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Topdog 07-10-2008 08:14 PM

Permits for contruction
I have a friend that was going to hire a licensed contractor to do some work for him. He used his license to get a work permit for his home (if thats how it works). He now no longer wants to use the licensed contractor for some personal reasons. What happens to the permit? Does it become voided? I think he is going to use someone else to do the work using the same permit. Is this legal or should he get a new permit?

Termite 07-10-2008 09:14 PM

Nearly all jurisdictions allow you to self-perform all phases of work. The homeowner should contact the building department and let them know that he wishes to self-perform the work. They should be willing to either change the contractor name on the permit, or they might just issue a new permit.

I've heard of some cities requiring homeowners to pass contractor licensing exams to do their own work, but that is not the norm...Probably because all it does is simply discrourage people from playing by the rules and getting their work permitted.

Here, I can pull permits to work on my own home. But, I can't pull a permit to work on someone else's home without a contractor license, proof of insurance, etc.

Topdog 07-10-2008 09:21 PM

I think he is planning to hire some guy that I'm sure doesn't have a license. I just don't want him to get sued if he uses the permit that had the licensed contractors name on it. So I think you did answer my question, which is if my friend is not doing the work himself, then he needs to get a licensed contractor to do the work with his own name on the permit.

Termite 07-10-2008 09:24 PM

Right. Most cities will let the owner pull the permit. In the city I work for, the owner and contractor must each co-sign the permit.

If your friend hires an unlicensed contractor, he deserves whatever he gets. That's just asking for trouble in my experience.

Topdog 07-10-2008 09:25 PM

I'll tell him not to used the licensed contractor permit and to get a new contractor that is licensed with a new permit.


AtlanticWBConst. 07-11-2008 06:12 AM


Originally Posted by thekctermite (Post 138030)
....If your friend hires an unlicensed contractor, he deserves whatever he gets. That's just asking for trouble in my experience.

Along with this point:

The "friend" is simply trying to "save money" by hiring an unlicensed person.

Generally, unlicensed individuals perform licensed-required work, simply to "turn a buck". Thus, their main motivation is not, to do the job correctly, properly, and to code. If they were concerned with such important points, they would have the required license to do such work.

Regarding a person who hires an unlicensed person to do work that requires a license (and a city permit):

Will they save money? Yes. Will it be the same final results? No.

Will they get the same level of work, performed to code and safety protocol? No. (I see this all the time).

Will they get the same professionalism? Maybe, most likely not. (Professionals do things by "the book").

Will they get a quick call back, warranty, no charge repairs, were something to develop with an area in the project? No.

Will they have trustworthy, reliable people working on their homes, that possess and display a high regard for their property and personal belongings? No comment.

Will the the job even be completed? 50%, or more, of the time, the unlicensed "contractor" that is doing the licensed-required work, is inexperienced with larger scale projects, and ends up miss-pricing the work. Often, when the money is all gone, they dissappear.

Will the work be performed as required to cover manufacturer warranties, will installations be performed properly per code, so as to avoid leaks, sagging, or worse? If they are unlicensed, they have no obligation, nor concern, to obey the codes. Doing so, requires taking the extra time to install things properly and with the proper materials. This takes more time and costs more money. So why would they care about that (doing things properly), if they don't even care about about possessing the proper certifications and licensing, to do work on people's personal properties?

Is a Home Owner breaking the law, by not pulling a permit on work they are supposed to, and hiring an unlicensed person to do work that requires a license? Absolutely, Yes.

Termite 07-11-2008 07:50 AM


Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst. (Post 138088)
Is a Home Owner breaking the law, by not pulling a permit on work they are supposed to, and hiring an unlicensed person to do work that requires a license? Absolutely, Yes.

Where I work, getting caught without a permit will cost $500 and will get your project shut down until the permits are pulled and approved. Doesn't matter if it is a homeowner DIYer, a non-licensed contractor, or a licensed contractor. Failure to comply with the stop work order costs $1000 and lands you in municipal court. I catch non-permitted work on a very regular basis.

I always tell people that if their contractor resists getting a permit, they should send him down the road before contracting with him. That resistance is indicative of a lot of bad traits, as AtlanticWB effectively covered.

Topdog 07-11-2008 08:59 AM

Thanks for everyones input. I will have to tell him to just deal with the licensed contractor or he can take a chance with an unlicensed one and get fined out the A@@


Termite 07-11-2008 11:46 AM

The cost of the fines he might get if he gets caught will be insignificant compared to the cost of the damage or poor work that a hack contractor could do!

majakdragon 07-11-2008 12:31 PM

Regardless of who does the work, permits are needed. The latest trend in home buying is hiring a Home Inspector. (they even have their own TV shows) Even the most poorly trained inspector can detect additions or major renovations. This is something they use to justify the money paid to them. Buyers want a "paper trail" to prove all the work was done correctly and is safe. Too many people want both sides of the coin when doing home work. They want it as cheap as possible but also want a high return on that same work when selling. No permits are usually the first "savings" they see. Insurance companies also jump on the bandwagon when unpermitted work is the cause of damage to a home. Got to remember that they are not in business to pay out money.

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