Being lazy about a permitted project

Old 07-15-05, 05:32 AM
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Being lazy about a permitted project

Since the issue of pulling permits has been beaten to death, I have another permit related question regarding a situation I'm in with a project I never totally finished...

Last year, I think this was in March or February '04, I had planned on remodelling my basement to add a second kitchen because at the time my wife was interested in starting a business making truffles. I pulled permits for plumbing, electrical and mechanical for exhaust ventilation that would have gone over the stove.

I was up to the point of the rough inspection, which I had done and passed, when my wife changed her mind about the project... Not too big of a deal because I decided to just use the space for a workshop. This meant some scope changes to the project:

I never wound up doing any of the plumbing work... I presume this isn't a big deal since it means I pulled a permit for work that was never done. I also never got any ventilation installed, but I might do that for ventilating an area where I might do soldering or whatnot.

As for the electrical, I put up the drywall, but I haven't finished it nor did I ever get a final inspection.

Isn't there a timeframe on permits? What are the implications of not having the project finished within that time frame? What are the implications of having pulled the permit and getting a rough inspection, but not having gotten the final?

At this point, the project is on hold as I work on other projects, and really the room is just a place where I'm piling materials for other higher priority projects for now.
Old 07-15-05, 06:17 PM
Doug Aleshire's Avatar
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Your question cannot be answered here as you need to call your local Building officials for the correct answer.

I have found that permits can be good for 6 months up to 1 year (the latter being most common) and then you must get an extension if unfinished after that.

Good Luck!
Old 07-17-05, 09:57 AM
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to answer the last part of your question. If you allow a permit to expire normally all you have to do is resubmit drawings and pay for a new permit. If the codes have changed or the project has changed your drawings will have to include these upgrades or changes. It is formality unless your project somehow no longer meets planning criteria. You were correct that all jurisdictions have some time limit and like Doug said you will have to go check it out.

I hope this helps.

Brian Garrison
General Contractor/Professional Building Designer
Old 07-18-05, 08:06 AM
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It's always best to talk to the building dept. They may want a letter stating that you did not do the work & that the permit can be closed.

Scope changes can also often be accomplished w/a letter.

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