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To permit or not to permit - that is the question

rugger

TheOrginalMiataGuy
Joined
May 19, 2020
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Loc
Roanoke, VA
I'm closing on a 1948 built house at the end of the month. It needs a full renovation. My intention is to not permit as most of the work is cosmetic. I do have some plumbing reroute to do in a couple of places and I want to knock out a load bearing wall. I built my house in Colorado, and I know what I'm doing when it comes to framing, electrical and plumbing. Would you guys permit for one wall, a few pipes and a couple of circuits? The law hasn't been in this house at all to my knowledge. How would they know and what's the worst that can happen?

Colorado house for reference:
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1...13845345_zpid/

Passed all inspections first try minus electrical because the inspector refused to show me his tester on a circuit that he failed. :laughing: Freaking re-inspect fees.
 
Nope fuck that permit shit. Last house I owned we did a gut job and built a shop, no permits. Good neighbors probably helped as it was pretty obvious what was going on.:laughing: The worst that could have happened was a stop work order until permits were in place.
 
No permits, get on good terms with your neighbors.

You're a boot licking moron if you even consider pulling a permit for work that isn't visible from the public way.
 
No permits. Just be discreet with materials and don’t piss off your neighbors. I always loved your Colorado house. Didn’t know you built it. Nice.
 
fuck inviting them in to steal your money. hell of a nice place you had in Colorado. only bitch is to close to the road. and just bigger than what I would want. but to each their own. hell I built my cabin as a portable building just to avoid the taxes. I have to move it next year.
 
Depends on your area.
When I did my house in the midwest it was pretty loose, did it all without permitting and had no issues when I went to sell.
Here in CO a good friend of mine went to sell his house and got fucked over by a home inspector who pulled previous permits, and determined that work had been done without permit. Financing wouldnt work with them unless the work was permitted, which cost him a ton of money.
If you are going to do it right you might as well, shouldnt cost you much and should be painless if you do it right.
 
That is a 1948 built house ?? Looks a lot newer. Really nice though. Slightly envious or in awe.
 
No permits. Just be discreet with materials and don’t piss off your neighbors. I always loved your Colorado house. Didn’t know you built it. Nice.

Thanks. I've taken more credit for it as time goes by. I subbed the $20k in concrete and $20k in the septic system and up the mountain leach field. I was into framing when a friend had his crew out of work. I put them to work with me at his cost. I did the windows, doors, roof, flooring, stonework, finish, electrical and subbed the plumbing. The crew assisted me with the framing, windows and roof. So, I kinda take credit for it.
 
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People here don't last three days without permits. They always get snagged. Hell, when I was living at our now rental, the guy across the street had a HVAC and an electric truck in his driveway. And because my mailbox was across the street, I got a come see me after class note sent to me. I had to explain to the people it wasn't me. Just happened to be my mailbox over there.
 
Thanks. I've taken more credit for it as time goes by. I subbed the $20k in concrete and $20k in the septic system and up the mountain leach field. I was into framing when a friend had his crew out of work. I put them to work with me at his cost. I did the windows, doors, roof, flooring, stonework, finish, electrical and subbed the plumbing. So, I kinda take credit for it.

Almost everybody subs some stuff out. You can take credit.

If we hadn’t found the house we live in, I was thinking about building and I would have subbed out most of it so it didn’t take me 10 years. :laughing:
 
Almost everybody subs some stuff out. You can take credit.

If we hadn’t found the house we live in, I was thinking about building and I would have subbed out most of it so it didn’t take me 10 years. :laughing:

I'm planning on TSPing all the walls and skim coating them. It's going to be very difficult to tell what is new and what is not. I think that I'll just go for it. The big issue will be if they ever come in the MLS pics are available. It's going to look much different and they'll see a load bearing wall is missing and a bathroom has been relocated. :laughing:
 
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I'm planning on TSPing all the walls and skim coating them. It's going to be very difficult to tell what is new and what is not. I think that I'll just go for it. The big issue will be if they ever come in the MLS pics are available. It's going to look much different and they'll see a load bearing wall is missing and a bathroom has been relocated. :laughing:

"What do you mean? Can't you see the mls pics are of the wrong house? It looks nothing like my house"
 
I'm planning on TSPing all the walls and skim coating them. It's going to be very difficult to tell what is new and what is not. I think that I'll just go for it. The big issue will be if they ever come in the MLS pics are available. It's going to look much different and they'll see a load bearing wall is missing and a bathroom has been relocated. :laughing:

I am going to build the upstairs area of my shop that is on the road level into an office and a commercial space to rent. My plan is to not pull permits and claim the previous owner did it if asked. It’s a gamble but I don’t like giving the government money and control.
 
People here don't last three days without permits. They always get snagged. Hell, when I was living at our now rental, the guy across the street had a HVAC and an electric truck in his driveway. And because my mailbox was across the street, I got a come see me after class note sent to me. I had to explain to the people it wasn't me. Just happened to be my mailbox over there.

Sounds like you had a rat living nearby.
 
I am going to build the upstairs area of my shop that is on the road level into an office and a commercial space to rent. My plan is to not pull permits and claim the previous owner did it if asked. It’s a gamble but I don’t like giving the government money and control.

I probably won't sell it until the market comes back up. That could be 6 to 8 years and it hasn't even dropped yet.
 
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Sounds like you had a rat living nearby.

They're always checking things out. Small town and all. One guy spends his days during the summer taking down yard sale signs because they didn't take a sign permit out.
 
When you sell a house, there are disclosures. One of the questions on that disclosure is, "Has all work been permitted?" When you go to sell, you have two options. Disclose the work and risk a diminuation in value, or lie about the work and open yourself up to litigation for defrauding the new owners. 20 years ago this was not an issue. Today, it's serious.
 
Depends on your intentions. If you plan on selling in the next few years then I'd suck it up and permit. If you plan on keeping the house long-term I probably wouldn't bother.
 
Back on topic,

yea I thought when you sold the house any changes, alterations, or additions needed to have permits. When we were house shopping, quite a few places had permits taken out in 2015, but the porch/shed/whatever was built 15 years earlier.
 
Oh, and how would someone "find out?"

Look at the Romex you intend to install, for example. $5 says it has a date on the sheathing. Often the same with plywood/OSB/metal roofing, etc.

If you're adding on, satellite imagery easily catches unpermitted additions.
 
I probably won't sell it until the market comes back up. That could be 6 to 8 years and it hasn't even dropped yet.

If you're planning on selling in 6-8 years I'd suck it up, spend a few hundred and hope I lucked into an inspector with some damn sense instead of an adult hall monitor. Unfortunately, the adult hall monitor types are like moths to a flame to inspector jobs.
 
When we had our 2nd floor broken pipe total most of our 1st floor we didn't permit. We were mostly putting back what had been there. No relocating of plumbing. A few minor electrical upgrades. like upping wire gauge and outlets to 20 amp.

We are outside city limits. I acted as GC with subs coming and going. No one batted an eye.

When we swap a tub surround for a Washer dryer combo I will likely permit since it will change the configuration of the house.
 
When you sell a house, there are disclosures. One of the questions on that disclosure is, "Has all work been permitted?" When you go to sell, you have two options. Disclose the work and risk a diminuation in value, or lie about the work and open yourself up to litigation for defrauding the new owners. 20 years ago this was not an issue. Today, it's serious.

Depends on your intentions. If you plan on selling in the next few years then I'd suck it up and permit. If you plan on keeping the house long-term I probably wouldn't bother.

This ^^^^^^

Electrical inspector once told me that they kept their eyes open looking for illiegal work going on when they were going to an inspection
 
Oh, and how would someone "find out?"

Look at the Romex you intend to install, for example. $5 says it has a date on the sheathing. Often the same with plywood/OSB/metal roofing, etc.

If you're adding on, satellite imagery easily catches unpermitted additions.

Exactly what I'm looking for - you have a good point about the Romex. That may be a give away.
 
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