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Old 11-10-2011, 07:21 AM   #16
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no permit replumb?


here the permit is to be sure you properly tied it down.

No body gets permits here and nobody ties them down,,,just a fact of life. I have same question on replacing galvinized with pex, Plumbers do a lousy job,,,have to fix the last botched pro job,

Nobody gets permits here and selling the house permits are a non issue like elsewhere on the coasts. So do I need a permit to pex a house??? I like other poster have used pex in other apps without that proverbial first drip

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Old 11-10-2011, 08:07 AM   #17
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Can you clarify that, because that seems pretty far-fetched.

I'm not chiming in, supporting the Amish, but I doubt that the permit fee changes due to who is providing something.
It's a joke, man.
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:52 AM   #18
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It's a joke, man.
Okey Dokey. My lack of early-morning coffee was obviously showing!
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:47 AM   #19
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There are two major issues with un-permitted work: safety, and potential requirement to upgrade previously done work to standards satisfactory to the local "Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), which is usually the local building department.

Safety issues are most likely to be raised by homeowner modifications to electrical and heating systems, but can involve almost any aspect of the building, for example I frequently see incorrect attachments of homeowner built decks to houses, and failure of such attachments is by far the most common cause of deck and porch collapses.

The second problem includes the fact that responsibility to correct un-permitted work falls upon the current owner of a property, even if they are not the ones who did the work, or had done. Also, the AHJ may require that work be brought up not only to the standard required at the time the work was done, but to current standards, which are sometimes more stringent and more expensive to meet.

So if (for example) 10 years ago your next door neighbor pulled a permit and had an new electrical service panel installed, and the same week previous owner of your house took up an electrician on his offer to "save them some money" by installing a similar panel without a permit, and the AHJ becomes aware of the fact, your neighbor's panel can remain as is, but if the AHJ is enforcing the latest version of the electrical code, they may require you to install an expensive arc fault interrupter circuit breakers on every 120V outlet circuit.

For this reason whenever I spot potential un-permitted work at home inspection (which is often possible), I recommend my clients do a permit search (these are public records) with regard to the suspect work, unless the permit clerk is asleep at the switch they are likely to ask why the search is being done, and it's possible a local inspector will come knocking on the seller's door.
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:11 AM   #20
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no permit replumb?


^^ I am sure that you are an honest, above-the board, and exceptional inspector. But honestly, my experience with several inspectors has been less than stellar. Not all of them, mind you, but several.


For instance, a couple years ago one of my sons was trying to buy a house in Minneapolis. It became immediately apparent that the first priority of the "inspector" was to make sure that he had to come back and re-inspect the house at least once, each time charging an extra $400 per visit. In the end, the bozo help up the closing by almost 2 months.

He flagged such public menaces as a torn screen on a couple windows. But he somehow failed to notice a (literally) 2 square foot hole in the roof, even though there was serious water damage in the dining room immediately beneath it. He failed to notice that the front entry door was missing the dead-bolt. He failed to notice that the kitchen sink drain was plumbed incorrectly, and was leaking. He failed to notice that the block wall was COVERED with mold behind one "finished" basement wall. He failed to notice that all the gutters on the house drained away from the down spouts - but by god he caught and flagged the chipped paint on one of them!

I could go on... Needless to say, I reported him. And needless to say, I don't have a very high view of inspectors. Unfortunately, too many of our bad biases spill over onto good inspectors like you.

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Old 11-10-2011, 11:35 AM   #21
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no permit replumb?


Less than competent inspectors are a very real problem.
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:38 AM   #22
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Can you clarify that, because that seems pretty far-fetched.

I'm not chiming in, supporting the Amish, but I doubt that the permit fee changes due to who is providing something.
The Amish are worse then the Mafia. They wait in hiding behind the billboards and then run you down with their carraiges.
Honest.
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:41 AM   #23
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Less than competent inspectors are a very real problem.
So... On a practical basis, what can be done about it?

Where I used to live in Minnesota, the building inspector (granted, this is a little different job) was known by everybody as a capricious pain in the butt. On one job he'd make them tear out all the drywall simply because they had 1 or 2 too few screws per sheet. On the next job he might not even look at the drywall. It was crazy. Everyone despised the guy, and did their best to not have to deal with him. And THAT led to lots of people simply refusing to pull permits.

Is there some positive and productive way to deal with that kind of nonsense?
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:44 AM   #24
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The Amish are worse then the Mafia. They wait in hiding behind the billboards and then run you down with their carraiges.
Honest.
Smarta**!

Man, I need to get a little coffee in the veins and read more closely, before I post stuff on here at 6:00 AM!
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:15 PM   #25
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There are two major issues with un-permitted work: safety, and potential requirement to upgrade previously done work to standards satisfactory to the local "Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), which is usually the local building department.

Safety issues are most likely to be raised by homeowner modifications to electrical and heating systems, but can involve almost any aspect of the building, for example I frequently see incorrect attachments of homeowner built decks to houses, and failure of such attachments is by far the most common cause of deck and porch collapses.

The second problem includes the fact that responsibility to correct un-permitted work falls upon the current owner of a property, even if they are not the ones who did the work, or had done. Also, the AHJ may require that work be brought up not only to the standard required at the time the work was done, but to current standards, which are sometimes more stringent and more expensive to meet.

So if (for example) 10 years ago your next door neighbor pulled a permit and had an new electrical service panel installed, and the same week previous owner of your house took up an electrician on his offer to "save them some money" by installing a similar panel without a permit, and the AHJ becomes aware of the fact, your neighbor's panel can remain as is, but if the AHJ is enforcing the latest version of the electrical code, they may require you to install an expensive arc fault interrupter circuit breakers on every 120V outlet circuit.

For this reason whenever I spot potential un-permitted work at home inspection (which is often possible), I recommend my clients do a permit search (these are public records) with regard to the suspect work, unless the permit clerk is asleep at the switch they are likely to ask why the search is being done, and it's possible a local inspector will come knocking on the seller's door.
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boy they really have you drinking the kool-aid.
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:37 PM   #26
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boy they really have you drinking the kool-aid.
I have a really, really large collection of photographs of the actually hazardous defects I have encountered as a result of incompetent work, some of it permitted, some of it not - things like furnaces and hot water heaters venting directly into attics, second-floor doors in children's bedrooms that open to the exterior with nothing below them, garages converted into bedrooms with haphazard wiring and inadequate provision for emergency egress, limestone copings atop parapet walls which are incorrectly installed, have come loose, have been moved by the wind, and ready to fall several stories onto the sidewalk below, deck and ledgers which are being held in place by a few partially withdrawn nails, porches with floors which have been tiled, resulting in a doubling or tripling of their weight, with failing ledger attachments and supports... the list goes on and on, as the saying goes "the difference between genius and stupidity is that even the greatest genius has its limits".

There is no guarantee that overworked municipal inspectors are going to catch this stuff, but it certainly improves your chances.
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:01 PM   #27
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please cite just ONE example of this.

I have never heard of or seen this happen. ( I am referring to PROPER work, done without permits....not substandard work that led to a loss).

Permits do not exist for insurance reasons AT ALL. they serve ONLY 2 purposes: Tax collection, public safety (mrs. oleary's cow).
The insurance company is unlikely to become aware of such a situation unless there's a substantial loss, however when such losses occur, insurance companies have been known to deny coverage.

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At for the likelihood that an AHJ will make you remove or correct non- permitted work, I think this varies quite a bit by location.

I can tell you that's a very real possibility here, a few years ago, at the property across the street, the city made the owner tear down an un-permitted two-story garage because the foundation had been poured 6 inches too close to the adjacent lot line (the neighbor had called the city in the first place, as a result of some dispute between them).

The owner did rebuild, but he had to knock out the foundation wall on the side adjacent lot line, pour a new wall at required setback, and then rebuild a smaller garage on the reduced side foundation.

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Somewhere up thread somebody says that a building inspector required a drywall tear-out because the drywall didn't meet the nailing schedule.

I strongly suspect that there's more to the story than we are hearing, because it should have been possible to add additional nails or screws if required - when I see an AHJ demand this, it's usually because no pre-drywall inspection of the plumbing and electrical had been performed.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:34 PM   #28
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no permit replumb?


Here are a couple of examples of failure to 'think' power proving trips of inspectors. IF common sense was employed and the principle of rounding or averaging ,,,,at least IF it was public safety at stake,,,I understand,,,these I am not so sure altho my professional carpenter screwed it up,,,,and I got to tear it ALL out and redo it.

You tell me what did the following have to do with health and safety???

1. first was bath had 14 and 1/2 inches on each side of center of stool to wall,,,,so required to tear out whole walls of bathroom and reframe etc to provide NEEDED 15" on each side of center.(now if someones fanny fits in 15" it will fit somehow in 14 1/2 OR dont rent my house,,,find a bathroom with 8 FOOT of fanny space!!!!.

2. Pro carpenter botched steps to new basement badly. Had 6" rise and 9" rise on same steps,,,,I get that needs changed,,,cause it makes me,,an old fart,, trip going up and down,,,it WAS bad!!! Side wall to stairs 2 to 3 " out of plumb,,,I get that,,,just not right, needs fixed.

BUT here is the zinger. the TOP of the stairs was framed at 36 and 5/8",,,so that IF I put half inch drywall on both walls I dont have 36" minimum ,,,,by a whooping 3/8"(on top only)( bottom of stairs okay),,,result have to tear them 'all' out and rebuild,,,its done now but took substantial time and expense. How did he know I wasnt using 1/4" paneling on each side,,,and still have 36" space????

Overzealous,,,definitly. Give me a 'what are you thinking and a health and safety reason and I would go to end of earth to comply,,,but use the excuse of the permit to 'inspect' ALL facets of a house and requiring ALL compliance with new code just because one little remodel change permit. They use any excuse to get into a pre 1970's house with the intent to condem it and get it torn down. They WANT all 80's and newer houses in town only!!!! THAT gets my ire roused!!!!! So result is no body gets permits if they can help it!!!!Sometimes even the pros who know better
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:52 AM   #29
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Here are a couple of examples of failure to 'think' power proving trips of inspectors. IF common sense was employed and the principle of rounding or averaging ,,,,at least IF it was public safety at stake,,,I understand,,,these I am not so sure altho my professional carpenter screwed it up,,,,and I got to tear it ALL out and redo it.

You tell me what did the following have to do with health and safety???

1. first was bath had 14 and 1/2 inches on each side of center of stool to wall,,,,so required to tear out whole walls of bathroom and reframe etc to provide NEEDED 15" on each side of center.(now if someones fanny fits in 15" it will fit somehow in 14 1/2 OR dont rent my house,,,find a bathroom with 8 FOOT of fanny space!!!!.

2. Pro carpenter botched steps to new basement badly. Had 6" rise and 9" rise on same steps,,,,I get that needs changed,,,cause it makes me,,an old fart,, trip going up and down,,,it WAS bad!!! Side wall to stairs 2 to 3 " out of plumb,,,I get that,,,just not right, needs fixed.

BUT here is the zinger. the TOP of the stairs was framed at 36 and 5/8",,,so that IF I put half inch drywall on both walls I dont have 36" minimum ,,,,by a whooping 3/8"(on top only)( bottom of stairs okay),,,result have to tear them 'all' out and rebuild,,,its done now but took substantial time and expense. How did he know I wasnt using 1/4" paneling on each side,,,and still have 36" space????

Overzealous,,,definitly. Give me a 'what are you thinking and a health and safety reason and I would go to end of earth to comply,,,but use the excuse of the permit to 'inspect' ALL facets of a house and requiring ALL compliance with new code just because one little remodel change permit. They use any excuse to get into a pre 1970's house with the intent to condem it and get it torn down. They WANT all 80's and newer houses in town only!!!! THAT gets my ire roused!!!!! So result is no body gets permits if they can help it!!!!Sometimes even the pros who know better
First, you need understand that I'm a private inspector ("Home Inspector") not a municipal inspector, and unlike some home inspectors I don't think of my job as power a trip. I would agree that property inspection in general, and especially code inspections by the local authority having jurisdiction, has a tendency to attract "authoritarian" personalities, and that some of them can be pretty arbitrary as well, and there are indeed some home inspectors of this type - and one of the paradoxes is that this kind of personality is often coupled with an obsessive attention to detail, and that one thing that you do want in an inspector (at least if you want a comprehensive list of everything that's wrong with a property).

I report dozens of defects at a typical inspection, I know my clients have only a limited amount of money correct them if they choose to buy the property, and I try and do everything I can to ensure that those repairs are going to be prioritized so that significant health and safety issues are at the top of the list - if nothing else, I would like to limit my liability even if my clients priorities are different from those that I think a reasonable. And as the longer you do this job the better you get at it (at least under terms of your ability to identify defects) you were going to this awful lot of real estate agents, sellers, and occasionally even buyers would prefer not to know what they're buying.

-----------

As for your stair inspection, I think I can make a reasonable guess as to what was going through the inspector's mind when he saw a newly constructed staircase with walls 3" out of plumb and a 3" variation in rise:

"Oh man, THIS **** again.

"Pro carpenter" my ***... what Bozo built these POS stairs?"!

Or that at least I know some version of that is going through my mind (but not between my lips) what I encounter this sort of stuff - for starters I'm really torqued off that some incompetent jackass had the nerve to take a homeowners money to do this sort of work, because I know that either he doesn't even realize how bad the work is, or even worse in the back of his mind is the conviction that "It's good enough for who it was done for".

So of course the AHJ is going to demand that staircase be torn out, and that while you are at it, it be done to code.

Now, what's "to code"?

If you hire me to attempt to to work with the building department to get this stairway into compliance, I'm going to try and get them to be reasonable - which may or may not be possible.

For example the code does not have a requirement for the clear with width between the staircase framing, what it does have is a requirement (R311.5.1) for the clear width of the finished stairwell, which in turn is going to be determined by the clear width between code compliant framing at each side of the stairwell.

So if the rest of the stairwell framing is compliant, it may be possible to get the AHJ to allow the use of .25" drywall to provide the required minimum 36 inch clear width between the finished surfaces on each side of the stairwell.

However... if the walls of the stairwell are already "2 to 3 inches out of plumb" (!), that framing is going to have to go, and the AHJ may "require" that the clear width between the framing allows for .50" drywall - and may well feel that they are doing you a favor by "enforcing" this (nonexistent, as far as the code is concerned) "requirement" so that the next "pro carpenter" will not screw up in the same way!

As for the clearance on either side of the toilet, the ability to get the AHJ to accept a lesser clearance is going to depend on their subjective judgment.

.0625" (1/16)... well, that's almost a "measurement error", and there's a pretty good chance you could get them to live with that. .25"? or more, Then you get into the situation of "OK, how much error do you expect me to accept? I have to draw the line somewhere, you know."

And if you think they're just being a jerk about it, remember that every day they talking to contractors and homeowners who are telling them that stuff like the installation below is "good enough" - and that this tends to get a little.... "annoying"... after about the hundredth time:
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no permit replumb?-toilet-clearance-handle-.jpg  
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Last edited by Michael Thomas; 11-11-2011 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:01 AM   #30
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Somewhere up thread somebody says that a building inspector required a drywall tear-out because the drywall didn't meet the nailing schedule.

I strongly suspect that there's more to the story than we are hearing, because it should have been possible to add additional nails or screws if required - when I see an AHJ demand this, it's usually because no pre-drywall inspection of the plumbing and electrical had been performed.
I'm the one who mentioned that, and did so because it's true.

As with most professions, some home inspectors are complete dicks. Obviously not all, but some.

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