Sliding Glass Door Permit Question

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Old 04-18-15, 02:07 PM
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Sliding Glass Door Permit Question

I plan to have several Sliding Glass Doors replaced. They are old and the new ones are energy efficient and more secure. The company I got a quote from says they have to go to the County and get the permit for over $600. I called the county and they said I could pull the permit for $89.50.
When presented with this, the company said they must pull the permit.
Does anyone know the real story for South Florida?
 
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Old 04-18-15, 02:16 PM
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Sounds like they are wanting to get paid handsomely for going down and getting the permit I'd be looking for a different installer. When I lived in central fla 25 yrs ago a homeowner could pull permits for work on his own house. You should be able to call the permit office and ask them if that applies where you live.
 
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Old 04-18-15, 03:49 PM
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I agree. Change companies fast, and let this company know why, specifically.
 
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Old 04-18-15, 04:11 PM
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I can only speak to the rules in my area, but a homeowner is allowed to pull a permit if they are acting as the general contractor for a job. I see no reason why you cant do it yourself.

Having said that, I have never needed a permit to change a door. Are you changing the size of the openings too?
 
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Old 04-18-15, 04:20 PM
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All doors are exactly the same size. Remove sliding door panels, remove tracks and install new tracks and put doors on tracks. A bit of stucco touch up near track install.
 
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Old 04-18-15, 04:27 PM
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I wont say you dont need a permit, but in my area, I wouldnt be expected to pull one for a job like that. Nor would the inspector come look at it either. But they would still be more than happy to take my money if I walked in the office and asked for one.
 
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Old 04-18-15, 04:33 PM
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I would not recommend you pull a permit for work that you are not performing yourself.

I won't comment on the $600.00. I will say that if a contractor asked me, as a homeowner, to pull a permit for work they will perform, the answer would be no.
So at least your contractor is on the level and probably doesn't have a reason to avoid the permit process.

Shop around, and if they all come up around the same price for permit, then go for quality and check references.
 
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Old 04-18-15, 04:44 PM
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I have to ask why you say that HandyOne. When a permit is pulled here, you still have to give the name and address of the person who is performing the work.
 
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Old 04-18-15, 05:13 PM
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I would agree with Kieth. If you're just replacing existing doors, I'd say no permit is required. You're not doing anything new or different. You're replacing a worn out item.
 
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Old 04-18-15, 05:27 PM
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In some parts of the country, the building permit process is little more than a revenue-generator. In Durango, Colorado (La Plata County), a permit was needed to change a toilet or a water heater. Ruthless lawbreaker that I am, I ignored the permit requirement and installed/replaced a toilet without one.
 
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Old 04-18-15, 05:32 PM
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That is not untypical. Here in Western New York certain suburbs one cannot replace a HW tank themselves. If you do you must sneak out the old one and take it to a dump.
 
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Old 04-18-15, 06:16 PM
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All doors are exactly the same size.
Have to disagree...(not that it would affect the cost of a permit). There are doors in all sorts of sizes from nominal 72 x 80 to 74 x 82 RO (to replace entry size french doors.) to almost whatever you want.

We had a development nearby, when I sold windows and doors, and the builder used all double entry doors as patio doors (probably a good deal from the distributor). After 3-4 returns of off the shelf items I started asking and found the problem.

This would only affect labor though and not the permit. Many places require permits for simple replacement ( WH for example, as was mentioned earlier) but a toilet or faucet seems a little extreme.

In some areas, if you change a pipe or routing of a wire it is REQUIRED that a licensed Pro do the work. Probably throwbacks to the Union controlled government days.

NOTE..that was NOT a political statement!
 
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Old 04-19-15, 05:00 AM
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Vic,

I'm not so sure it's a "union throw back" so much as a "Lets try and stop the "redneck" style installs that we see". More and more permits, license, and approvals are needed now days than ever before. It's a combo of more sophisticated technology and safety and lack of education. But that won't stop people like me from putting in a HW tank with a valve on the discharge side also. (I have a large tag indicating it must be kept open at all times and never shut unless tank is turned off and maintenance is being done.)
 
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Old 04-19-15, 05:31 AM
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redneck" style installs
I think a better choice of words would convey the message. Like "shoddy". I'm a redneck, and proud of the work we do.
 
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Old 04-19-15, 06:01 AM
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I have to ask why you say that HandyOne. When a permit is pulled here, you still have to give the name and address of the person who is performing the work.
Hey Keith,
I just said that because here in California there are many unlicensed workers that cannot pull a permit legally, so they ask the homeowner to pull a permit.
I guess I shouldn't classify them all as sloppy and inept, but I have seen way too much of it.

I think your post #6 is OK also, I don't see changing out some windows as a real big deal.

So I can go either way.
 
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Old 04-19-15, 06:05 AM
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Ohhh! Touchy are we?

Of course you know what I mean.

But I don't think shoddy describes it. I've seen some "redneck" hook ups that are very well done. Not necessarily to code or even safe, but well built and installed.

I have to admit that some of those "Redneck" inventions are pure genius. And we all have a touch of "redneck" in us. Yes be proud, if not humble.
 
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Old 04-19-15, 06:23 AM
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I envy you HandyOne. There are wayyyyyy to many people in my area that are not licenced and dont have a clue what they are doing. Unfortunately, there are no laws preventing unlicensed people from doing carpentry work or pulling permits. It is one of my biggest beefs in my industry. Virtually every other trade is required to be licenced except carpenters.
 
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Old 04-19-15, 08:47 AM
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Hi Keith,
So you do understand why I would not get a permit for an unlicensed carpenter or contractor.

Hopefully your situation will change. Carpenter should be licensed and insured and treated the same as any other trade. In my area, not only do you need a license to pull a permit, but they occasionally have sting operations where they try to catch unlicensed contractors offering work beyond their dollar limit. I'm all for it.
I've seen shoddy work, taking money and not returning to finish job, you name it. If you hire an unlicensed contractor, you have little recourse when things go wrong.
 
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Old 04-19-15, 08:52 AM
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I know where you are coming from, but as I said, here if a homeowner gets a permit, they still need to provide the contractors name and address (or licence number if you need to be licenced) who is doing the work, so I dont see the issue with a homeowner getting a permit.

I do see an issue with a contractor getting a permit and marking the price up 600% though.
 
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Old 04-19-15, 10:29 AM
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After reading the replies, I do have an additional comment. I have been doing major remodels for many years and have come accross a lot of interesting stuff.
In the end the homeowner is responsible for what gets done. Saying that you did not know you needed a permit or he was supposed to get one is not an excuse they accept. A contractor has the absolute right to markup the cost due to his running around and filing the paperwork. Our forms have a space for the signature of both the homeowner and contractor, if used for the job.
I did notice the my bid included several priced options for the same set of doors. The permit fee appears to be a percentage of the price even though the cost is basically a function of the quality of the door. Permit range of $600 to $1300. Fishy.
 
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Old 04-19-15, 11:02 AM
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IMO, permit pulling should not be based on a percentage of a job. How is that justified? I should think it would be the actual cost of the permits plus any administrative costs involved. Be fair, be just, and be equitable.
 
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Old 04-19-15, 11:57 AM
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In my area permit fees are almost always a percentage of the total construction costs. The only exceptions seem to be like-for-like replacements such as a furnace or water heater.
 
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Old 04-19-15, 12:21 PM
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Many of our permits are also based on the overall jobs cost and a contractor does deserve pay for going after the permit but no way does he rate $500+ dollars for going to get the permit!
 
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Old 04-19-15, 12:26 PM
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If the job cost dictates the permit cost, so be it, but I can't see R&R of a sliding door costing $600. It has been established the county will charge less than $100 for the permit. The installation company is usuriously enhancing their profits.
 
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Old 04-19-15, 01:02 PM
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I have previously described the carport-to-garage conversion I did at my previous house so I won't go into details this time. I had a contractor lined up to do the work and he was going to do it for about $900. The city, however, looked into their crystal ball and decided it was $3500 of work and used that figure to determine the cost of the building permit.

When I had that house re-roofed I made the salesman include a clause in the contract that they would be responsible for the cost of any permits. He said that he had never heard of needing a permit for a re-roof but sure as heck after the first day of work there was a stop work order nailed on the house. The contractor then obtained a permit using a job cost of about one-third what I was being charged.

In all fairness, that city was known for having outrageous permit fees.


When I had the furnace in my present house replaced I again wanted the clause that the contractor would be responsible for any required permits. The salesman told me upfront that his company did NOT obtain permits in my city because the inspector had it in for this contractor and would always find fault with any installation. This company had been in business for over sixty years and had an impeccable reputation although they did a few things on my installation that I didn't care for but were not code issues.

Bottom line: There ARE some jurisdictions that use permit fees to enhance their local treasury and there ARE shady inspectors as well. Hopefully these practices are dying out but if you are a victim there is little to be done except to take the chance on not getting a permit (and that can come back to bite you years later) or else simply console yourself that the practice is just the cost of doing business in your area.


Off topic but related. The funeral home I used when my brother and my daddy died had a practice of charging a fee for obtaining certified copies of death certificates. They would charge something like $12 or $18 over and above the cost of the certificates themselves to cover their cost in going downtown to the office of vital statistics. Never mind that they probably went at least three times a week and got at least a dozen or more certs every time (it was a large mortuary) so the cost per cert was maybe a dollar or two. Heck, for all I know they had an account and the office sent them in bulk once a week. Some companies will get as much money as they can from you on the flimsiest of excuses.
 
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Old 04-19-15, 03:12 PM
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The definition of permits must be a local issue everywhere you go; and they vary in the degree to which they are just a formality, a true safety concern, a mechanism for the Assessors to keep abreast of how the value of a taxable property may be changing with improvements, in comparison to other taxable real estate in the same Community, or a real revenue generator.

I've been a Real Estate Broker here in Vermont and thought I had a pretty good handle on the general process; but then I was summoned by a Bank to go out to Stowe and do a pre-foreclosure valuation on a small 8 Unit Condo Development.

One of the things I use in performing this function review the current Assessors files or Abstract for how they had calculated the current Assessment. In this particular Condominium, saw that they were taxing the current owner for 6 units, some of which were completed, some being rented, some still under construction and 2 "Approvals". Approvals were worth $60,000 apiece, whatever they were.

I didn't know what "approvals" were when I first arrived in Stowe . . . . so I asked, and was educated. They were the assessed value of the "permits" that had been issued for the 2 Units that the Owner had not yet broken ground on; but for which he had been issued permits that were on file for him to go ahead and construct if and when the time came that he had the money to proceed. Meanwhile, he would be taxed for the Approvals that were taking up space in the file cabinet.

That was a new one on me . . . . maybe it's commonplace elsewhere in the Country. I should go in and see if the Assessment was reduced when those Permits expired, because they did as the Owner was foreclosed on long before he got around to completing the Project.
 
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Old 04-19-15, 03:58 PM
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n1ml

I keep coming back to this thread.

My warning against pulling a permit for a contractor was to ensure you are not hiring a contractor that is banned or unable to pull a permit for work.

In my area of work, which is all the way from San Diego to South L.A. (many miles), a permit is based on value of improvement. You will pay taxes, school taxes, on and on.

Not all permits are based on value, such as a new water heater or main electrical panel. Those are inspected for safety issues.

I have paid $800.00 and upwards for a permit for new cabinets. I do not agree with it, as nothing was really changed. No new gas, electric, nothing. I make no profit from the fee and probably lose money.

I would check with city and make sure the $89.50 they quoted you is correct. That may have been an application fee only and not the permit cost.
 
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Old 04-19-15, 04:43 PM
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I am waiting from a call back in the morning. The answer I got on the phone agrees with the website fee schedule. I will be discussing the entire process with the building dept. planner.
The company is well known here in Florida. The BBB rating and complaints are OK. Angies List is OK too. A friend used them and was satisfied.
I think this is all like a Dealer Fee at the car place.
 
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Old 04-19-15, 07:11 PM
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Damn, I wish I read this thread three days ago. I'm getting new windows installed and thought I had all basis covered. Never entered my mind about permits and who is responsible for them. My only saving hope is that this is a very reputable company (nation wide) and our signed contract agreement does say final payment upon total installation. I read the fine print on contact and all it says is "Home improvement work often requires special permits in New York. It is the obligation of the contractor to obtain these permits, and home owners who secure their own permits will be excluded from guaranty fund provisions of New York law." Since it is written into the contract and an agreed upon price has been signed I think I'm OK.
 
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