Post construction permits

My wife and I bought a new house with an unfinished basement because the builder wanted 25K to put in just a some basics. They did do the rough in for a bathroom. We ended up spending about 15K after we moved in and paid cash to a plumber and a carpenter to get a nice large bathroom, a small bedroom and a rec room with a wet bar. My father-in-law is a retired electrical engineer and he and I did all the wiring. I never got any permits for any of this stuff but it was done by professionals according to local building codes. My question is can I now go somewhere to get after the fact permits and inspections or are we in trouble with the local authorities and should just keep quiet. Everything is working great and has been for the last 3 years. Thanks.
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I don't know where you live, but in New Jersey this issue usually comes up when the house is sold. The inspectors want to see everything that wasn't inspected at the time of construction. I know of at least two instances where the electrical inspector wanted all of the electrical boxes opened up and wanted all of the wires meggered by a testing agency. Of course the sellers are usually responsible for getting all of this done. I suppose some localities may impose fines as well.
There is also a liability issue. If you have a fire, your insurance company may not pay for damages since the work was never approved. I had one customer who bought a house from a do-it-yourselfer and had an electrical fire. Even though they were not responsible for the work, they got nothing from their insurance company. It was up to them to sue the previous owner for damages. Also, the mortgage holder on your house may seek damages from you since technically they own the property until it is paid off.
In my opinion it is never worth it to bypass the legal system as it usually comes back to bite you where it hurts.
John Grabowski http://www.mrelectrician.tv

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snipped-for-privacy@home.com wrote:

I'll start by saying not getting the permits to start with was foolish for a number of reasons. Save a penny then pay a dollar later. BTW I would worry about any professional who would do a non-permitted job.
OK, well no one can tell you what you want to know since it goes from one extreme to the other depending on the locality where you live. You need to find out locally. You could call the local office administering permits and see what they say. You could contact an attorney to see what they say.
You could have a lot of money riding on this, I suggest you take care of it and check out your options before taking any action, which it sounds like you are trying to do now.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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If it's all done, I wouldn't do anything at this point. The only times the municipality may find it would be when you need a CO or they do a property revaluation. The downside is depending on what they find, what they can see without tearing things apart, etc, you could have some big problems. The issue is inspection is supposed to be done at various stages, while the work is visible, before be covered up.
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I read all these doom and gloom scenarios. I've been a homeowner for 38 years in two different states. I've done plumbing, electrical, interior remodeling, replaced a deck, etc. Never got a permit except for when the electrical service was upgraded. No one have ever questioned anything, done an inspection during re-evaluation, check things at time of sale or purchase. Everything is done to code so I don't worry about tragedy from failure any more than any pro work.
When I had a new roof put on, the contractor got a permit. No one ever came around to check anything, just took the $25. I'm going to put up a shed and it requires a permit and I will get one. It will also comply with regulations as to setback from property lines.
Soon there will be guys in brown shirts following you as you leave the Home Depot and arrest you when you put in a new faucet.
In your case, I'd go to bed tonight and sleep well. Ed
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Just go get an inspector and pay him the pittance it takes, to inspect and sign off on the plumbing and wiring. Then you'll at least have the backup you need to show that the work met codes and was signed off by legit inspectors. In my experience, when they discover something "new", they inspect it. If it meets, great. If it doesn't meet, tear it out. After that it takes court actions.
This is upstate NY. Also lived in Chgo. Never got a permit for basement wiring/plumbing, but did get a city inspector out to sign off on the stuff., Never heard a whimper from anyone about anything and made no secret of it. One other thing you might want to take into consideration: House Insurance claims can be a problem if there turns out to be non-code work done. And, it's non-code until it's inspected and approved, whether it was "done to" code or not. AFTER the fire, it's pretty hard to tell what's what. That's IL, > 12 years ago, I think.\
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