I happen to be in Ohio. Just a few miles from me you can do almost
anything you like without a permit and no one cares. Where I am you better
have that permit. The difference is I am in a city and not far away it it
farm land and I guess they don't bother even trying to get those farmers to
Absolutely, even in the Northeast region. However, be prepared to be
scrutinized more heavily by the inspectors. You also accept all
responsibility if things go wrong. They assume you don't know what you
are doing even if you do. They are there to protect you, your family
and your home. Once you prove to them you know what you are doing, they
typically ease up. The inspectors are there to help you with your
project. If you pressed for time, I suggest that you hire a
Here are some tips I have used and would like to pass on:
1. Do things right, be prepared and ask if you unsure.
2. Be patient, respectful, courteous and non-confrontational with the
entire building department, they are people too. They can be a wealth
3. Submit detailed plans, have them approved and try not to deviate much
from them. If you do deviate, revise and resubmit the plans.
4. Ask questions about codes that you are not familiar with, especially
plumbing and electrical.
5. Ask questions about their process, which inspection do you want and
6. Don't say things like "My taxes pay your salary" or "that is not how
I interpreted the code to be". It is not your job to interpret the code
book, it is theirs.
7. Thank them for their time.
I hope this helps
Have you noticed that those who tend to complain about inspectors often
are the same ones who don't believe they should be required to comply with
electrical codes or plumbing codes because they don't understand why the
code is written the way it is.
Please note that I am not suggesting that all code enforcement and local
codes are reasonable. Some of the writers may well be reporting their local
situation. I have experienced a few of those situations myself.
On 2/27/06 8:15 PM, in article 7MKdnWoj06DMOZ7ZnZ2dnUVZ email@example.com,
I'm in Central New York, rural area south of Syracuse. I bought a house that
was "livable" and had good siding, but otherwise was a POS. I tore the whole
thing apart, new wiring, plumbing, doors, windows, everything. The whole
time I was working I kept expecting someone to come over asking to see my
permit (that I didn't have). The renovations are done now, and still
I think permits are "required" because the local government wants to:
1) know what you're doing so if your property value goes up, they can
increase you assessment
2) make sure your neighbors are going to complain when it's done
3) make sure you don't make some horrible mistake that will cause death or
injury to yourself or others..
You should have seen the things the previous owner did in *his* renovation
of this house (wiring on the outside of the wall, then into the wall, to
power an outlet), and so on and so on..
Permits are a good idea in general, but if you're confident in your own
work, and you don't think anyone is going to bother you about *not* getting
one, I wouldn't worry about it..
Chuckle. My house resembles that remark. The decor is bad enough, but at
least that isn't dangerous. The wiring, on the other hand- half the outlets
reverse-polarity, and the open-lidded junction box in the attic where the
wire nuts went 'sproing' when I touched it, the buried splice in the run to
the medicine cabinet, the unclamped cable feeding the fart fan that was
blowing directly into the insulation, the butchered cabinet that has a large
air leak to attic above the stove where they installed the built-in micro -
need I go on? I won't say that the work I am slowly doing is craftsman
quality, especially the electrical cable fishing, but it is a damn sight
better than what I ripped out, and it is at least safe, even if it isn't
pretty. I'll be calling in a pro for the HVAC replacement- I don't have a
warm fuzzy about doing that myself.
There are reasons, rationalizations, and uses for permitting,
and none of the three particularly resembles the other.
And then there are reasons why the permitting is done the
way it's done, which usually boils down to money and effort.
> I realize local ordinances vary but in general is a home owner
> to do
yes, most local ordinances allow general home repair to be done without
approval. however, often times local ordinances will require
approval on a task
which might seem trivial. For example some require
permits to build a loft in a
bedroom. Others have restrictions on
materials and colors of roofing, siding
and stone that you can use on
One of the funniest ordinances I have heard of is that based upon the
International Code Counsil you are allowed to have older windows in
your house ,
but if you make any type of renovation or remodel you
aren't allowed to use
those same windows again. Even if you are just
transeferring them to a
different part of the house.
all-in-all, if you aren't sure you're allowed to be doing it, you might
check the books
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