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Old 03-23-2009, 08:23 AM   #1
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Permit/Inspection, when is it needed?


We're moving into our new(older) house in two months and I already have plans to make some changes but my question is how do I know if I need to get a permit and when to get it inspected? The projects I'm certain are.

- Re-tile two half baths and replaced sinks and vanity.
- Rip up carpet in bedrooms to expose hardwoods.
- Re-tile Kitchen.
- Run speaker and ethernet wire to each room in the house from the basement.
- Replace a view lighting fixtures in various rooms.

Thanks. Also, if I need a permit for say the two sinks or the lighting can I get one to cover them all?

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Old 03-23-2009, 09:01 AM   #2
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Permit/Inspection, when is it needed?


This is very much dependent on the rules of the jurisdiction (city, county) where you live. Nobody here can give you definitive answers. You need to check with your local authorities.

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Old 03-23-2009, 10:07 AM   #3
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Permit/Inspection, when is it needed?


Normally one will not get a permit or inspections for such work. Most areas would not offer them anyway. BUT.. Mass... they may want one for everything. Call first if you are concerned with this.
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:28 AM   #4
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Permit/Inspection, when is it needed?


Since you will not be moving or installing any new electrical or plumbing lines, you should not need a permit. Every area has it's own code requirements, so it is best to check. If you were having someone else (a licensed contractor) do the work, they would probably need a permit.
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:31 AM   #5
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Permit/Inspection, when is it needed?


A friend told me that by doing if I do it myself and don't get a permit/inspected after that insurance wont cover it if something goes wrong. Is this true?
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:38 AM   #6
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Permit/Inspection, when is it needed?


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Originally Posted by RyanD View Post
A friend told me that by doing if I do it myself and don't get a permit/inspected after that insurance wont cover it if something goes wrong. Is this true?
Unless the insurance can prove you negligent and willfully caused the damage, they will pay.
This has got to be one of the biggest myths about owning a home.
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:59 AM   #7
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Permit/Inspection, when is it needed?


This is only true when you do "permit required" work. What you are planning will not change any code related work that was previously done. Many people believe they can do any work in their own home without permits. This is not true. Being a home owner allows you to do the work, rather than paying a contractor, but does not release you from obtaining a permit and getting the work inspected. If you check with your local Code Enforcement office, they will explain this to you. One example I found was when I was thinking of adding a wood burner for supplementing heat. I happened to call my Home Owners insurance company and was told a fireplace (properly installed and inspected) would not raise my premiums. A free-standing wood stove would also need to be inspected and would raise my rates by 10% per year. At the time of the conversation, I was also reminded that if I installed either, without a permit and inspection, they would not be liable should it cause a fire. One other thing to consider is resale of the home. With the advent of DIY TV shows, many potential buyers are hiring Home Inspectors before buying. A good inspector can tell when improvements have been made. You would then be asked to rpovide a copy of the permit and insopection if the work was Permit Required. I find it strange that people want to raise the value of their home for resale, but do not have enough confidence in their work to have it inspected.
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Last edited by majakdragon; 03-23-2009 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:47 PM   #8
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Permit/Inspection, when is it needed?


Most of that wouldn't require a permit in most jurisdictions, with the exception of the light fixtures. Although the code is the same, the enforcement requirements do vary from place to place so the best bet is always to call.

NEC section 80.19(c)(1 & 2) gives exceptions to the permit requirement, and replacing light fixtures is not covered under an exception. Too much you can do wrong believe it or not. The IRC code echoes the same language.
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:06 PM   #9
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Permit/Inspection, when is it needed?


Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanD View Post
We're moving into our new(older) house in two months and I already have plans to make some changes but my question is how do I know if I need to get a permit and when to get it inspected? The projects I'm certain are.

- Re-tile two half baths and replaced sinks and vanity.
- Rip up carpet in bedrooms to expose hardwoods.
- Re-tile Kitchen.
- Run speaker and ethernet wire to each room in the house from the basement.
- Replace a view lighting fixtures in various rooms.

Thanks. Also, if I need a permit for say the two sinks or the lighting can I get one to cover them all?
In my township, there are square footage limits, where if you exceed so much % of drywall, etc, you need a permit. Permits are required in my town for replacing sinks and lavatories. Permits for carpet and floor coverings in my town are not required, as long as the subfloor is not disturbed. And you should check about the low voltage wiring. My town allows telephone and cable without a permit, but for low voltage security and lighting you do need one. Also for light fixtures and outlets, I can replace one without a permit, but I need one to install a new one or remove it from the circuit.

When you fill the permit jacket out, you'll submit the subcode forms that are required, and they'll go in the same jacket.

The folks at the town are there to help. Best bet is to go down there and talk to the folks behind the counter and say a simple: "hi, I just moved here, and I need a little help figuring out if I need permits on a couple things I'd like to do." Just come prepared with a list and your vision of what you want to do, so you can answer questions that they might pose (how many square feet of this new stuff in the room, how many square feet is untouched in the room, etc).
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:21 PM   #10
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Permit/Inspection, when is it needed?


Re-tiling, replacing sink/vanity/toilet I haven't pulled a permit
As long as the plumbing did not need to be changed
But technically you are not allowed to do any plumbing work in MA
What constitutes plumbing work may be open to Inspector's viewpoint

Carpet replacement I have never heard of a permit needed
Speaker & ethernet I've never pulled a permit
Replacing a light fixture I've never pulled one either

My electrical Inspector is very good & does notice & comment on work. Giving advice & requirements
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:24 PM   #11
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Permit/Inspection, when is it needed?


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Re-tiling, replacing sink/vanity/toilet I haven't pulled a permit
As long as the plumbing did not need to be changed
But technically you are not allowed to do any plumbing work in MA
What constitutes plumbing work may be open to Inspector's viewpoint

Carpet replacement I have never heard of a permit needed
Speaker & ethernet I've never pulled a permit
Replacing a light fixture I've never pulled one either

My electrical Inspector is very good & does notice & comment on work. Giving advice & requirements
Even with a permit? MA will let you do electrical but not plumbing?
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:34 PM   #12
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Permit/Inspection, when is it needed?


Yup, I've pulled a few electrical permits
Maybe I'm wrong but I was under the impression we are not allowed to do plumbing work as a homeowner
I think this ties into the fact that a plumber is required to run gas lines?

I hired a plumber to do the work I needed, he pulled the permit

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