Permit to frame/stud out basement....

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  #1  
Old 12-02-07, 08:46 AM
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Permit to frame/stud out basement....

Do you think it is 'wise' to get a permit to have someone stud out my basement? I wanted to avoid the hassles and any possible tax increases, since I pay too much the way it is. Any recommendations? I was going to have someone stud it out and the rest, plumbing, electrical, etc., I wil have someone I know do it...
 
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  #2  
Old 12-02-07, 02:04 PM
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We almost lost a house sale because the buyers home inspector claimed our basement finish was out of code, would have to be totally demolished and redone, to the tune of at least $15k.

I wanted to see the look on his face when our realtor showed him the final inspection approval notice.

We learned our lesson the easy way - we ALWAYS permit major improvements. The cost to tear down to the studs to prove your project is to code, and then put everything back the way it was, can cost at least what the original remodel did, at best. At worst it could cost you the sale of your property, loss of insurance, fees from the county, etc. The price of the permit is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of getting caught without one.

Just my experience and two cents.
 
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Old 12-02-07, 03:58 PM
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On the flip side, I've finished the basements (as well as bathrooms, kitchens, etc.) in seven of the eight houses I've owned over the years in five different states, and have never gotten a permit. Nor have I ever had a problem selling any of them. If you know what you're doing and are comfortable with doing the work, a permit is no more than a revenue generator for the local jurisdiction.
 
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Old 12-02-07, 06:23 PM
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I have talked to quite a few people that haven't taken out permits and have down the work themselves... The house we bought 4 years ago was in VERY high demand. I want to avoid the crap, hassle with involving the township and having everyone know my business. Also, taxes... we are paying so high the way it is. We have to get permits for the baement, I am sure I house will be reassessed and taxes will go way up.
 
  #5  
Old 12-02-07, 06:45 PM
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Permit to frame/stud out basement....

You can take a chance if you want to, but there are some serious conesquences. --

1. If you have a fire or major problem, your insurance may not cover any non-permitted construction since there is no proof it was done properly. Especially important if there is a bedroom or other area without egress that easily be determined even after a fire.

2. When you go to sell, you may not be able to list the square footage of the finished area. That impacts the selling and appraisals since the area is less.

3. You could have a neighbor that does not like your dogs visits to their yard and they may call about the work being done since they do not want to pay your share in the end. Penalty fees and tear-outs are costly.

4. When I inspect homes for pre-sale inspections, I hate to see construction that does not look professional - it is really very, very easy to spot. If it is apparent, I am obligated to list it as "handy-man construction". If there is a permit and final, then there is no problem. Without permit proof, the fun begins with the possible fines, back taxes and lower selling price. If the work is professional, then there is no problem except for the square footage at the tax and appraisal office.

It is a fun game to avoid the permits and can give you a feeling of satisfaction. Taxes are really not that big (and are deductions) in the end if they are fair. My son feels his taxes are a good investment because his day care costs (both working with twins and another) are many times more than the home taxes that give him teachers and baby sitter including bus transportation, when necessary.

Good luck if you try to evade the permit.

Dick
 
  #6  
Old 12-02-07, 08:21 PM
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What if you have people you know doing all the work that are professional. If they just know the codes and go by the book, I should be ok? Right????

I want to add a bathroom that includes a shower, sink and toilet. My plumber said if I get a permit for that then he has to run a vent out the roof meaning he would have to go through 2 floors and other crap that he wouldn;t have to worry about if he didn't go with a permit. I just want to avoice the hassles and knit picking that goes along with getting permits... Do you need spearate permits for all that is being done? Electrical, plumbing, etc?
 
  #7  
Old 12-02-07, 09:50 PM
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Another question....

What if I get these permits and everything meets code but lets say I sell in 2 years and the codes that were in place today are different in 2 years when I sell... Since it doesn;t meet code, would I have to redo everything? I don't understand how that is different from not getting a permit and not meeting code on maybe a few things now then how codes would change anyway down the road? Isn't it like someone trying to sell a house and has a finished basement but since the house was built 20 years ago, most don't meet code. How can they sell that then?
 
  #8  
Old 12-03-07, 04:41 AM
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I have heard stories of places where you have to bring a house up to current code in order to sell it, even though it meets code for when it was built. I have my doubts there are many, if any, such places.
 
  #9  
Old 12-03-07, 05:59 AM
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For the record, I pulled permits, because I am doing it myself. I WANT another pair of eyes on it to make sure I don't do something that will flood or burn the house down.

Now, I am hearing of several people in my county that simply "forget" to get the final inspection. The updated asessment doesn't go to the tax office until the final inpsection is approved. But then they suddenly "remember" when they are ready sell to get the final inspection.

I agree, I think at time to sell, a lot has to do with the quality of the work. If the finish is shoddy (that's the nice word for it), then what is behind the wall is likely to be shoddy too. It starts to raise a lot of questions.

Personally, I'd say get the permits.

Friend doing basement = $$
Rise is taxes due to new basment = $$$$
Peace of mind it was done to code = Priceless

Tom
 
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Old 12-03-07, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by dcanesdbs View Post
What if you have people you know doing all the work that are professional. If they just know the codes and go by the book, I should be ok? Right????
But this is not the case, two sentences later you say you plan to violate the plumbing code if you don't get a permit.

Originally Posted by dcanesdbs View Post
I want to add a bathroom that includes a shower, sink and toilet. My plumber said if I get a permit for that then he has to run a vent out the roof meaning he would have to go through 2 floors and other crap that he wouldn;t have to worry about if he didn't go with a permit. I just want to avoice the hassles and knit picking that goes along with getting permits...
What do you consider nit-picking, following the fire safety standards?

Originally Posted by dcanesdbs View Post
Do you need spearate permits for all that is being done? Electrical, plumbing, etc?
It usually all done under one.

Its sounds like your just looking for moral support so you can feel better about being cheap and violating the law. I doubt you'll find much of that here. Your already saving money having your friends do the work. You can save even more if you DIY. Some states give you a waiver for taxes on home improvement projects for a fixed period of time (5 yrs in my state). You'll be grateful in the future you did it the right way (especially when signing the disclosure letter when you plan to sell).

Good luck on your project
 
  #11  
Old 12-03-07, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by dcanesdbs View Post
I want to add a bathroom that includes a shower, sink and toilet. My plumber said if I get a permit for that then he has to run a vent out the roof meaning he would have to go through 2 floors and other crap that he wouldn;t have to worry about if he didn't go with a permit. I just want to avoice the hassles and knit picking that goes along with getting permits...
Well, this puts things in a different light. If you are willing to skip the permit just because that will allow you to do the work incorrectly, then you deserve what you get.
 
  #12  
Old 12-03-07, 10:13 AM
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ditto the others

If you don't want any hassles then you should get it permitted. The hassle will come when you try to sell the house if you don't get a permit
 
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Old 12-03-07, 11:40 AM
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ConcreteMasonry - I was reading your post and nodding in agreement until I got to the point where you said ..

"Taxes are really not that big (and are deductions) in the end if they are fair."

That's where you lost me. I don't know where you live, but in some places taxes are very big. My neighbor sold his home of 30 years because he could no longer afford the taxes on his fixed income. His property taxes ate up more than 20% of his income. Exactly how fair is that?

For my taxes I get police and fire (volunteer to which I contribute annually) protection and the town plows my road a couple of times a year. That's abnout it. I also get to pay for a bloated town government and an even more bloated town educational budget. Hardly "not that big" or fair.

On edit - I just realized I hijacked the thread - sorry. I do have a comment about permits. When I bought my current home, the previous owner had built an addition to an existing deck that was not to code (baluster spacing to great) and without a permit. On the day of closing the town threatened to hold up the sale unless the code violation was corrected. I have no idea why they waited until the last minute or how they knew about the deck, but that's what happened.
 
  #14  
Old 12-03-07, 01:57 PM
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Yes, be careful when commenting on home taxes because it varies wildly depending on where you live.

My home/land/real estate taxes represent 25% of my mortage payment, which is about average for my municipality.

Most people in my area are very low key about home improvements because they know what it will do to their taxes.

It wouldn't be so bad if the county actually had a fair way of property evaluation. But they don't, so you have the same two houses sitting next to each other, with the same lot size, paying different tax amounts.
 
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Old 12-03-07, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by XS6DFG0 View Post
Yes, be careful when commenting on home taxes because it varies wildly depending on where you live.

My home/land/real estate taxes represent 25% of my mortage payment, which is about average for my municipality.

Most people in my area are very low key about home improvements because they know what it will do to their taxes.

It wouldn't be so bad if the county actually had a fair way of property evaluation. But they don't, so you have the same two houses sitting next to each other, with the same lot size, paying different tax amounts.

Agreed.... I am overpaying the way it is.... Paid 132K for my house and am assessed at 183: bunch of bull..
 
  #16  
Old 12-04-07, 07:24 AM
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In our county, the tax assessors come up to your house and walk around to see if there are any changes to the property that may affect your taxes. If you are home they will ask you about them too. What will the tax man or tax lady think if they look at your records, see no active permits, but construction materials all around??

The story I told earlier? All our improvements were so well done we got compliments from the county inspectors. But it only took one incompetent home inspector to question it - to code or not, if the home inspector had wanted to report us he had every right to. And as someone said earlier, any neighbor, ex-friend, passerby could have as well. Heck we have had random inspectors see our construction debris, pull into the driveway, and check to make sure we had pulled a permit. Hubby witnessed this himself, so it's no urban legend.

I also saw a local restaurant try to do some improvements without pulling a permit. Luckily they were only halfway through when they got caught. It only took about 6 months to sort through the red tape, additional fees, hand slapping, and harassment to be approved to continue. The bar and entry was a mess the whole time though!

Honestly I wish more folks would pull permits, not because of the extra funds to the county, but so I wouldn't have to clean up their out-of-code messes when I bought a property. We've been lucky - only the water heater and wood stove/chimney were out of code. Plenty of folks have lost decks for example, simply because someone's weekend project couldn't handle the required load. A coworker went to the hospital for this one. Our next door neighbor lost her entire HOUSE because the roof had been "improved" under the radar so many times it was unsafe and nearly collapsed.

By the way dealing with inspectors is not THAT bad. Do your best work, follow the code as best as you can, be polite, try to learn from them. Unruly or rude inspectors have bosses too - if you are being treated unfairly don't hesitate to report them.

Do I like paying for a permit? No. Do I think the price of paying for a permit outweighs the consequences? Undoubtedly.

As for our property assessments if I think the taxes are too high, I contest it. And I have won before. Part of our problem is folks are putting up big fancy homes in our area - but that also means our little log home is gaining value just by sitting next to them. Comes with the territory.

Do what you like. You asked for comments and plenty of folks have given their opinions. This is mine.

::stepping off soapbox and going back to work now::
 
  #17  
Old 12-04-07, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by logcabincook View Post
In our county, the tax assessors come up to your house and walk around to see if there are any changes to the property that may affect your taxes. If you are home they will ask you about them too. What will the tax man or tax lady think if they look at your records, see no active permits, but construction materials all around??

The story I told earlier? All our improvements were so well done we got compliments from the county inspectors. But it only took one incompetent home inspector to question it - to code or not, if the home inspector had wanted to report us he had every right to. And as someone said earlier, any neighbor, ex-friend, passerby could have as well. Heck we have had random inspectors see our construction debris, pull into the driveway, and check to make sure we had pulled a permit. Hubby witnessed this himself, so it's no urban legend.

I also saw a local restaurant try to do some improvements without pulling a permit. Luckily they were only halfway through when they got caught. It only took about 6 months to sort through the red tape, additional fees, hand slapping, and harassment to be approved to continue. The bar and entry was a mess the whole time though!

Honestly I wish more folks would pull permits, not because of the extra funds to the county, but so I wouldn't have to clean up their out-of-code messes when I bought a property. We've been lucky - only the water heater and wood stove/chimney were out of code. Plenty of folks have lost decks for example, simply because someone's weekend project couldn't handle the required load. A coworker went to the hospital for this one. Our next door neighbor lost her entire HOUSE because the roof had been "improved" under the radar so many times it was unsafe and nearly collapsed.

By the way dealing with inspectors is not THAT bad. Do your best work, follow the code as best as you can, be polite, try to learn from them. Unruly or rude inspectors have bosses too - if you are being treated unfairly don't hesitate to report them.

Do I like paying for a permit? No. Do I think the price of paying for a permit outweighs the consequences? Undoubtedly.

As for our property assessments if I think the taxes are too high, I contest it. And I have won before. Part of our problem is folks are putting up big fancy homes in our area - but that also means our little log home is gaining value just by sitting next to them. Comes with the territory.

Do what you like. You asked for comments and plenty of folks have given their opinions. This is mine.

::stepping off soapbox and going back to work now::

Is this America???? Come on... We have NO RIGHTS! If someone came in my house and asked to look around, I would request a WARRANT! Give me a break. it is MY HOUSE, MY PROPERTY. I would let NO ONE in that does not have the right. They tried, it is trespassing and i would call the cops... I own my house, I pay taxes, I pay the mortgage, no one should tell me what i can and can not do.
 
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Old 12-04-07, 01:23 PM
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I'd suggest finding out what's required. This may all be for nothing. When I did my basement I was worried about the permit issue and then found out in my jurisdiction no permit was required if you weren't doing an actual addition and basement finishing was not considered an addition.

Plumbing is different though. I'd rethink the plan to do a ghetto job on the vent.

edit: Just checked my current jurisdiction in another state halfway accross the country, same deal, no permit required as long as you're not doing anything structural.
 
  #19  
Old 12-04-07, 01:55 PM
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Permit to frame/stud out basement....

decanesdbs -

It seems you have made up you mind rather than listen to others experiences. If you think you can get away without a permit (if required), you can always try.

You may not realize, but is many areas it is common for some people (game wardens, etc.) to enter your home any time they choose. Just because you pay the taxes (even if you hide the value increase), that does not change the law.

If you do not plan to sell before you die, you can do what you can get away with and the only people that may pay are your heirs in the term of a possibly discounted value of yout home.

If you sell, then you run the risk of problems and unpermitted construction even if it is up to code. In this case, the buyer has the upper hand and you may just lose some deals. - In case you are interested, a pre-purchase sales inspection for a buyer is not necessary a code inspection. Things that comply with the code can still be red flagged as a safety items and non-complying code items may not be mentioned if they are not a hazard or represent a major future cost. You can always refuse an inpection if you do not want people in your home, but I don't think a buyer would come back if you refused.

Have fun with your battle.

Dick
 
  #20  
Old 12-04-07, 03:21 PM
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I do like to thank ALL of you for your suggestions, comments, etc. I really do appreciate it. I will take everything into consideration.

Thank you!
 
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Old 12-04-07, 03:45 PM
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Concrete - How can a game warden enter a home without either permission or a warrant? In some parts of the country a warden that foolish may end up getting shot as an intruder. As a government representative, I think 4th amendment protection applies.
 
  #22  
Old 12-04-07, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Concretemasonry View Post
decanesdbs -

You may not realize, but is many areas it is common for some people (game wardens, etc.) to enter your home any time they choose. Just because you pay the taxes (even if you hide the value increase), that does not change the law.
I used to be an LEO, and can tell you this is total BS.
 
  #23  
Old 12-05-07, 05:58 AM
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I'm sure every state/county has it's own rules about what Game Wardens are allowed to do. Here in PA, I don't think they are allowed to enter your home without a warrant. I really hope not anyway.

However, they are allowed to pursue individuals and/or investigate on private, posted property.

Getting back to permits.......

I like permits for the big stuff, because that way your butt is covered. I'm not an expert in plumbing or electrical, so having an inspector's eyes on my work gives me piece of mind and keeps me legal.

The problem in my municipality is that they want a permit for everything. I need a permit to change a receptacle, put up fence, build a small tool shed in the back yard, etc.

Now I don't mind paying the fee for the permit........I don't like it, but I can live with it. What I don't like is that the improvments will be used against me when tax time comes. The problems start when the county says my $1000 shed represents a $4000 increase in the value of my property. This now means I will owe an additional $104 per year.......it adds up.

Home inspectors in my area do not inquire or probe about permits. They are private individuals, hired by the buyer to determine if the house is in order. They take their findings to the buyer who then makes their offer accordingly. If you finished your basement by yourself, did not get a permit, and screwed a bunch of stuff up; then the home inspector tells the buyer. The buyer can then ask the seller to fix it or negotiate a lower price for the house so that the buyer can fix it.
 
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Old 12-05-07, 06:31 AM
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dcanesdbs I am sorry if this was unclear. The tax assessor, who I is a government employee or contractor, is the one coming around to make the assessment. They do not come in my house though, just walk around it. Fire fighters, police officers, and those pesky inspectors do the same if they have a good reason.

FWIW We have issues with folks trespassing and stealing trees and gourmet mushrooms (they grow wild on our property) from our land so yes anyone other than the above mentioned folks are politely, and then not so politely told to get the heck off my land before I call the cops. Luckily we have a vicious sounding dog that usually delivers the message for us.
 
  #25  
Old 12-05-07, 10:35 AM
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I pulled permits on my 1000 square foot basement renovation. I did all of the work myself, except for the electrical. That I hired out to a friend, who is a professional and licensed electrician with my city. Ironically, the only thing that didn't pass final inspection was the electrical.
 
  #26  
Old 12-08-07, 06:15 AM
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Nice thing about the town i live in is there are no permits/inspections.

Made doing my basement nice and easy.

The one difficult thing about it was when building the house a few years ago, the national mortgage company couldnt comprehend that I didnt need permits, which they required. Had to be solved with a certified letter from the town.
 
  #27  
Old 12-13-07, 10:06 AM
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Just an interesting, and annoying fact...In my jurisdiction a homeowner is not allowed to pull any trade permits. Basically that forces you to hire a licensed plumber, electrician, HVAC mechanic, etc, and they have to be licensed in the county. A homeowner can pull the construction permit, but all trades have to have their own, separate permit.
 
  #28  
Old 12-13-07, 03:26 PM
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Just a nit pick

My plumber said if I get a permit for that then he has to run a vent out the roof meaning he would have to go through 2 floors and other crap that he wouldn;t have to worry about if he didn't go with a permit.

I find the above statement hard to believe. It meets code to vent out the side of your house in my area. I added a basement bath (w/permit) and thats how its done. No need to tear-up your upstairs.

In any case, you need a vent. Don't do it without venting.
 
  #29  
Old 12-14-07, 09:12 AM
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Perhaps, but it doesn't meet code in a lot of places.
 
  #30  
Old 01-04-08, 04:15 PM
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Can't you just use an existing plmubing vent that is already there from the above upstairs bath? Tap into?
 
  #31  
Old 01-07-08, 06:53 AM
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One more thing to consider. Some states (mine included) are toying with the idea of attaching building permits to a properties "permanent record". In other words, if you sell the house, any building permits that was supposed to be pulled, better be there. Your state may have already have such laws.

Another thing to consider - if you have an electrical fire because of the improvements, do you think the insurance company is going to pay for this? Of course not, I've seen them refuse payment for much less.

I deal with building officials and permitting on a daily basis, I can tell you that it's not that bad. I guarantee that if you do things by the book, it will a lot less hassle down the road.

One more thing, anybody who tells you to don't worry about the permit has not been in a position where they had to deal with insurance companies for a loss, or penalites from a jurisdication for noncompliance. Wait until these same people have their insurance company refuse payment for a flooded basement where they did the plumbing themselves and didn't have it inspected. See what their opinions will be then.

Some asked a question quite a while back about new codes coming in and bringing older improvements out-of-code. As long as the improvements were done to the current building code at the time of pulling the permit, you don't need to update every time a new code comes in. That would be a logistical nightmare and the end result would be no new building codes. The only exception I can think of for that would be egress windows for basement bedrooms, which wouldn't be a building code issue but more a real estate issue (can't consider it a bedroom if there is no egress window).
 

Last edited by MN_Jay; 01-07-08 at 07:00 AM. Reason: Forgot to mention something
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Old 01-07-08, 07:14 AM
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logcabincook

"We almost lost a house sale because the buyers home inspector claimed our basement finish was out of code, would have to be totally demolished and redone, to the tune of at least $15k."

Out of curiosity, where were the issues incorrectly raised by the home inspector?
 
  #33  
Old 01-07-08, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by MN_Jay View Post
One more thing to consider. Some states (mine included) are toying with the idea of attaching building permits to a properties "permanent record". In other words, if you sell the house, any building permits that was supposed to be pulled, better be there. Your state may have already have such laws.

Another thing to consider - if you have an electrical fire because of the improvements, do you think the insurance company is going to pay for this? Of course not, I've seen them refuse payment for much less.

I deal with building officials and permitting on a daily basis, I can tell you that it's not that bad. I guarantee that if you do things by the book, it will a lot less hassle down the road.

One more thing, anybody who tells you to don't worry about the permit has not been in a position where they had to deal with insurance companies for a loss, or penalites from a jurisdication for noncompliance. Wait until these same people have their insurance company refuse payment for a flooded basement where they did the plumbing themselves and didn't have it inspected. See what their opinions will be then.

Some asked a question quite a while back about new codes coming in and bringing older improvements out-of-code. As long as the improvements were done to the current building code at the time of pulling the permit, you don't need to update every time a new code comes in. That would be a logistical nightmare and the end result would be no new building codes. The only exception I can think of for that would be egress windows for basement bedrooms, which wouldn't be a building code issue but more a real estate issue (can't consider it a bedroom if there is no egress window).
Thanks MN Jay for your reponse.....

My concern also was with the taxes going up as well... Adding another bath will definetly raise my taxes in consideration of assessment... Payng too much in taxes the way it is....

Also, are there issues with using an existing plumbing vent to vent the new bath?
 
  #34  
Old 01-07-08, 07:27 AM
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One problem, from a seller's perspective, is that in many AHJs in my area (Chicago and suburbs) if work was never permitted it is not “grandfathered” in under older code requirements.

So if the work comes to AHJs attention, the property's current owner may be required to bring part or all of this system up to current code requirements - even though the guy next door who pulled permits, met the codes of the era, and passed inspection for identical work does not.

So when I see possibly un-permitterd work I have to tell my clients:

“You need to understand that when buy a house you are also "buying" all of it’s code violations including those created by previous owners, and if these are discovered by the city you will be required to correct then at your expense.

“If the work was never permitted or inspected it may not be “grandfathered” in under older code requirements, and you may be required to bring part or all of this system up to current code requirements.

“So I strongly advise you to check with the city and make sure that all the upgrading – for example this new kitchen and the new bath upstairs – were permitted and received a satisfactory final inspection from the city.”

And if the buyers they take that advice, and that work was not permitted, the current owner can find themselves on the hook with the local AHJ for expensive repairs, or allowing the buyer a substantial reduction in price to have the work done themselves.
 
  #35  
Old 01-07-08, 07:39 AM
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Also, you need to keep in mind that codes are minimums: the function of building codes is to establish the absolute lowest standard to which you are allowed to build something, built "per code" does not mean "built to ideal standards" or even "to best industry practice" - in my own rehab projects, where my own money is on the line, I routinely exceed code in ways which experience has taught me are critical to achieving satisfactorily durable construction.
 
  #36  
Old 01-07-08, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
Also, you need to keep in mind that codes are minimums: the function of building codes is to establish the absolute lowest standard to which you are allowed to build something, built "per code" does not mean "built to ideal standards" or even "to best industry practice" - in my own rehab projects, where my own money is on the line, I routinely exceed code in ways which experience has taught me are critical to achieving satisfactorily durable construction.
The contractors that I am having finish my basement are well aware of the local codes on my township. They will def meet code. Why would i need to involve the inspectors only to increase my taxes.
 
  #37  
Old 01-07-08, 10:25 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,011
Originally Posted by dcanesdbs View Post
The contractors that I am having finish my basement are well aware of the local codes on my township. They will def meet code. Why would i need to involve the inspectors only to increase my taxes.
They build it right to today's standards.

You get no permit.

Five years form now, I inspect it, and notice something that leads me to suspect it may not have been permitted (I notice that the work looks relatively new, but there are no AFCIs installed, which are required in the 2008 NEC).

I tell my clients, "may not have been permitted, better check".

They do.

No permit.

The clerk at the permit desk asks why they are looking.

Next day, the electrical, plumbing and structural inspectors pay you a visit.

Last year, my small city collected 4.2 million in permit fees and fines.

You are now a "revenue source".

-----------

I'll add this: I've been rehabbing rental properties for 35 years.

I'm constantly getting dinged by municipal inspectors (mostly little things) on my projects.

I know the codes, the GC knows the codes, so how can this be?

It can be because the guy with the circular saw or the conduit bender or the roofing nailer frequently does not, or does not care. And often his boss - especially if he or she is a sub, does not know or care either.

And IMO if for example a plumber says "If I get a permit for that then I have to run a vent out the roof meaning I will have to go through 2 floors and other crap that I wouldn't if I don't have to worry about if you don't go with a permit", this is know as a "clue" - in this case to the quality of the work you can expect him to provide if you turn you back on him for 10 minutes.)

So when I've got a project going it's a daily struggle for the architect, and the GC and the municipal inspectors and myself - even working as a team and on the same page - to get it done right.

You are about to eliminate most of the redundant supervision on your project.
 
  #38  
Old 01-07-08, 11:58 AM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 58
.

From a "building code" perspective, I'd get a permits for:
- Electrical - definate must.
- Plumbing - definate must
- HVAC (heating / cooling system)
- Structure - including vertical studs.

* When compared to the greater costs, getting a permit in each area costs very little. Especially for a basement renovation - where majority of water flooding, electrical and HVAC runs exist. If studding for a walk-in closet on the main floor, don't think I'd get a permit. But for a basement renovation that sounds larger then a 4x6 room, definate YES on the permits.

And in my region, I'd only use 2x6s on the outer walls with double plate on both top and bottom - even though minimum building code calls for 2x4s / with single plate on the bottom. Building "above" minimum code is a great thing as well.

As many have implied in their posts, "do take the time and do it right". Get a permit, get it passed and thus, you can prove to all legal / liability authroities that it was done right. Its "your sheild" to protect youself.

.
 
  #39  
Old 01-07-08, 12:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,130
Permit to frame/stud out basement....

dcanesdbs -

Are you going to brag to your neighbors that you did not get a permit (that will increase your value, but might increase your taxes)? - If that is the case their taxes will have go up to make up for the cheating (possibly not too much, but everyone has to pay their fair share).

When you get a permit, that means that you have an inspector to look out for YOU to make sure that what the contractor does meets the minimum standard (a polite way of saying as bad as possible and still be legal).

Many people now get pre-purchase home inspections to avoid the situation of facing an offer subject to the owners home inspectors report that can point out obvious "handyman work" and possibly unpermitted work that will cost you when you sell since you are then in a poor position.

As mentioned earlier, without a permit, you may not be able to include the area as living space, which decreases the value and the amount a buyer may be able to finance.
 
  #40  
Old 01-23-08, 09:40 AM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 57
I always pull permits, and have had people tell me i'm nuts for doing so, but you know what, better safe then sorry. Last permit I pulled cost me what 47 bucks, worth it. Besides, my house was just assessed, and won't be for another 5 years, and I'm selling in about 2. Another reason for permits, I enjoy hearing the building inspectors brag about my work. I'm a DIYer and have been told by two seperate inspectors that I can teach most pros they know a lesson or two. Code is MINIMUM. Take pride in what you do. I'm doing a small bath remodel in my house now, and I'm not moving the fixture locations. Was just going to replace them, retile, that sort of thing. Inspector told me no permit was required as it was cosmetic with no cabinet or fixture changes. But I thought to myself, why not rip it down the the studs, and re-do it all the right way. Old plumbing with no vent, electrical tied into other rooms with no GFCI. Old wire, old pipes. Would have been fine as it's all grandfathered. Just do it over and do it right. So what I have to run a 3" stack up 2 floors, it's not that big of a deal. Sheetrock is cheap and easy. What's it gonna take, an extra day. I'll always pull them.
 
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