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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Usually when I do my taxes in the spring I clear out all the old paper work I don't need, stuff like inspection reports. Well yesterday I get a call from a guy I did a big deck for last year, somewhere around 50K job, that wants to know if I have a copy of the final inspection. Says he's doing work in his basement & the inspector says he failed inspection on basement work & that he never got a final on the deck & therefore the deck needs to be torn down.

What a total crock of s..t. I know darn well I had all inspections done cause I don't ask for final payment til I hand over the last inspection report with items completed. I vividly remember going over the items on the final inspection with the inspector after they were completed to his satisfaction.

Well I tore threw all my records from last year & no final inspection paperwork, I did have the two prior inspection reports.

So who is responsible for keeping that kind of paperwork? Did I screw up giving it to the HO? How long do you think you need to keep that kind of stuff?
 

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I always give the homeowner the inspection card. Sometimes I will make a copy and keep it in their file. I have a lot of old files from 20 years ago.

What basis do they have for tearing it down? If you have 2 inspections already on file, I would think that you would only need a final, re done.

For what it's worth, cities around here are always misplacing files, just like me.
 

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We usually keep a file folder of the completed job forever on file. But the inspection card would not be something I would have. I thought the inspector doing the final inspection takes the card back with him and leaves the homeowner a document showing finals all approved.

Regardless I would fall back on the building dept being responsible for a copy of the finals if the homeowner wanted it.
 

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Retired deck builder
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I thought the inspector doing the final inspection takes the card back with him and leaves the homeowner a document showing finals all approved.

Regardless I would fall back on the building dept being responsible for a copy of the finals if the homeowner wanted it.
Yes the inspector had a triplicate form, one he left for the HO which I left with the HO after final check. He lost it & thought I would have one too, not.

I talked to HO today, he says screw 'em he has copies of his check where he paid for final inspection. I made HO pay all inspection fees cause I hadn't done anything in this town since they farmed out all their inspections to an independent company. I had heard this company was a pita from other contractor buddies who had worked there & would hit you up for a lot of re-inspection fees. Hit me up on the layout inspection cause dumpster or trash container wasn't on the jobsite yet. There wasn't even a stick of wood there other than stakes & strings.

Most deck permits around here only cost 50 bucks or so & take a day or so to get pulled. This city along with inspection company cost about 700.00 & took over a month to pull permit.
 

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It never ceases to amaze me how different the building depts are from city to city and especially state to state.
Or country to country.

In my area, the permit is $75 and includes all inspections - footings, framing & final. I was surprised to hear that deckman22 would have to pay for each phase of the inspection - crazy!
 

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I paid over $900 for a permit on a 50k project. Around here they base it on the valuation of the job. Another nice thing is I can or anyone can look up ANY address and see permit and inspection history including inspectors notes. All from the building departments website. I can also log in from my phone and order an inspection anytime and never talk to a person.

I guess I am just spoiled with the fact my building department has a brain and knows how to use it.
 

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It is the same here as it is in RobertCDF's area.

Not sure how far back you can see the permits on the website, but the project we are working on now I can see permits they have had as far back as 1990.

You can see everything related to the permit, the proccess and approvals needed before the permit is issued, all the inspections and inspectors notes about the inspections. And after the final inspection you can print the Certificate of Occupancy permit right off the website. Also can schedule inspections on the website or phone in to a automated line.

The great thing is you can look at everyone elses permits also. I have a good time looking at others failed inspections and why they failed. Great way to check out a subcontractor.


Forgot to add: I keep my permit records just about forever, but if I lose a permit or inspection report from the past I can just go to the building depatments website.

Also when a inspector comes out for a inspection he has with him a report off of the website that shows the same thing I can see on the website, all permits at this address and inspections. So there would not be a mistake of not knowing if something earlier was finaled or inspected
 

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Or country to country.

In my area, the permit is $75 and includes all inspections - footings, framing & final. I was surprised to hear that deckman22 would have to pay for each phase of the inspection - crazy!
Yeah, that's not common out here either. I've seen warnings about having to pay for a reinspection but never for the usual inspections themselves.

Currently I'm up to (ugh) about 10 different building depts that I deal with and even though they are all within no more than 20 mile radius of each other they are all a little different.

Costs are totally different some are pretty low, some are high, if I had to guess I would say the permit for the same project in different areas could vary by as much as $500.00. Some charge for a plan review, some don't. Some do a plan review that takes 2 weeks, some do a plan review right at the counter and issue the permit while you are there. They all have a mixture of different inspections, with some combined in one depts to all being separate in another, some have certain inspections some don't.

Most of course use computers to verify you are current on your license and insurance but Denver which is the largest, actually makes you show them your actual paper license everytime you pull a permit.

But the worst is trying to keep track of the local variations that some have on the codes. Those will bite you bad, but its so hard to know what they will be until it's too late.

I'd really love to see a state wide uniform process but there is too much money changing hands to ever see all those fees being given up by the local municipalities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This particular city's fees are like what Robert mentioned, based % of value. Then inspection company bills per inspection, leave a check when they come thing.

The city makes it tough, extra requirements, bonds to pour concrete ( I try not to do much of, maybe that's common), drawings, details on this & that then turns the rest over to the inspection company. This place doesn't want you to wipe your arse without getting permission & pay for it while your at it.

Most inspectors around here are fairly laid back & won't bust you with a punchlist unless it's legit. Not this little place out at the lake.

Inspector gave me an 11 item punch list to pass final. One item was a couple of missing nails in the 26 post base on that deck. Heck even in the city of austin the inspector would have said pound a couple of nails in that post base, but other than that you're good to go. 7 of the items were the sparky's stuff, who worked it out with the guy over the phone so they must have been BS anyway. 2 items were stuff the HO wanted me to purposely try to get away with. I told the HO, no way the inspector is going to let you get away with that, but he wanted to go ahead & try anyway, he didn't mind the 75 bucks for re-inspection. I did tho, I thought I went over it with a fine tooth comb & wasn't expecting any punchlist.

So I get basically get a 4 item punch list, 2 of which the stupid DHHO didn't want to pay for so I have to get busted for it to make him pay. The one item that is maybe legit I do & it cost me a lot of time & money, but I do it just to make the freakin inspector happy. Any place else this deck would have passed with flying colors, other than the two HO items.

I take time off another job so I can meet the inspector for the final re-inspection, I don't want him to find another nail I might have missed, sorry I ain't "Built by Mac". J/K Mac, not everyone can be held to your standards, at least not me, I do try tho. ;)

Anyway the point of all this is there is no freaking way I forgot to get that final. That job was a pain in my arse & I wanted it done, anytime a job drags on for more than a month I'm antsy to get out of dodge. After all the trouble I went thru to get that job done & done right some stupid code inforcement dude/inspector guy tells my HO, we got to tear down your deck cause you didn't get a final. What a joke. I'm seriously thinking these guys are trying to invent work for themselves.

It's no wonder in a city with the highest per capita of ex-CEO's, & other loaded a-wholes, that these rich folks are always wanting to sneak something in under the nose of the inspection dept. I know I've lost at least a couple of jobs there cause I mentioned permits/inspectors. These folks are tired of having everyone up their arse about everything, you can't have this & you can't have that, btw that's 50 bucks for even thinking you can. To think people pay big money to live there.
 
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