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Hermi14 03-12-2013 10:41 AM

Columbus Ohio Basement Full Bathroom -Post-Construction Compliance
  • In 2010 I hired a friend and his father who is a licensed HVAC person to install a full bathroom in the basement of my owner-occupied 1928 single family home.
  • Ran out of money after bathroom mostly completed, but vents had not yet been installed. They pulled no permits for plumbing or electrical, though they attempted to follow code.
  • 2011 hired a licensed contractor to do finish work on the rest of the basement. She pulled no permits, either for the small electrical she did. She hired some floor tilers (which will become relevant later).
  • 2011 hired guy to add large basement egress window well with double sliding glass doors. He did pull permit.
  • My basement floor drain backed up, determined that 80' of main clay tile in backyard needed replaced. Hired guy who pulled permits, completed work.
  • Basement shower backed up 6 mos later. Discovered rocks that appear to be grout in the main PVC pipe under basement floor. My theory is that the disturbance caused by exploration of main sewer problem kicked up the rocks.
  • Some rocks were removed by professional plumber, but one rock remains in critical location where the Y from bathroom group meets the main PVC pipe.
  • Contractor who hired tilers claims it's not grout, but I'm 99% sure it is. Regardless, I do not want to work with her again.
  • Licensed plumber who looked at bathroom plumbing says the laundry pipe now has to be increased to 3" and I can't get grandfathered since I didn't have permits in the first place. Since laundry drains through part of bathroom group, this means either re-routing laundry drain or increasing size of part of bathroom group.
  • Here are my options:
  • Friend whose father did the bathroom is willing to do work to fix the rock problem without digging and also install vents. I don't think he can pull permit b/c he is HVAC, not a licensed plumber. Also, there is the problem that the work has already been done and we didn't get permits before.
  • Licensed plumber is working up estimates for digging. He used to be an inspector himself. I will be lucky if it's less than $5k. He will pull permits and will effectively be certifying what is there.
  • I don't plan to move for at least another five years.
  • I want to get it certified, but I am flat broke at this point and will be maxing out my credit with the $5k. It seems like it might be easiest to have HVAC guy fix and then deal with permits/inspection in five years if/when I sell.
  • Thoughts? What if I have HVAC guy do the vent and remove the rock, and then apply for a permit and get it inspected, pay any fine arising from the work having already been done? If it is up to code, would they care that it was not a licensed plumber who did it?

md2lgyk 03-12-2013 01:00 PM

Why in the world would you use an HVAC guy and tilers to do plumbing and electrical?? Would you have your auto mechanic do brain surgery on you?? There are so many things wrong with what you're done I don't know where to begin. You'll be lucky if the inspector doesn't make you tear everything out and start over.

Hermi14 03-12-2013 03:27 PM

Why Not Hire Licensed Specialists?
Good questions. I didn't really realize that he wasn't a plumber or that he was supposed to have permits (or vents). I was a single foster mom (now adoptive, soon to be partnered mom). I did not have tilers do anything but tile (they were hired/subcontracted by the second contractor). They actually did an excellent job on the bathroom and it was working fine until the disturbance caused by the rooting activity that took place while exploring the outside sewer main problem. Actually I think the fact that the licensed plumber (from a large, well-established company and as I said a former inspector himself) is willing to fix it and have it inspected is testimony to the fact that on the whole it is a sound system. Believe me, I have learned from this. I think I'm going to have the HVAC guy do the digging, and nothing else. Both of the "contractors" are (or were) friends, BTW. Never again!

jaydevries 03-12-2013 06:34 PM

if rock is removed and vents added and everything works you are in good shape. if wash machine drain works for the next 5 years you live there than you are good. if a tax appraiser audits your house you will get in trouble for not pulling permits due to them not knowing that they could have raised your taxes when you did the improvements.
when you sell the house and everything works the odds are they are not going to look and see if permits were pulled and if the buyer does just might have to find new buyer? :thumbup:
unless the permit or tax office has employees that are looking at every house for sale and then pulling up all permits that were pulled for that house i would say you are ok :thumbsup:

Ghostmaker 03-12-2013 06:57 PM

I especially love the no permit for electrical.... I would always trust my electric work to the furnace guy....

Hope you have no bad fires.

jagans 03-12-2013 07:11 PM

Forget the permits.

"Basement shower backed up 6 mos later. Discovered rocks that appear to be grout in the main PVC pipe under basement floor. My theory is that the disturbance caused by exploration of main sewer problem kicked up the rocks."

Rocks dont "Appear to be grout" Rocks are rocks, and clumps of grout are clumps of grout.
If the tile guys screwed up and let mud go down your drain lines, or more probably washed mud down your drain lines and plugged them up, then it is up to them to clear the blockage, not you. Get the proof and show them, then hand them the bill, keep the proof and sue them in small claims court.

You are being shoved around because you are a woman, and that really pisses me off.

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