Reasons For Pulling Permits

 
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:05 AM   #1
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Reasons For Pulling Permits


Anytime I go to bid a basement finish, I want to make sure I am bidding against other licensed contractors. I go into detail on why it is important to pull a permit. Here are a few areas I usually cover...


1. City could make you demolish any work completed without a permit.
2. Insurance will not cover property damage from construction without permit.
3. If contractor can pull a permit, you know he is licensed, insured, ect...


I am looking to use this information to educate the public and help prevent unlicensed workers from driving down prices.

Do you guys have anything you can add to this?
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:09 AM   #2
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


It's becoming more and more common for lenders not to include any work that was done without a permit in the square footage of the property for lending purposes. Also, some lenders will not lend on a property that has non permitted work that has been done on it as they've run into so many problems with it.

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Old 11-23-2010, 11:20 AM   #3
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


Most people want to avoid permits so they can avoid paying increased property taxes.

If Joe Homeowner has his basement finished w/o permits, then goes to sell the house 15 years later, the tax collector can go after Joe for back taxes.

With gubbamints running short of money these days, it's getting more and more common for them to peruse the houses for sale and compare what the tax assessment is compared to the real estate listing.
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:25 AM   #4
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


Thank God we live in a Big Brother society so that we're all safe.
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:10 PM   #5
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


Those are all good reasons for getting permits.

Unfortunately, the reasons for not getting permits are numerous as well.

1. Time: I don't know about your jurisdictions but in mine everyone wants a piece of the pie and it only takes one slow department to stop the permit. For example I had a permit delayed 4 weeks on a recent single bedroom remodel. I found out later that the fire marshal went on vacation and no-one picked up his work load. I planed on a month for the permits to process, it took two.

2. Permit offices are requiring more and more expensive outside professionals. A couple examples from a garage expansion bid I lost: The existing garage was within 5' of the maximum height for the zone. This triggered the requirement of a $225 "height survey" by a licensed surveyor.

This job also triggered a stormwater review: a $900 permit not counting the engineering costs. (The county engineer informed me that had I applied a month earlier I could have just said "divert water to splash blocks") She was also confident this would be the end result of the stormwater review.

Homeowner ended up backing out after the health department insisted he remove an existing 10x12 shed that infringed on his septic reserve.

I still recommend customers get permits but only because the government's enforcement tools are getting more powerful. Not because it's in their best interest.

Last edited by robert c1; 11-23-2010 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:23 PM   #6
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


It may not always be in the best interest of the homeowner. However, it is not in the best interest for all those contractors who are playing by the rules. Yes, there are many advantages of not pulling permits. Which is why it makes it so hard for the guys who insist on doing what is required by law. I am looking for factors that hold more weight than those listed in your post. Keep em coming guys.
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:26 PM   #7
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


Quote:
Originally Posted by kcbasements View Post
............ I am looking for factors that hold more weight than those listed in your post. Keep em coming guys.
I could lose my license.

How's that?
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:36 PM   #8
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


As a legit contractor one doesn't need much more reason than 480 stated. Should a problem arise on a non-permitted job a quick complaint to the CSLB could get one in more hot water than is comfortable. A permit is also another layer of protection on any future liability issues.
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:57 PM   #9
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


Permits and inspections are a money loser for a government, but they do provide a guarantee that everything is done to the lowest standard (a code) and prevent last minute slop jobs that can lower property values and market/assessment values.

I had a furnace installed (over my ability to do) and everything was permitted and done by licensed installers. - They arrived at 8:00 AM with a new unit, had the old one out by 9:00 AM, the new one in by 11:00 AM and they were gone. Just after lunch, the electric and gas inspectors looked at it for and approved it within 10 minutes by 1:30 PM. - No problem.

I will do things to the minimum standard (code), but always want them done to a better level because of pride.

The phony excuse of increased taxes is ridiculous. If an improvement increases the market value, it makes it worth more and absolutely guarantees grand-fathering when it comes to selling a property. This eliminates the obvious scab-jobs that will be caught at some time.

Hunting down older unpermitted work is a bonus for the community and a cost for the person that tried to be smarter in the short term and paid in the end. - The classic is the basement finishing with a bedroom or two and cannot get it included in the appraised value because there is no proof it was done correctly (to minimum standards) even though it looks good. With a lower value, the financing will limit the number of buyers.
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:27 PM   #10
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


I always ask people if someone other than myself is bidding the work

If so, I ask if its reasonable to believe that whoever is the losing bidder on the job may drive by and see someone working and call the city out of spite.....
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:37 PM   #11
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


We did a job a few months ago for a HO who was selling the house and did the basement without permits. His total cost by the time it was done and over with was over $8,000 dollar.

Another house burned down from an electrical fire a while back, the fire started to over-loaded breakers in the basement which was done without permit, the insurance company gave the HO check for $0 dollars because no permit.

Most of the townships around here require CO inspection before a house is being sold, without CO there is no closing. In the past few years we did about 12 jobs with code violations, because people could not sell theirs home.

Today you cannot get away with this anymore,to many people got hurt due to shady work and the state is adopting new laws to protect the consumer.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:09 PM   #12
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


Also, if you finish a basement with no permits and a fire starts from the finished basement, your homeowners insurance does not cover anything.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:30 PM   #13
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Carola View Post
Also, if you finish a basement with no permits and a fire starts from the finished basement, your homeowners insurance does not cover anything.
I use that very quote when some jackass is telling a Ho that permit arent necessary.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:38 PM   #14
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


It's the law.

So was there a question here or something?

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Old 11-23-2010, 06:51 PM   #15
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


Pride in our workmanship provided.

By getting permits and the required inspections, you as the contractor become a more familiar face with the local enforcement counter staff and also inspectors.

I want them to know who we are and how well we do our job.

Why doesn't the other guy? Whats he got to be afraid of them discovering?

Another thing, is that those very same inspectors and clerical workers are a definitive source of valid referrals, although the inspectors are not supposed to, it does happen.

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Old 11-23-2010, 07:02 PM   #16
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteBasements View Post
If so, I ask if its reasonable to believe that whoever is the losing bidder on the job may drive by and see someone working and call the city out of spite.....
This statement hits it right on the head of the nail.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:45 PM   #17
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


the county is starting to check the real estate listings more and more. we had a flipper we did some work on as the basement filled with water while vacant so the bottom half dw had to be replaced. the a/c unit was about 5 or 6 years old. or maybe older, not sure. when they ran everything thru they saw the a/c was installed with no permit, and a big ol patio was put in with no permit. we demo'd the patio and had to get a permit and inspection on a unit we obviously didnt install. it is becoming the normal thing around her now.
they use google earth to look for swimming pools and decks going in with out permits in the summer.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:56 PM   #18
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


It's not that hard to do what you are supposed to do, just saying.
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I don't normally talk to people like I talk to you, however you have the little immature schoolgirl mentality so this is new to me.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:00 PM   #19
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteBasements View Post
I always ask people if someone other than myself is bidding the work

If so, I ask if its reasonable to believe that whoever is the losing bidder on the job may drive by and see someone working and call the city out of spite.....
It's happening more and more around here.
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:34 AM   #20
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Re: Reasons For Pulling Permits


Quote:
Originally Posted by greg24k View Post
We did a job a few months ago for a HO who was selling the house and did the basement without permits. His total cost by the time it was done and over with was over $8,000 dollar.

Another house burned down from an electrical fire a while back, the fire started to over-loaded breakers in the basement which was done without permit, the insurance company gave the HO check for $0 dollars because no permit.

Most of the townships around here require CO inspection before a house is being sold, without CO there is no closing. In the past few years we did about 12 jobs with code violations, because people could not sell theirs home.

Today you cannot get away with this anymore,to many people got hurt due to shady work and the state is adopting new laws to protect the consumer.

I asked my insurance agent about this because we have a lot of $ worth of stuff in our basement at the moment and i was worried about the the plumbing and electrical work the previous home owner had done because he def didnt pull permits and i didnt have time to pull out and repair.
she said it's a myth that your not covered and your insurance for your home has nothing to do with pulling permits or not. She said the same myth goes about for people who drink drive and then void their insurance in a accident. She said if you are insured correctly then your covered no matter what and that if your insurance company try a move like that on you then you got what you paid for and would advise on changing insurance companies.

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