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Old 12-01-2019, 07:28 PM   #16
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Re: Value of permits?


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Originally Posted by MTN REMODEL LLC View Post
I believe permits can have significant value in the sale process.

Some buyers/realtors will check to see if various permits were pulled, and it can be comforting to a buyer that ad-hoc DIY work was not done.

Also, if you are not knowledgeable about the work being done, it can be a good value to have the third party inspector on board.

But let's face it, alot of work is done without permits and some permitting requirements are sometimes pretty petty.....changing kitchen cabinets...????

I hear of a lot of concern over insurance companies denying insurance on unpermitted work....I hear about it on here....but I've never heard of an actual experience by anyone.
I've heard of instances in this area of people who, when selling their house, had to demo drywall in finished basements to expose everything concealed because they didn't get a permit. Elec, plumbing etc... would have to go too unless a permit was pulled & inspection process completed
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:35 PM   #17
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Re: Value of permits?


When I worked in the building dept permit fee was doubled if it was discovered a HO didnít pull a permit. How was it discovered? Once an anonymous caller who said ďI was turned in so Iím reporting someone working on weekend with no permitĒ. Another time it was a builder who'd bid a job but didnít get it who turned HO in.
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Old 12-01-2019, 10:44 PM   #18
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Re: Value of permits?


I lived in Fullerton, CA long enough to have the roof replace 3 times. Required a permit each time since the inspector wanted to see the decking and also wanted to see the required fire extinguisher on site, its size and date code.

When I moved, it cost me over $4k to get the room addition I bootlegged on inspected and passed before escrow would close. I also had to pay back taxes for the amount they should have gotten for the increase in value from date of completion of the addition. I had to do some serious talking to convince the inspector that I was a world class construction expert to keep from having to open the walls. I described in minute detail how I did each step and he finally let me slide.
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Old 12-01-2019, 11:48 PM   #19
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Re: Value of permits?


Here a permit is required for roofing. Sometimes they inspect, but usually they just check to be sure the contractor is insured. The law says an inspection must be done, but it goes back to my previous discussion about lazy inspectors.
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:46 PM   #20
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Re: Value of permits?


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Originally Posted by MTN REMODEL LLC View Post

But let's face it, alot of work is done without permits and some permitting requirements are sometimes pretty petty.....changing kitchen cabinets...????

Ya no kidding. Our township uses building permits as a source or revenue; fees are about double that of surrounding townships. I believe we need a permit for roofing but am not sure and even if we do, I've never seen one. I have heard that we need a permit to pave/pour a driveway because the bottom x metres is on their property. Again, can't say I've seen it.
I get some of their strict rules. We are very sandy here and underbuilt structures can fail more easily. Also, our septic inspections and pumping rules are pretty strict. Again, sand and lots of old systems on very small lots right up against the Great Lakes. But some of them don't seem to make sense from a non-revenue perspective.
The one thing that originally made me upset when we had our deck re-built was the need for a demolition permit. I thought 'serious, I need a permit to tear down the old one', then it was explained to me that it offsets any change is assessed value - the new deck wasn't an addition, it was an upgrade. Made sense.

I have a non-permitted shed - came with the house (at least I think it non-permitted. If there was a permit the inspector should be fired). I didn't care when I bought the place and neither did our insurance company.
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Old Yesterday, 12:32 PM   #21
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Re: Value of permits?


I've done work without a permit when it wouldn't be obvious that changes had been made. Otherwise, I've gotten permits, and still had problems come back to bite me. We used to have an inspector (small town with a one-man building department) who was very easy to work with. He would let minor infractions slide as long as they didn't impact safety. When he retired, we got one who was a stickler for details - more concerned with the letter of the law than with the intent. He has made me go back and change some things even though I could show that the previous inspector had already signed off on them. Being a one-man-show, there is no way to appeal his rulings.
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Old Yesterday, 02:37 PM   #22
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Re: Value of permits?


It depends entirely on where you live. In the city of Carmel in California it is required to get a permit to change out a garbage disposal. In the county of Monterey it is quite different. I pulled permits for my solar system installation and it had to be signed off by an inspector and also by the fire department (roof access requirements).

With the example given of enlarging a doorway the person to check with is a structural engineer or a certified architect. In California the architects state exam includes load calculation ability and so a licensed architect can do the necessary load calc. What is also different now in California is the need to have structural changes reviewed with regard to how they might weaken a structure in the event of an earthquake.

After the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake the local building department held builders making repairs to damaged homes to a much higher standard than builders of new home which shows a degree of institutional insanity or ignorance. Most homes in California are not designed or built to hold up with a major earthquake and so the building codes do not really provide adequate protection.

With the 25% or greater deductible with earthquake insurance I believe it is better to put ones money into making the structure stronger and going without quake insurance in California.

One thing to keep in mind is that you pay twice for a permit. It cost you when you take out the permit and it is probably going to change the valuation of your house and increase your property taxes in every year going forward.

I make sure that all work on my house is done to code or better than code. But I appreciate the need for the building codes to try to minimize shoddy and dangerous work done by contractors. Many examples of damage caused as a result of deck builders and plumbers and electricians taking shortcuts. It is part of the reason I always contract on a time and materials basis so if something unexpected happens or becomes known then the contractor is not going to feel like they need to protect their profit by altering what they do or the materials that they use. I also buy most of the materials to be used as I can afford to take more time and get the best and not rely 100% on what is available at the local Home Depot.
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Old Yesterday, 02:46 PM   #23
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Re: Value of permits?


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It depends entirely on where you live. In the city of Carmel in California it is required to get a permit to change out a garbage disposal.
I've heard it said that when we die we should hope that we go to Carmel. Now I'm not so sure!
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Old Yesterday, 06:50 PM   #24
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Re: Value of permits?


For residential properties, I can think of 4 reasons to get a permit.

1) if you are increasing the living area square footage of your house, you will want a permit so that you can count the increased square footage for value.

2) For safety - anything having to do with electrical done wrong can kill you, anything having to do with structural can injure or even kill you or do damage to your property or others, plumbing issues can result in major damage, and HVAC combines several of these (often including gas).

3) To comply with the law and reduce your liability (including when you sell your house.)

4) Some things are easy to do right at the current state of the project, and difficult later. If you make a mistake with wiring or plumbing for example, taking up tile, concrete, or walls is a big deal if you realize you did something wrong.


If those aren't a concern for you, you probably don't need a permit.
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Old Today, 01:51 PM   #25
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Re: Value of permits?


Responding to the original post: Permits, when required, are not optional. I don't think anybody on here is going to tell you it's okay to have your own "rules" for when a permit is required, which seems to be what you're fishing for.

Your relevant municipality (e.g., for me, I have to follow the county's rules) should have information online explaining when a permit is and isn't required. The rules may seem onerous, but the hassle of following them greatly outweighs the potential consequences of not following them.

If a contractor tries to do a job without pulling a permit (and a permit is required for said job), fire him. That's sketchy as ****. If a contractor asks YOU to pull the permit, fire him. That's a red flag that he's not licensed. (Where I am, both of those things are also illegal. By law, pulling the permit is unequivocally the contractor's responsibility).

Also... it looks like you DIY'd a furnace? Without a permit? (I've only skimmed this thread, sorry if I'm missing something). You at least get credit for ballsiness. Especially if it's gas (unless you happen to be properly licenced), that may have been just flat-out illegal (as in by statute, not just local permitting regulations).
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