Closing on a first home - some questions ...


Hello,
As a first time poster in this group, I'd like to say this group has been very helpful.
I am recently closing on my first home and would like to do some renovations before moving in. Currently the basement of my home is partially finished and is separated into a large room and a smaller room (~5x10). I would like to push that wall back a few feet. Also, I am also planning to raise the suspended ceiling about 6 inches and installing some recessed lighting (which isn't yet wired electrically for it) and also some switches and extra outlets. If I have the chance, I would also like to create a small laundry room. Would I need a building permit for all this work? What is the best way of getting a permit and what other things would I have to know regarding getting my permit approved?
I am planning to hire an electrical contractor to do the electrical work while doing the wall and ceiling myself (my first time, but will have help from someone who has done it already). Where would I find a good electrical contractor in NJ near the Newark area?
Thanks everyone for your time.
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For work of that scope, you need permits. To get a permit, you'll need drawings showing what's being done. Depending on the municipality and what's being done, they may need to be done by a licensed architect. Since you're doing most of the work yourself, I would start by visiting the building dept and asking how to proceed.
As for finding an electrical contractor, best way is to ask neighbors, people you know, etc. Last resort is the yellow pages. Make sure you get references, check them out, and check that they have insurance.
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The electrician should pull or provide any permits or inspections for the electrical portion.
In most parts of the country the ceiling work would not require a permit but remember you can't cover electrical junction boxes with drywall. If it is a dropped ceiling that can be moved you may cover them.
The wall may or may not require a permit. Your local building inspection office is the place to get accurate details and permits for all construction items. In your area they may or may not work with unlicensed homeowners.
For all the trades a personal referral is always best. The smallest yellow page ad is the default search method. Handyman services in the local paper is about equal to the yellow pages.
Colbyt
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Thank you very much for all the useful info.
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Be sure you will not be closing in too far on any heaters or AC units that need to be serviced and need fresh air for combustion, etc. I can't see it so I can't say if it is a good idea or not.

I have to wonder why the original owner would not have done that. Be sure you can raise it and you are clearing pipes, drains etc. that can be below the joists.

Your local town building inspector will have those answers. A wiring permit will be needed by the electrician and he will take care of it. Some home renovations on the inside do not need a permit unless they are structural in nature. I have no way of knowing your local laws and codes that may apply. In most cases, to get a permit the only thing you need is some money.

Ask around and see who the neighbors used. What you want to do is well within the realm of any electrician, but some don't want to bother with small jobs, some rather industrial work. Most electricians and plumbers have enough work booked to keep them buys for weeks so be prepared to wait.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/




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Inyong Song wrote:

Hi, Are you handy kinda guy with some basic tools and experience? Or if you want to have all the things you need to be done by trades people, list what you want and get some estimates. Permits are responsibility of contractor when needed. Raising suspended ceiling 6 inches? It may not be possible. For me, I can do those type of things myself so it's a matter of doing it after collecting materials. Good luck, Tony
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