Legal Restrictions on DIY in USA? (Gas, water, electric)

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Minnie Bannister wrote:

I hope so, that is the way the system is designed to work. Your tax is based on the value, you increase the value you increase the tax. If your tax did not go up, everyone else's tax will go up to make up the difference.
Around here they do check from time to time for un-permitted improvements. Not often, but it does happen. It can result in back taxes with penalty, and they can require that the "improvements" be removed. Most often this happens at the time of sale, but it can happen at other times, but that is rare.
I might add that when you go to sell your home, you WANT the assessed value high, as that is often used by perspective buyers to help them determine what they are willing to pay.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Minnie Bannister wrote:

Building permits do two things. They do offer some protection of the homeowner in that if the code is followed, it should be safe construction. It has nothing to do whtthe reputation of the contractor though.
They also generate income. At times they take your money for the permit but no one ever inspects anything. If major changes are made, your assessment will be increased. This ia actually fair. If your neighbor adds a $100,00 addition, do you want to pay the same taxes as he does?
Codes also require certain operations be done by trained and qualified personnel. We allknow that people do things anyway, but that is not always a good thing. I've been in houses, that used lamp cord to wire recepticals in a basement that was going to be finished as a rec room.
In a perfect world, we'd not need permits and codes, but too many morons do dangerous things with gas and electric.
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I once smelt gas in a house and it came from a gas hob that had been connected to the gas supply by a garden hose and 2 jubille clips.
However I have also seen professionals make mistakes. Once from an electrician supplied by the electric company who reversed the live (I think that Americans call it hot) and the neutral to the consumer board (Fuse unit) and registered gas installers who fail to carry out the correct pressure testing of a new gas installation, I had to point out to him that he had failed to do it and his attitude towards me was that of a troublemaker.
John,
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That is why I recently advised somebody to seek the services of "an expert -- or, failing that, a professional."
MB
On 03/01/04 04:39 am JhnWil875 put fingers to keyboard and launched the following message into cyberspace:

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township, unless we're discussing an increase to the number of dwellings on the same property, in which case one could argue that there's an increase in township-provided services. Otherwise, there're no additional financial burdens on the community after the improvement than there were before.
One could argue that sewage and water usage increase when a new wing is added to a home, but that is best handled by sewage and water fees, just like any other utility fee.
The licensing fees (plus some local taxes, fines, etc.) is applied to pay for the inspections and enforcing the code, which benefits the community (including the homeowner and future residents of the property).
On the other hand, shoddy workmanship can cost the township money if it results in fires or injuries that require township resources to control (fire-department, police, EMT/rescue services, etc.)
All that goes out the window if paying off the inspector is considered part of the process. :-( (please pardon my Monday-morning cynicism.)
--
Regards,
blubluh
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blubluh wrote:

No, but the total cost of local services has to be allocated to all the property. If properties other than yours are undervalued, then you end up paying a bigger part of the whole, which means your taxes are higher, because theirs are lower. That is unless you believe in things like perpetual motion machines.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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Joseph Meehan wrote:

Do you really think your taxes will go down when someone else's goes up? It *should* be a zero sum gain, but you should be old enough to know that taxes don't go down.
-Bob
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zxcvbob wrote:

In the long run yes, or more to the point if everyone else's property is revalued to 50% of what it should be and mine remains at what it should be, just how long do you believe the agencies receiving tax funding based on those taxes will wait until they demand more money.
Trust me on this. I just retired from 30 years of working in the local tax industry.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

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You should be old enough to know that making blanket statements is not a good ideal also. My taxes went down a few years ago. stayed the same for three more. My not happen often, but it does. One reason for the decrease was re-evaluation. Some previous undervalued properties were brought in line making the contribution more equitable. Ed
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wrote:

Just like p[ricesnot going down if you stop for the door nazi on the way out of a store.
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blubluh wrote:

Which is exactly why they do the inspections in teh first place.
--
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.
I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. - Mother Teresa
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John Willis wrote:

That sure doesn't sound fair to me, either. They *do* do their inspections here for sure.
--
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.
I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. - Mother Teresa
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Anthony Straight wrote:

That is true. All they do here is make sure that you have done the work safely and to code (and the building department has lots of handouts on what to do and also gives advice freely to the homeowner who does their own work)

My city says that their rule of thumb is that if you are doing anything that involves electrical or plumbing systems or changing the structure of the house, then you should probably check to see if you need a permit. But this is a relatively affluent community compared to many parts of the country. Nevertheless, people do things like put in new showers in without making sure that the sides are watertight and then the wall disintegrates or makes damp wood that attracts termites, etc. -- which is why they have the regs in the first place.
--
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.
I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. - Mother Teresa
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I've just had several significant repairs done to my home that required inspections. In all cases, new roof, furnace, water heaters, structural changes, and plumbing repairs, the inspectors failed to cite significant flaws until I called and had them return to do what they were paid to do. I was then easily able to force the contractors to properly remedy their mistakes. I feel that building inspection serves several purposes:
1. It provides assessors with an easy way to know which homes to increases assessments on. 2. It provides a revenue stream in the form of permit fees (a tax). 3. It provides employment for inspectors who otherwise are unemployable.
RB
Anthony Straight wrote:

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