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Old 11-13-2018, 09:03 AM   #16
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Re: How brutal have permits & inspections been for your DIY work?


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Originally Posted by friesbruh View Post
I remember when I used to armchair quarter back too

oh wait that's right .. i remember ....

because the guy who owned it BEFORE me, little did I know .... didnt take out a furnace permit. That is why they shut it off. Nothing hazardous whatsoever. Nothing unsafe. No smell of gas. No detectors going off. Just "no permit on file....." They did it in February. Now tell me they are "just there for safety." The guy who did it, actually my dad, is even HVAC certified w/his universal's.

Im just waiting for you to come back with, "Well I ALWAYS make my way down to the county office & check previous permits before I buy any real estate, even when everything works."

As for the water and electric, replacing water lines lines isnt something Im going to stop work and get permits for. I need water in my house. all code. pretty cut & dry there. And electric? good thing I took a good amount of pictures & remember intricately how I wired it.
Its always the risk you take not pulling permits...I agree with you that some permits are just silly. Fortunately my city is pretty reasonable and had ways to reduce the cost of my permits for things like outlets and lights. They have worked with me and honestly...the inspections were a joke. They walked down...looked left and right...and pretty much passed me right there. Now I bet they are use to seeing some really bad work so unless something tips them off they don't give it too much attention. For example if they see proper staple spacing and clean work they assume the rest was done well.

I pulled permits for my basement finish because I was worried based on horror stories I had read about certain inspectors requiring tear out. Unfortunately, nobody hear can guarantee yours won't be a jerk. In most cases I think all they will do is look at what they can see and make sure that's up to code. If they find big mistakes then they might require some tear out.
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Old 11-13-2018, 11:23 AM   #17
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Re: How brutal have permits & inspections been for your DIY work?


Oh Boy.......

From a theoretical standpoint, you have an interesting legal issue in regard to your 4th amendment rights of privacy. This plays out more often in regard to appraisal/assesment issues and a states right to entry and inspection of assesed properties.

From a practical standpoint, that's obviously not a likely argument to make.

I've seen the issue culminate in all directions.....dependent solely on the judgement of the local jurisdiction.

InTiburon Cali, unpermitted work is "reasonably" inspected for code infractions, corrections are required and permit fees are doubled.

But I have also seen/heard of, on permitted work where something has been covered up "accidentally" prior to an inspection, retrenching required to prove out depth of foundation.

Some jurisdictions will look at pictures, other inspectors will not consider such.... (issue occured where we could not get a timely inspection for a pour, and the inspector said sure, just give me some pictures.)

We had a city/county in Colorado that attempted to do inspections "on sale", and the public uproar was so great, they backed off.

(The truth is that much interior work is done without permitting... let's just talk honest... and every jurisdiction knows that is true....You're not the lone ranger.)

I would just be as amenable and polite, and likely apologetic as possible and hope for the reasonableness of the AHJ. I would also be sure your work area is clean and organized and looks organized/professional and be versed well on appropriate code matters/compliance. I assume it is your home and you are not acting in a commercial endeavor/capacity as a flipper, such that you might be able to explain that some preliminary repairs just turned into more extensive repairs.....

Good luck....

Hope you'll let us know how your county/city treats this issue..
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Last edited by MTN REMODEL LLC; 11-13-2018 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 11-13-2018, 01:31 PM   #18
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Re: How brutal have permits & inspections been for your DIY work?


I'm in Butler County Ohio as well. We had to have our gas water heater inspected after it was installed and didn't have any issues like that. I've called and talked with the county building inspectors on a couple of occasions, and they always seemed reasonable. May not be a bad idea to have some coffee and a variety of Holtman's donuts on hand when they come back.
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:36 PM   #19
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Re: How brutal have permits & inspections been for your DIY work?


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...but really, the inspector doesn't even go up on the roof to do an inspection?

We had a Lester Buildings pole barn erected, 30' x 40'. Inspector comes out to do the framing inspection. Get's out of his county "car" with his slip on "Croc's" shoes. No drawings in his hands, no ladder, and says "nice looking barn". Fills out the permit tag, hands it to me and leaves. He didn't actually look at anything.

I understand the need for permitting, but it needs to have some credibility.
The inspectors don't climb around on the roof here either. That's fine by me and the inspector. I don't want them falling off my roof and most of what they need to know can be assessed from the ground or from inside.
I've had an inspector come out for footings and take out the plans and a tape measure, then pause to ask who was doing the work. I guess my concrete guy was known to be competent because the inspector just signed off right there.
I generally don't mind if an inspector is going to look closely at what I'm doing but I realize that they've got other places to be and will often just look for the obvious signs that something is wrong. If you talk to them they'll sometimes tell you what those signs are. They really don't need to be there hovering over your shoulder through the whole build to know if you're doing it right or not. They're also not going to catch every mistake or judge quality even if they were there the whole time.
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Old 11-13-2018, 05:25 PM   #20
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Re: How brutal have permits & inspections been for your DIY work?


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. They really don't need to be there hovering over your shoulder through the whole build to know if you're doing it right or not. They're also not going to catch every mistake or judge quality even if they were there the whole time.
They're not going to catch anything... if they don't look at anything.
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Old 11-13-2018, 09:02 PM   #21
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Re: How brutal have permits & inspections been for your DIY work?


Ha, the precise reason we had 3 phase dropped to a pedestal outside a building rather than in the building. Yes, it is just a wonderful eyesore sitting 2ft from the building, but there is then no reason for a county official to be in the building. The breaker box and such are all outside and with the buried conduit, you cannot see where anything goes.

They inspected it, THEN about 1mo later they "forgot something" and needed to reinspect!!!! Right....... Just glad we had not touched it in those 30 days.
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Old 11-16-2018, 09:54 AM   #22
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Re: How brutal have permits & inspections been for your DIY work?


I've never had any permitting problems.

When I buy a house, the previous owner declares that all work has been permitted. I have an inspection (do it myself) and check for anything that's new to compare with county/city records. And, if there was ever a problem after the purchase, the previous owner is the one that gets sued - which could include temporary housing as well as a licensed contractor to complete the work.

And, when I've had any job to do, the inspectors have always been on time, informative and helpful.

Yes, if you do things out of sequence or do not understand the permitting sequence they can open walls, electric boxes, etc. to check. How else can they help keep you and your family alive?

It's really not that they are trying to give you a hard time (and I will admit that some of them will have an attitude - but they can only enforce code even if they are rude about it).

Last edited by Domo; 11-16-2018 at 10:03 AM. Reason: I had a bad word choice.
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:16 AM   #23
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Re: How brutal have permits & inspections been for your DIY work?


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Originally Posted by MTN REMODEL LLC View Post
Oh Boy.......

From a theoretical standpoint, you have an interesting legal issue in regard to your 4th amendment rights of privacy. This plays out more often in regard to appraisal/assesment issues and a states right to entry and inspection of assesed properties.

From a practical standpoint, that's obviously not a likely argument to make.

I've seen the issue culminate in all directions.....dependent solely on the judgement of the local jurisdiction.

InTiburon Cali, unpermitted work is "reasonably" inspected for code infractions, corrections are required and permit fees are doubled.

But I have also seen/heard of, on permitted work where something has been covered up "accidentally" prior to an inspection, retrenching required to prove out depth of foundation.

Some jurisdictions will look at pictures, other inspectors will not consider such.... (issue occured where we could not get a timely inspection for a pour, and the inspector said sure, just give me some pictures.)

We had a city/county in Colorado that attempted to do inspections "on sale", and the public uproar was so great, they backed off.

(The truth is that much interior work is done without permitting... let's just talk honest... and every jurisdiction knows that is true....You're not the lone ranger.)

I would just be as amenable and polite, and likely apologetic as possible and hope for the reasonableness of the AHJ. I would also be sure your work area is clean and organized and looks organized/professional and be versed well on appropriate code matters/compliance. I assume it is your home and you are not acting in a commercial endeavor/capacity as a flipper, such that you might be able to explain that some preliminary repairs just turned into more extensive repairs.....

Good luck....

Hope you'll let us know how your county/city treats this issue..
Not sure you can state it any better.

I've had 'many' inspections on my work. But I've always had permits....and did exactly what the inspector said.

Just finished my last inspection....as in, I doubt we will ever pull any more permits. I'm done with the house (permit wise).

And should I ever sell? I have no worries if the new potential owners check on all the permits....all improvements are permitted.....
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Old 11-17-2018, 12:30 PM   #24
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Re: How brutal have permits & inspections been for your DIY work?


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Not sure you can state it any better.

I've had 'many' inspections on my work. But I've always had permits....and did exactly what the inspector said.

Just finished my last inspection....as in, I doubt we will ever pull any more permits. I'm done with the house (permit wise).

And should I ever sell? I have no worries if the new potential owners check on all the permits....all improvements are permitted.....
By definition, if you've completed your last project on the house it MUST be time to sell. My DW and I moved into a house in 2000 - did it all, replaced roof, tiled, landscaped, both baths, etc. etc - 8 years later the final work on the kitchen remodel was completed AND WE PUT IT ON THE MARKET AND SOLD IT IN A WEEK SO WE COULD GO FULL TIME RVING! Hilarious how our thoughts changed from wanting/needing a "pretty house" to one that doesn't stop rolling!
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Old 11-17-2018, 03:09 PM   #25
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Re: How brutal have permits & inspections been for your DIY work?


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By definition, if you've completed your last project on the house it MUST be time to sell. My DW and I moved into a house in 2000 - did it all, replaced roof, tiled, landscaped, both baths, etc. etc - 8 years later the final work on the kitchen remodel was completed AND WE PUT IT ON THE MARKET AND SOLD IT IN A WEEK SO WE COULD GO FULL TIME RVING! Hilarious how our thoughts changed from wanting/needing a "pretty house" to one that doesn't stop rolling!
No way......after all the work I put into it? I'm going to enjoy it.....
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