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Old 01-20-2014, 12:45 PM   #1
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Why get a permit?


1. Why is it necessary to file for a permit?
A permit will insure that you meet certain criteria and safety concerns in relation to:
  • Zoning requirements
  • Environmental (waste, water systems, and run off)
  • Building codes
  • Electrical codes
  • Mechanical codes
  • Have a record of your renovation/addition/or building project to show the bank, insurance company and future homeowners that there was a permit pulled and the work was deemed safe for the dwelling and done according to current codes.
Should a homeowner pull a permit for a contractor or "friend" to do the work?
I cringe when I hear that a homeowner has pulled a building permit. Homeowners do not consider the responsibility that goes along with pulling the permit and do not really think things through before doing so.
Here's the bad news:

1. If a "weekend" worker is hurt on your property, you are liable. If you hire a company, their workers are required to be covered by worker's compensation insurance (at least in Massachusetts).

2. You cannot avail yourself of the benefits of the Home Improvement Arbitration Program or the Guaranty Fund.

3. If your work causes damage to your neighbor's property, you are liable.

4. If you cause damage to your own property, your own insurance may be less inclined to cover the damage (although most insurance does not cover damage due to defective work).

5. You are responsible if your work is not up to code.

6. You are the "general contractor" and will need to coordinate the subcontractors.


Knock Knock Building inspector at your door....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=p9_zn9mFEwg

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Old 01-20-2014, 03:29 PM   #2
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Why get a permit?


Quote:
I cringe when I hear that a homeowner has pulled a building permit. Homeowners do not consider the responsibility that goes along with pulling the permit and do not really think things through before doing so.
Well, in my case I must respectfully disagree. Years ago, my wife and I owned a log home we had built by a contractor. Since then, we had always wanted another one, and to build it outselves. Starting in late 2008, that's what we did. I am a (now) retired engineer and my wife an elementary school art teacher, but we have a wealth of DIY experience. Only three subs were used: foundation, HVAC, and metal roof. We pulled the permit and the two of us did all the rest of the work with a little help from some of the kids. To cover the project, we had a builder's risk policy. Got our occupancy certificate a couple of years ago. Nobody got hurt, and we never failed an inspection. Only problem: the wife now wants an addition.

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Old 01-20-2014, 05:29 PM   #3
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Why get a permit?


Darn, no popcorn. This should get interesting.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:58 PM   #4
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Why get a permit?


In my neck of the woods you must get a permit and inspections for structural and other work. If you don't and you get caught you will get a cease work order and a fine double the amount of the original permit cost. Also, you will have the inspector up your you-know-what for the rest of your project and any future jobs. Once you're on his bad side you tend to stay there.
Also, If you ever had an insurance claim due to fire, flood, structural damage, etc and there was evidence of un permitted work, good luck collecting.
And then there's peace of mind. God forbid someone gets hurt or killed due to a fire, sewer gas, carbon monoxide, or any other problem that might have been caught during an inspection.
Of course there are also quality concerns. How is your fire blocking, air sealing, insulation, energy loads, ingress and egress accessibility, and about a hundred other things.
I for one, welcome the inspection process. I like knowing that other building professionals are checking my work on your house. You should welcome it too.

Last edited by Davejss; 01-20-2014 at 10:21 PM. Reason: Needed editing due to editing reasons, and to edit.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:07 PM   #5
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Why get a permit?


Well....it's pretty simple.....

No permit? And I'm thinking of buying your house?

How do I know those modifications were done correctly?

I don't.....so I walk and get all of my down payment back....or talk down the price.

And If I'm a nice guy if I walk....I don't report you to the building and safety.

The internet is FULL of horror stories of DIY hacks done without permit.

But...hey....do what you want....I just wont buy your house.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:23 PM   #6
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Why get a permit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
Well....it's pretty simple.....

No permit? And I'm thinking of buying your house?

How do Iknow those modifications were done correctly?

I don't.....so I walk and get all of my down payment back....or talk down the price.

And If I'm a nice guy if I walk....I don't report you to the building and safety.

The internet is FULL of horror stories of DIY hacks done without permit.

But...hey....do what you want....I just wont buy your house.
Not to argue the point, because I agree for the most part (there are some silly things around here that require a permit that I really think 75% of the general population should be and probably are capable of doing themselves.....)

but, there is a mess of "upgrades" and other things that i've been finding around my house that obviously weren't inspected or even done to code to begin with. With that in mind, this was a foreclosure, so the following may not apply, but had I noticed these things in advance, I doubt I would have had any leverage on the sale. Besides, it was a rental before I moved into it, so it's possible many of these upgrades were made by tenants, and i'd have no road to go down anyway.

Anyway, I got a great price on it, and we love it. In the end, that's what really matters to me. Everything is fixable.

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