Building Permit

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  #1  
Old 01-28-12, 01:19 PM
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Building Permit

The other day, I was reading the paper, and happened to read down through the building permits. My question, is when do you need a building permit. The thing that really caught my eye was, a person applied for as building permit, to replace a furnace. Is this something you need, and what could happen if you don't get one. My mother in-law, had her replaced a few months ago, and I know she didn't have a permit.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-28-12, 01:27 PM
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You need a bldg permit any time the local authorities say you do

A lot depends on the area as to how strict they are both with needing permits and it's enforcement. The permit serves 2 purposes - it lets the gov't know if they can raise your taxes and the inspector is supposed to insure that the job was done correctly.
 
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Old 01-28-12, 03:01 PM
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When I replaced my boiler I had to get a plumbing permit, electrical permit, and fire permit. I think it was called a fire permit, but I'm not sure. It was for the chimney.
 
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Old 01-28-12, 03:10 PM
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I had a customer ask that question of a city inspector that had just red tagged a house she was remodeling. Well actually she asked what didn't need a permit. The inspector's answer was, "You don't need a permit to paint the house or mow the yard".
 
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Old 01-28-12, 04:35 PM
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Often times the contractor (a legit contractor) will pull the permit for the homeowner. That is the common practice, at least, in my area. Often the homeowner never even see's the permit due to a typical furnace replacement taking 1 day or less. If a permit was pulled (depending on how your locality does things) then a inspector should come out to verify the installation was done to code. Code enforcement is good because codes are in place for everyone's protection. I say that at least from what I see in the HVAC industry. Now, I know that in order to replace the shingles on a roof in my area you are supposed to have a permit for that as well, and I think that is a little over line, but I can see how a unknowing person could just replace the shingles without checking the integrity of the plywood and that would be where that could be bad. Also in my area you must pull a permit to replace your water heater. You can buy them at the box store, but legally you can't install them. A plumber would have to pull a permit for you and the installation would need to be done by a plumber and then it would have to be inspected. By some of the crazy things I have seen done by homeowners and even some contractors I think that having to pull permits is a good idea and that code enforcement is an even better idea.
 
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Old 01-28-12, 04:36 PM
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Some areas require a permit to paint your house as well. Especially due to the rules on lead paint.
 
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Old 01-28-12, 07:02 PM
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Thanks to all for your input. I know have a better under standing of a building permit. I though it was just for bigger jobs, like a new roof, or adding onto your house. Now it seems like it is just about for everything you do around, or to your house.
 
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Old 01-29-12, 09:46 AM
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"The inspector's answer was, "You don't need a permit to paint the house or mow the yard".

that is a fine example for our government praying on us. safety is a byproduct. revenue enhancement is the primary goal. they are just like the MOB = if you want to do something, they want their cut.

it is no wonder people do things behind closed doors.
 
  #9  
Old 01-29-12, 01:20 PM
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I guess that is why, I see the codes guy so often. They drive through my neighborhood like 2 or 3 times a week. And they are not just driving through, I live on a dead end street, they have to turn around to get out.
 
  #10  
Old 01-29-12, 07:01 PM
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ED

how do you know they are code guys ?

do you live in a liberal city ? i do, one of the WORST in the country = cRook co il, chicago area.
 
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Old 01-30-12, 03:46 AM
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I don't GC any of my jobs, since I don't do plumbing or roofing, etc. So I have the client pull a complete permit for all applications and work off that. They are going to pay for the permit anyway by charge backs, so it is easier in our area to just have them do it. That way they can get their own plumber or roofer and be satisfied rather than relying on me pulling someone in where they may or may not be satisfied. Creates a lot less confusion. Generally here, if we change the footprint of a house or have electrical/plumbing work done, a permit is needed. If I replace a deck of the same size, I don't have to pull a permit. BUT, this is small town USA, and the inspector knows who he can trust and who he has to keep check on.
 
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Old 01-30-12, 04:14 AM
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condo-owner

how do you know they are code guys ?
The pickup truck, with the city seal, and big letters that reads codes department kind of gives it away. And I hear they have it in for one of my neighbors. He likes adding on to his house.
 
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Old 01-31-12, 05:45 PM
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"The pickup truck, with the city seal, and big letters that reads codes department kind of gives it away."

lol, yeah, i guess that would do it.

idk what they drive around here. probably an escalade or navigator. or perhaps a bentley.
 
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Old 01-31-12, 06:20 PM
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Your tax dollars at work! Around here it's Ford Focuses (Foci?).
 
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Old 01-31-12, 06:30 PM
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I got this from the town yesterday. I have a few things like my water heater and such.

What would you guys do? I just think they want to generate revenue and keep jobs.

January 30, 2012

Residents,

We would like to remind everyone that the Township is offering a Building Amnesty Program. This is an opportunity for property owners to apply for building permits for undocumented construction. Examples of qualifying projects include: new buildings and sheds, additions, remodeling work, siding, roofing, hot water heaters, furnaces, oil tanks, outlets, switches, lights or alarm systems. These are just examples and not all-inclusive list of projects that qualify.
The current property owner is ultimately responsible for bringing the property/project into compliance. If permits were issued to a licensed contractor and required inspections were not conducted, you should contact the contractor of record and request that they re-instate the permit under the provisions of the amnesty program. No penalty fees will be assessed.
This amnesty program will be in effect through February 29, 1012. For further information please contact 732-938-4500 ext. 2425 or email XXXXXXXXX

Sincerely,

Mayor Robert F. Walsh
Deputy Mayor William Gotto
Councilman Robert Nicastro
Councilman Juan A. Malave
Councilwoman Pauline Smith


Mike NJ
 
  #16  
Old 01-31-12, 07:23 PM
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lawrosa,

If you don't come forward and report what you have done, are they going to go, door to door, and inspect your house. That is kind of scarey, before I started this thread, I didn't know how important a building permit was. About 10 years ago, I helped a friend remodel his house. We did everything on your list, and then some, without one permit. The only complaint from the city, was he needed a better fence around the pool, and they raised his water tax.

I can't believe that list, a permit for a alarm. What if it one of those X-10 models wire less, just plug a play.
 
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Old 01-31-12, 07:28 PM
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LOL... I dont think they are coming door to door...

My town you need a permit to wake up in the morning....

That list is just some examples. There is a whole slew of items.

I think you need a permit to take the permits out....LOL


Mike NJ
 
  #18  
Old 01-31-12, 10:00 PM
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Where I previously lived, a small city about ten miles north of Seattle, you needed a permit for just about anything. The ONLY thing I ever got a permit for was a new electrical service and enclosing my carport to make it a garage.

When I had a new roof installed I made the contractor write in the contract that he was responsible for any permits. He agreed saying that he had never heard of permits being required for a re-roof. Well, when I came came home from work on the second day there was a stop work order tacked to the door stating that a permit had not been obtained.

When I redid the electrical service the inspector was a real jerk. I called for the inspection and took the day off work. It was about 4 in the afternoon when I saw someone in a hardhat looking around and I went out to greet him. Turned out this guy was the power company inspector and he said the city inspector called him saying everything was okay. I said I never saw the city inspector and he hadn't signed off the permit and the power company inspector replied that all they (the city) wanted was the money. Stupid me then told the wife who insisted that I call the city inspector and ask him to sign the permit.

Oh, boy, what a HUGE mistake! This fat slob comes out and finds all sorts of things "wrong" with my work...or at least wrong in HIS eyes. I called the power company inspector who stated I was technically correct but that this clown could (and would) make my life miserable so I had better appease him. It took another two weeks before he begrudgingly okay the job but he never did sign the permit.

About two years after I started to enclose my carport (time and money problems) I received a certified letter from the city demanding that I obtain a permit for changing a carport to a garage. I talked with a small contractor who had replaced my front door after a break-in and he said if I helped his man he could do the rest of the job for $800. I went to get the permit and had to submit a huge plan and the end result was the construction was "estimated" by the city as being $3,500. That permit cost me $135. which I figured was just the bribe to get them to leave me alone. I never called for any final inspection but about four years later I received a certified letter identical to the first one but for the dates demanding that I get a permit.

I turned the letter over to my lawyer who then wrote a letter to the city requesting a copy of the applicable building codes. The city never responded. (There is a whole lot more to this house but you get the idea.)

My present house is yet another saga.
 
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Old 02-01-12, 04:20 AM
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When I lived in central fla probably the most ignored permit was the one to put out a garden
While it was on the books I never knew but one person that actually got one. Apparently you pay the fee and then they tell you that the garden needs to be X number of feet from the property line

Up until a few yrs ago the county I live in barely had any permits or inspections. Bldg permit was basically just a site permit/inspection to make sure you weren't too close to the property line. Electrical and septic did require permits and inspections. You wouldn't believe the number of houses with porches 6' off the ground with no railing and stairs with no handrails.
 
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Old 02-01-12, 04:52 AM
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Lawrosa wrote:
I got this from the town yesterday. I have a few things like my water heater
But it says hot water heater. I'll bet yours is a cold water heater.
 
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Old 02-01-12, 07:42 AM
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ray -

Is that in the category of "Jumbo Shrimp"?

When you go to sell, no one regrets getting a permit because they can justify the appraised value and the buyer can easily get a mortgage for the FULL value.

Dick
 
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Old 02-01-12, 08:01 AM
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Ahhh I love small towns out here. Right after I moved here, we wanted to eliminate the sloped area of the back that lead to the alley where the giant trash cans and utilities are. About a 35-40' wide area where we needed a 4ft retaining wall (to hold the backfill) with a 6 ft block wall on top and a 3 ft opening for steps and a door.

Went down to the permit office just to see what documentation I would need. Inspector was very nice, listened to my plan, told me No Permit Required!! 4' and 6' were the limits before permits were needed. Got me some paperwork and drawings with the "recommended" methods of construction and "suggested" I make sure the contractor followed them. I was building the wooden steps (more like stepped platforms) to the alley and planned to pour a concrete step in the alley itself. I described what I planned and he said "Sounds Good" and thanked me for coming in and checking with their office first.

Haven't done anything else that might require a permit yet, so no clue about anything else.
 
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Old 02-01-12, 10:10 AM
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Here in small town America, we don't tend to get permits for routine jobs. I've replaced two furnaces, one roof, and two privacy fences without a permit. In my town, the "building official" is some guy that has been booted out of every other city job, and being named building official is the last stopping point before he's fired. Thus, I tend to trust the professional contractors to know code requirements rather than the city guy. I also feel permits are mostly used to justify raising property taxes. My property taxes weren't lowered to reflect my aging furnace or roof, so why should they be raised just because I've kept up with maintenance and replaced worn out items?
 
  #24  
Old 02-01-12, 10:44 AM
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Maybe there is a reason they are still small towns.

I have have furnaces installed with permits (4 hours including inspection), water heaters with permits and inspections. I also had a custom oversize sliding door where the door installer also put in CO/smoke detectors wherever required by the local code. I did not know that was included in the price. In each case, because it was done by a good contractor, the inspection was started within an hour of the completion (scheduled by the contractor) and never lasted more than 10 minutes.

I am sure any neighbors will appreciate that you got a permit to insure the job was done right. You can go through loop-holes to save a buck or two and then suffer later.

My taxes never went up because it was classified as maintenance and not an improvement. The tax assessors deal with the exterior and and value improvements before adjusting the valuation. People do not buy unmaintained properties and the poorly maintained properties just go down in valuation.

Dick
 
  #25  
Old 02-01-12, 12:59 PM
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I do believe, some of these permits, and inspection are over kill. When I bought my house, it was empty for five years. Before I could get the power turned on, I needed a electrical inspector to sign off. He stood in my kitchen drinking coffee, for about ten minutes. When in the basement, open and closed the breaker box door a few times, signed my inspection, and charged me $60.00. Now that is my kind of job. 3 or 4 of those a day, 5 days a week. I would even have time for a part time job.
 
  #26  
Old 02-01-12, 02:27 PM
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There is always a wide range of what people will pay for and expect.

A permit on new construction is the cheapest insurance you can get since you have hired someone to look out for you, unless you are an expert on everything.

Let the inspector do the "overkill" since it cost nothing unless you have a T&M contract.

Dick
 
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Old 02-01-12, 05:34 PM
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Concretemasonry, here in rural states and especially in the small towns, often there is NO codes inspection department whatsoever. My city of 4,500 sometimes has a "code official" and sometimes not. He has multiple other duties, literally including being the dog catcher, since nobody ever gets permits here. I'm not worried that my lack of permits is endangering my neighbors, as they are doing the same thing. When my house was built in the 1980's, there was no permitting whatsoever. I have no GFCI's in my house, nor a ground rod on the breaker box. My next door neighbor's abandoned septic tank is buried in the middle of my back yard -- the property was subdivided and my house was built on what formerly was part of his lot. I also know he has an abandoned propane tank buried under his driveway. By the way, the builder was also the mayor at the time. That's how things work around here. At least I hire professional tradespeople for my home improvements; you should see some of the do-it-yourself wiring and plumbing jobs of my handyman next door neighbor. I'm just saying that life in a small rural town is vastly different than the big city, and people here wouldn't take kindly to getting permits for routine jobs. The city commission would be voted out overnight.
 
  #28  
Old 02-01-12, 06:53 PM
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i can see why permits should be mandatory (in some places).
people doing dangerous work.

but what i DO NOT LIKE. is when they say "well, you have a new HWH, furnace and siding. so now you have to "rent" those new things from us" = increased property taxs. as was said, why didn't i get lower taxs for those items devaluations ?

when i (finally ) get my house. i am going to be ON TOP of this kind of stuff. when i was in the condo, i got no permits, and i did many things there.
 
  #29  
Old 02-02-12, 02:37 PM
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Where I live (boston area) you need a permit/inspection for lots of stuff - framing, electric, furnace etc...some of the work you can do yourself, other stuff needs to be done by a licensed contractor (usu plumbing), but all is inspected by the town to make sure it's done to "code" & of course so they get their $$. If I didn't do this, & I had a fire, my insurance would cancel my homeowners policy, which would mean the bank would recall my loan ('cuz i'm required to have homeowners insurance as part of my mortgage).
Anyway, during the winter in particular, there are always a house or two that blow up due to gas leaks and also a few deaths due to carbon monoxide fumes. I personally was at a college party where the staircase of a 2nd story porch collapsed with people on it. Turned out it was a DIY gone bad. No permits. The town condemned the house & everyone had to move out until they were fixed because the bldg lacked proper egress. I'm sure the owners got sued because not only did people fall from the 2nd story, the stairs themselves fell on top of several people below. So, I'm for permitting/inspections even though they are a pain because it makes for safer environment for all. That is of course if the inspectors are doing their job.
 
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Old 02-02-12, 06:12 PM
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its not the inspections, and the quality of work they expect. its the increase of property taxs and fees that the government wants for these things.

imo, property taxs should be based on only a few things :
location
size of lot
livable sf of the house.
 
  #31  
Old 02-02-12, 06:46 PM
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condo-owner,

imo, property taxs should be based on only a few things :
location
size of lot
livable sf of the house.
I couldn't agree with you more. In the past 12 years, my assessment has gone up $30,000.00. And the only improvement I have made they can see from the road, is to paint my garage door. I sure am glad I have siding. I would hate to see what painting my house would cost.
 
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Old 02-02-12, 07:19 PM
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Reviewing permits needed from my town. Things I have done. Has anyone else?

Here are some examples from my town Q&A.

Q. Do I need a permit for replacing sheetrock?
A. A permit is required only if you are replacing 25% or more of any room.

Darn. There goes my kitchen update. Wait, I updated the outlets and switches too......And I am re insulating.


Q. Do I need a permit for replacing my water heater?
A. If it is gas fired you will need a Fire and Plumbing permit. If it is an electric hot water heater, you will need an Electrical and Plumbing permit.

Darn I should of checked with the town before I installed my heater myself...Ugggg. Second one too.

Oh and this one.

http://www.twp.howell.nj.us/filestor...8355/Sheds.pdf

Yeah I snuck this 190 sq ft'er shed in when no neighbors were watching.

Oh geez, and my sprinkler??......I have no vacuum breaker. I been meaning to install one. Whats the diference with my install or all the 1950 homes in my neighborhood with house bibs with no vacuum breakers?

http://www.twp.howell.nj.us/filestor...de_for_PVB.pdf

My goodness, you need a PHD to put a deck up. I guess my railroad tie decks wont pass.

http://www.twp.howell.nj.us/filestor...ck_Package.pdf

I did get the addition one after a neighbor dimed me out. The town wanted to fine me $2500 bucks. Cost me $100 to fight the fine, and about $300 worth of permits. This was for a bathroom dorner. It was on the back of the house. Could not see a thing from the front. Yes I know who it was. Lets just sat mischief night is a lot of fun for me at 46 yrs old....LOL

http://www.twp.howell.nj.us/filestor.../Additions.pdf

Oh and the pool I did all legit. Just because I felt people can drown and what would the liability be if a permit was not taken out.

The new roof got a permit. That would be hard to hide.

Is the above how everyone that owns a home thinks or just me?

Mike NJ





 
  #33  
Old 02-02-12, 10:13 PM
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Mike, I suspect that you did as well, or maybe better, than any contractor would do. I always figure that I'm the guy living in the house and I'm the guy that will suffer from any substandard construction so I ALWAYS meet or exceed code requirements.

I'll not state the things I did on my previous house, too many to list. When I sold that house I gave a detailed form 17 (disclosure notice) and the agent representing the buyer told my agent he had never seen such a well prepared and fully disclosing form. I stated everything that had been done in the 22 years I had lived there and that most of it had been done without permits or inspections. With the disclosure I sold the house "as is" and had no problems whatsoever.

In my present home I have never pulled a permit for anything I have done although I have had contractors on some jobs and I requested they pull any required permits. When I had my roof replaced (cedar shingles to asphalt/fiberglass composition) I specified the company to pull a permit and was charged for that permit. I never actually saw the permit nor did I ever see a city inspector come to the house although I was home the entire time the crew was working.

When I had the furnace replaced I specifically asked every contractor that bid the job if they pulled permits. Most said they did, a few did not. The contractor I selected told me that they normally did pull permits but in my city they usually did not on simple one-day replacement jobs because the city inspector had a personal problem with their company owner. He told me several detailed stories of how the city inspector had caused trouble for them in previous jobs that had nothing to do with either workmanship or code requirements.

I had a French door and one small "hopper" window replaced with a sliding door and double hung window. The replacements were triple-pane and also tempered glass as required by local building code. No structural changes were made and as far as I know no permits were pulled and no inspections made. In my previous home permits and inspections would have been required for this job.

The above is all that I have had done by contractors. I have also installed an undersink water filter, changed several faucets, installed a deep sink in my laundry area along with relocation of the supply and drain piping for the laundry. I installed a new dishwasher, removed a rotten garbage grinder, changed out numerous electrical receptacles and installed track lighting fixtures and a few recessed fixtures.

My electrical was woefully inadequate (although "to code") when I bought the house. All three bedrooms had the lights and most of the receptacles on a single circuit. The front bathroom lights, hall lights and front room lights and receptacles were on a single circuit. I have installed maybe a half-dozen new branch circuits to lessen the number of fixtures on any single circuit and to better balance the load. This work is still in progress. I added a sub-panel that now serves to also feed selected circuits from a generator transfer switch which I also installed along with (outside) natural gas piping for the generator.

I'm currently replacing my existing alarm system with a new panel and also new smoke detectors and added heat sensors. Yes, alarm work is required to be permitted in my area.

I've run a ton of Ethernet, television and telephone wiring (in conduit) and still more to do. This wiring is also subject to permitting in my area.

I ripped out a five-foot shower and installed a six-foot whirlpool bathtub. This necessitated moving a portion of a non-load-bearing wall and I relocated the supply piping from an exterior wall to the new interior wall. The exterior wall that had held the piping was insulated with closed-cell two-part spray foam. The drain for the shower was extended another two feet and while it is borderline (but code legal) for the size and length the drain does gurgle a bit when the tub drains. I may still install a revent although the trap does NOT siphon dry. I DID install shut-off valves for the tub, something that is not common.

Since the tub job I have removed the rest of the bathroom wall that I previously only "bumped out" to make it all in one plane. I am adding a door into the second bedroom and the two smaller bedrooms which had back-to-back closets have now had the intervening closets and wall removed and made into one room. I added sound and fire stop mineral wool insulation in the interior partition wall (non-load-bearing) and the partition wall with the bathroom. The exterior wall I am adding two-inch foil-faced polyisocyanurate board insulation along with new drywall throughout this newly enlarged room.

In addition to the previously mentioned electrical work I added a second sub-panel to handle the electrical additions for the newly expanded room and other electrical upgrades throughout the house. I have installed three 120 volt circuits (all GFCI) in the garage along with two 240 volt circuits for a welder and air compressor. I installed high output fluorescent lighting in the garage as well. Also did a new water shut-off and drain arrangement. Probably other items I don't immediately recall.

I'm not concerned about any problems that might arise in selling as I plan to die in this house. I also plan to will the house to my sister's kid and if he decides to sell it he can honestly respond to the questions on the disclosure form pertaining to remodeling or additions with permits and inspections by checking the box "I don't know".

Oh, I really need to replace the water heater. It is gas fired with a six-year guarantee installed in February of 1999. I don't know yet if I will get a permit or even do-it-myself.
 
  #34  
Old 02-03-12, 06:56 AM
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awrosa;

If you buy, one of those shed from the big box store. Do you still need to get as permit.
 
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Old 02-03-12, 07:44 AM
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All depends. Most places in my experience require no permit for under 100sf Some places require ANY shed to be anchored and therefore require a permit.
 
  #36  
Old 02-03-12, 07:59 AM
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A shed potentially blowing around because it is not anchored is sure to get a neighbor to call and file a complaint. The damage settlement can be difficult with 2 different insurance companies and can be messy to sort out.

Most suburbs around here do not require a permit unless you are over 100 sf or 120 sf (varies by municipality). Anchorage is required. If the shed causes problems and there is no proof of anchorage, you are negligent, liable and may not have insurance coverage. The result could be new siding for a neighbor because a portion of a home was hit and damaged and the siding could not be matched, so a total home siding replacement was required. It seems to be a local self-policing situation.
 
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Old 02-03-12, 08:07 AM
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If I had taken a permit out, I would need a land use and building permit. Also set the shed on 4" of gravel. Which I did just incase. Its all legal and all off the property lines and 4" gravel etc... I just did not want to spend the $100 bucks or so getting a permit.

But there was a shed already there. I just replaced it....???

Like it states here.

http://www.twp.howell.nj.us/filestor...8355/Sheds.pdf

The thing that is funny the bigger sheds need a footing and ties down for hurricane I guess. LOL...... Its the little sheds they need to worry about not the big ones...

Possibly its for another reason, who knows.

I had the shed pre made. All 2x4 construction . Was about $3000. Would have been slightly less if I bought the material myself. My thing was why go through all that labor for $500 buck difference. They came and rolled it right on my spot.

Welcome to Oaktree Sheds & Gazebos

[IMG][/IMG]

Mike NJ
 
  #38  
Old 02-03-12, 09:01 AM
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Lawrosa;

Nice looking shed, I need set of dubble doors like that. I built a shed for my snow blower, and mower. The mower broke, and I bought a new one. The new mower, has a 2 inch wider deck.
 
  #39  
Old 02-03-12, 01:43 PM
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Mike, why do you water your shed???
 
  #40  
Old 02-03-12, 01:51 PM
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He wants a garage to grow....lol
 
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