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Old 01-18-2017, 09:26 PM   #1
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Retro Permits for Basement Finish

Here's the quick and dirty:
House built in 2012 with partially finished 1800 sqft walkout basement (meaning, rough in plumbing, exterior walls drywalled & electrical outlets, basic light fixtures in unfinished ceiling)
Recently had the following work done or did the following work without permits in the walkout basement:
- framed interior walls to section off furnace room, a future bathroom, 2 closets and a rec room, and contractor drywalled what we framed.
- contractor also framed and drywalled main basement area ceiling.
- we installed drop ceiling in rec room
- No other areas have ceiling (no ceiling in closets, future bathroom or furnace room
- before ceilings were finished, we ran 40 recessed can lights in the basement ceiling, most of which are in drywall but some in drop ceiling
- the drywall ceiling has numerous access points because there are areas without finished ceilings such as furnace room

Yes, permits should have been pulled. NO, we should not have listened to everyone who told us not to bother. I want to call the city and get the permits now, especially considering we are only halfway through finishing basement (still want to do bathroom, hook up a basic sink for a bar, etc).

We believe all work was performed to code, and are in the process of triple checking that ourselves to make sure.

About getting retro permits: Does anyone have experience with these types of situations, and any helpful advice on how we should approach this?

Last edited by YepImNew; 01-18-2017 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 01-18-2017, 10:13 PM   #2
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Re: Retro Permits for Basement Finish

Easy. Call your permit office, tell them you had a small project that grew and got out of hand, but you stopped work because now you think you need a permit. Then ask him how the process works. I'm sure he'd be happy to help you.
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Old 01-20-2017, 06:54 AM   #3
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Re: Retro Permits for Basement Finish

Town inspection is checking for proper techniques but the fine print on the papers will tell you that they are in no way responsible for anything. As such, they may pass you on your word and without making you remove the drywall, but there is no guarantee. You may have to open the electricals for wire placements and grounds, etc. I was caught twice and I was able to finish with later inspections and fines. Going with the inspection pays off with building processes that you forgot.
Without the permit, and your house being fairly new and on record, selling later will catch you anyway. My house is old but the certificate of occupancy rules had to be satisfied and the town has min basic info on this house.
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basement code , basement electrical , basement finishing , permit state inspector , permits

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