survey showing the location of the hot tub.

As I re-read their code, preparing for tomorrow's confrontation, I saw that no plans are required for anything 150 sq/ft or less. She must have missed that too. I guess the order of the day is fake it until you make it.
That inspector should be fired. HAHA just kidding... government employee FIRED?
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Old 07-24-2012, 04:26 PM   #23
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A Permit After 19 Years?


Julie, I am learning about the whole permit scam in the Chicagoland area as well. The more I try to learn about what I need permits for, the more I am infuriated. In DP you have to have a permit for a DOG! It disgusts me that the gov't wants any penny they can get for revenue. And they wonder why people don't get permits for stuff. I cannot WAIT to move out of Illinois!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:39 PM   #24
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Julie, I am learning about the whole permit scam in the Chicagoland area as well. The more I try to learn about what I need permits for, the more I am infuriated. In DP you have to have a permit for a DOG! It disgusts me that the gov't wants any penny they can get for revenue. And they wonder why people don't get permits for stuff. I cannot WAIT to move out of Illinois!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There seems to be an attitude that once they get their noses into whatever it is you're doing they will not let go until they find something they deem requires a permit. $$$$ The biggest problem is in their interpretation and their interpretation rules over the written word.

If you think DP is bad, I used to take out permits for the electrical on cell towers throughout the 6 county area in and around Chicago. I dreaded going into Arlington Heights and only slightly less in Schaumburg. The EI from AH would make things up on the fly. One time he asked what the EI in Schaumburg requires for underground service runs. I told him "concrete encased rigid" and he replies, "That's what I want."

As for the guy who gets right back to you? My phone has been silent. But I did get certified mail with the violation notice in it.
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:21 AM   #25
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A Permit After 19 Years?


ugh
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:03 AM   #26
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A Permit After 19 Years?


I just talked to "the man". As expected, his interpretation is law. I have to get a permit.

You can fight city hall, but don't plan on winning.
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:36 AM   #27
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A Permit After 19 Years?


Better hope the "interpretation" doesn't change while you're halfway through.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:33 AM   #28
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A Permit After 19 Years?


This may have been a "property standards" rather than a "building code" inspector - in my experience the former are often incompletely informed, or flat-out misinformed, about the AHJ's actual requirements. It can take a lot of persistence to get through to someone with the knowledge and authority to get things straightened out, though, and it's often not worth the effort.

_____________

As for a 19 yo "portable" hot tub installation, many such non-permitted installations have significant deficiencies by current standards, and I can see the logic of requiring an upgrade of specific deficiencies (by modern standards) based on safety concerns (for example, hot tubs with no GFCI protection) when the "portable" tub has been sitting in the same place for decades.

The rest I can't comment on, because I have not seen it.

I will say, though, that AHJ's have to deal with a *lot* of people who "push" the interpretations of code "exceptions" to avoid pulling permits and having work inspected, and they tend to have a pretty jaded option of such appeals even when they are "justified" by the "letter of the law", because they see so much shoddy and even dangerous work done on this basis.

So even if someone's work is "allowed" and "done correctly", they may catch an "attitude" on the part of the AHJ based on *other* peoples' behavior.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:37 AM   #29
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A Permit After 19 Years?


No, it was an inspector. And when I discussed the code with the chief inspector, he said what I was doing required a permit. I asked an attorney friend to read the code and tell me how the exemptions would apply to my situation and she said the hot tub required a permit but the front stairs work would not. They exempted "replacement" but not "alteration" or "removal" because both would be a change over what was there. As long as the work you're doing is limited to replacing the old with new and not making any changes (which is what I did on the stairs), no permit would be required. The chief inspector hung his hat on "removal" even though it's impossible to replace something without removing it. My friend said they would have lost that battle in court. It was cheaper to pay for the permit.

The roofer paid the fine and paid for the roofing permit so I'm free to work on the gazebo now. After satisfying all their application requirements, I applied for the hot tub and stair permit and also a stone veneer permit to create stone columns on either side of the garage (I was going to do that when I was ready to begin the work because I KNEW that required a permit.) They have not issued those permits yet.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:34 AM   #30
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A Permit After 19 Years?


My town is so tight on permits that sometimes I wonder if I should get one to mow the yard.

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