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Old 02-17-2011, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Cheshire
56 posts, read 132,241 times
Reputation: 33
I hear ya! I'm never surprised by some of the workmanship I see out there. I wish you good luck with everything. If you have any questions along the way, I work as a REALTOR in Central CT and I am happy to help.
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:00 PM
 
33 posts, read 238,523 times
Reputation: 32
Thanks Kdog, are you saying if I do need to pull the permit, the town will agree to go by the inspection report by a large construction contractor with reputation? I thought for any remodeling job, the town will require to send their own city inspector to do the inspection?

Really appreciate your advice, it might really save our situation!



Quote:
Originally Posted by kdog View Post
I can't speak for every situation, but in my experience, yes. The other reason to go with the private inspection is that if you do need to pull a permit, you already have the contractor's inspection report. That's as good as if the contractor did the work themselves. The reason you want a large construction firm is that they do business with city all the time and their work tends to be rubber-stamped.
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Cheshire
56 posts, read 132,241 times
Reputation: 33
I wish you luck with everything Sannysw! If you have any questions along the way, I work as a REALTOR in Central CT and I am happy to help.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:00 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
6,157 posts, read 9,733,540 times
Reputation: 6927
Quote:
Originally Posted by sannysw View Post
Thanks Kdog, are you saying if I do need to pull the permit, the town will agree to go by the inspection report by a large construction contractor with reputation? I thought for any remodeling job, the town will require to send their own city inspector to do the inspection?

Really appreciate your advice, it might really save our situation!
No, they'd probably do a cursory inspection. However they'd be much less likely to come up with some petty random violations like they would for an independent electrician or heaven-forbid the homeowner, if a big construction firm already signed off on the work. But your objective here is to avoid the permit process altogether. It worked for us.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:52 PM
 
Location: West End-Hartford
540 posts, read 1,118,334 times
Reputation: 324
Just some thoughts based on what I've seen in the past...

I haven't seen towns fine a homeowner for retroactively pulling permits for work that was done. Depending on if the work was done properly or not, the town inspector may make you remove/redo work for electrical, plumbing and/or structural.

I don't think many contractors would want to come through and certify work that someone else (unlicensed) has done. That could potentially open them up to liability claims.

The issues I've seen during resale when permits haven't been pulled is that it comes up during title search for the buyer or when the buyer goes to apply for homeowners insurance. That's most likely what the real estate agents you've met with have mentioned, I'm guessing.

I would call the town, talk to the building inspector, pull the necessary permits retroactively, have them come out and inspect the work and then fix whatever (if anything) they indicate is incorrect. You may luck out and hopefully your friend did everything properly. I would do this before you put your house on the market. It will avoid a lot of potential headaches down the road.
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:48 AM
 
Location: New England
8,156 posts, read 12,239,117 times
Reputation: 3152
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdog View Post
Call around to a few large construction companies and find one who will do a private inspection report for a fee (usually a few hundred dollars). If they like your work, they'll sign off on it and give you the stickers that they'd normally attach to your building permits which say the work passed their inspection. Realtors will allow those as evidence that the work was done to code. No need to involve the city at all that way.
It doesn't work that way here, so this is not an option. If the town doesn't sign off on it, it's useless. Contractors don't "sign off" on anything, the town does and THEY determine if something was done to code or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyBergquist View Post
Just some thoughts based on what I've seen in the past...

I haven't seen towns fine a homeowner for retroactively pulling permits for work that was done. Depending on if the work was done properly or not, the town inspector may make you remove/redo work for electrical, plumbing and/or structural.

I don't think many contractors would want to come through and certify work that someone else (unlicensed) has done. That could potentially open them up to liability claims.

The issues I've seen during resale when permits haven't been pulled is that it comes up during title search for the buyer or when the buyer goes to apply for homeowners insurance. That's most likely what the real estate agents you've met with have mentioned, I'm guessing.

I would call the town, talk to the building inspector, pull the necessary permits retroactively, have them come out and inspect the work and then fix whatever (if anything) they indicate is incorrect. You may luck out and hopefully your friend did everything properly. I would do this before you put your house on the market. It will avoid a lot of potential headaches down the road.
Good advice IMO.
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:27 AM
 
Location: W Simsbury
129 posts, read 118,646 times
Reputation: 54
I am no expert on this subject, but in reading your original post, I'm confused as to why you're so worried that the lack of permits would be noticed during a home sale. When I look at the documents that my town has on file in relation to my property taxes, there's a very high-level (non detailed) picture showing the layout/dimensions of the house/rooms.

Related to where I'm going with this...if I'm doing work on my own house, and I'm doing it all by myself, do I need to get permits for things, or does this only come into play when I hire someone else? And if I do need permits, what's the threshhold of complexity of the project before I need those permits? Do I need a permit to replace an existing electrical outlet? To tie into an existing electrical outlet, so as to add a second one five feet higher?

And what about houses that were built before some code changed? Every time a need code gets changed/added, they don't force homeowners to hire a licensed contractor to come in and get the house up to the latest codes. There was news this morning of a complex in Southbury burning down, with numerous companies' offices lost. The building didn't have smoke detectors, and they weren't required because it was built before that became a part of the standard safety code. So there's no common sense to any of this. It has more to do with the town wanting to extract more money from you via permits, then it does about safety.

So, personally, my take is that if you didn't get the permits at the time, I wouldn't worry about it. If you added a deck or expanded the size of your house, that would get noticed. But revamping a kitchen within the same footprint? I don't see it. But I'm certainly interested in being educated on just how much more of my business my town knows about me.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:51 AM
 
33 posts, read 238,523 times
Reputation: 32
Scott, I just know I should have got a permit since there was plumbing/electrical/wall removing involved during remodeling...The kitchen is very modern, so it should be fairly easy to tell it was remodeled. I dont know how they will find out if there is new electrical/plumbing work involved, but I trust an inspector with trained eyes will be able to tell (?)

My concern is during home inspection or appraisal, the trainined inspector or appraiser will notice the work I have done would require the permit and ask the buyer to verify if there is permit..And then this will be reported to the town... I have never sold a house before, I'm just imagining the worst!
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:10 AM
 
33 posts, read 238,523 times
Reputation: 32
Thanks Amy... ugh, I was hopeful yesterday that I might get away from all this trouble to go to the town.. But I think you are right, better get things right sooner than later..

I'm just curious though, that during the home inspection or appraisal, will the inspector or appraiser be able to determine if a kitchen remodeling will or will not need a permit? I understand if they see an addition of a room, they will definately make a point for the buyer to check the permit, but for revamping the kitchen or remodeling the bathroom, it might or might not need permit depending on what was done according to my town.. So I'm just thinking if we decide to wait untill the buyer inspects the home, what is the chance that we can avoid going to town to pull the permit. Or you all think the inspector/appraiser will definately catch this?

We want to get things done right, but on the other hand, we are hurried to sell the house and we are scared if this is going to push everything off for a long time...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyBergquist View Post
Just some thoughts based on what I've seen in the past...

I haven't seen towns fine a homeowner for retroactively pulling permits for work that was done. Depending on if the work was done properly or not, the town inspector may make you remove/redo work for electrical, plumbing and/or structural.

I don't think many contractors would want to come through and certify work that someone else (unlicensed) has done. That could potentially open them up to liability claims.

The issues I've seen during resale when permits haven't been pulled is that it comes up during title search for the buyer or when the buyer goes to apply for homeowners insurance. That's most likely what the real estate agents you've met with have mentioned, I'm guessing.

I would call the town, talk to the building inspector, pull the necessary permits retroactively, have them come out and inspect the work and then fix whatever (if anything) they indicate is incorrect. You may luck out and hopefully your friend did everything properly. I would do this before you put your house on the market. It will avoid a lot of potential headaches down the road.
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Old 02-18-2011, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Cheshire
56 posts, read 132,241 times
Reputation: 33
Sannysw,
I really don't think you need to worry. Read below for more info:

A home inspector determines the condition of a structure. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an inspection to verify compliance with appropriate codes
An appraiser will determine the value of the home. They will come in and determine updates that have been made and overall condition. If you have a buyer who is pursuing FHA financing, there are certain repairs the appraiser will focus on and may ask the homeowner to fix. Here is a list of possible repairs.
Types of FHA Repairs That Must be Completed Prior to Closing an FHA Loan


  • Peeling paint in homes built before 1978.
  • Unpainted downspouts and broken rain gutters.
  • Rotting out-building in need of demolition.
  • Exterior doors that do not properly close and open.
  • Exposed wiring and uncovered junction boxes.
  • Major plumbing issues and leaks.
  • Inoperable HVAC systems.
  • Leaky or defective roofs, roofs with a life expectancy of less than 3 years, composition over shake.
  • Active and visible pest infestation.
  • Rotting window sills, eaves, and support columns on a porch.
  • Missing appliances that usually are sold with a home such as a stove.
  • Bedrooms without minimize-sized windows or bedroom windows with bars that do not release.
  • Foundation or structural defects.
  • Wet basements.
  • Evidence of standing water in the crawl space.
  • Inoperable kitchen appliances.
  • Empty swimming pools, pools without a working pump and pools with mosquito fish.
  • Ripped screens.
  • No pressure relief valve on water heater.
  • Leaning / broken fence.
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