My town has a lot of old houses, so the building inspectors are active,
but I have always found them willing to give advice and have learned a
few things from them.
Permits here are for a limited period, so it the work is not completed
when the permit expires, you need to get another permit, which is no
hassle, but is an additional cost. I suspect that is applied more
strenuously to outside work, where they don't want the neighbors
complaining that your porch has been torn up for six months. I would
check with your inspectors as to whether a permit is needed for the
demolition, and, if so, how you can extend the time period. I think
some of the prep work may require permits, as they may want to check the
wiring inside the walls, for example before the walls are closed up.
Here, they often require alterations to grandfathered work if the code
has changed, and if they looked in your walls and saw grandfathered
wiring that was dangerous, would probably advise you to fix it, which is
not bad advice.
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