Building permits?


How do I know if I need a building permit? I understand that anything that will change the footprint on the ground of the house needs a permit. And if it changes the looks, maybe. Adding a floor would, but painting would not. If the work is regulated by code (electrical, plumbing, sewer), yes.
But people in this town have taken out permits for new wall paper. Or to slip in a replacement window.
Can a town cancel your occupancy permit if you don't comply?
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Stubby wrote:

enquire at your town hall, rules vary widely by location.
In my area anything over $1,000 needs a permit.
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Even a wallpapering job?
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On Fri, 3 Nov 2006 20:01:34 -0500, "Proctologically Violated"
It all depends on who rats you out. They busted my wife's company (when she was in the HVAC biz) for painting on duct mastic without a permit. A neighbor called code enforcement because there was a van in the driveway
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Stubby wrote:

I've never heard of that happening, but I suppose it could. They're unlikely to cancel it for anything short of a major structural expansion/rework that was in violation of zoning or code. More likely they'll fine your ass off.
Building permits are one of those things it's tough to come out ahead on. You might win in the short run, but in the long run it often bites you in the ass. In my neck of the woods, the fines start with an after-the-fact building permit application costs triple what it would have cost ahead of time and you've already pissed off the inspectors. They view it as being disrespectful and trying to slip one by them. So when they need verification of insulation or a footing, guess what? No favors are coming your way. Knock a hole, dig it up, let me see it. And I'll come around to inspect when I'm damn good and ready.
In the past, when I was young and stupid, I'd done work for people who were dead set against getting a building permit, so I wrote into my contract that they were responsible for getting the permit and for all costs, fines and penalties due to work stoppage. It never came up but I could imagine it would get messy pretty quickly so I had to protect myself. I no longer work without a permit. Not worth the risk.
Your town probably has a web site that lists all of the things that require a building permit. If not, call up and ask. If you're paranoid, call from a different phone and disguise your voice. :)
R
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You call the town hall and ask for the building inspector or permit department. Most structural changes require one, cosmetics do not. Electrical and plumbing usually do but sometimes repairs to existing work do not. What goes in my town does not always apply to yours.
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Call the building/planning department in your community. If you're super-paranoid, due it from a public phone or at work or something, but in my experience they don't ask names and are happy to answer questions.
-Tim
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Finding the keyboard operational Stubby entered:

You need a building permit if your town requires one. I've seen towns that require a permit to replace a sink, others will let you pretty "replace" any thing you want. Call your building department, they're not the enemy. You will find that most inspectors would rather work with you then try to find what you are covering up. Plus you might find that while you are doing A, B and C, you an rough in for D thru G on the same permit thus saving an inspection. You can get your CO removed for failure to inspect but I think you would have bigger problems by then. Bob
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