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Thread: DIY and permits

  1. #1
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Default DIY and permits

    If you are a person doing electrical installations let us know if you get a permit before starting you project.

    If you don't get a permit what type of installation are you doing and why did you not get a permit.

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    I have pulled a homeowners permit for DIY work at my house. I don't do electrical "on the job" except electric water heaters, and if any one pulls an electric permit for that? Well, I don't think so , Tim!

  3. #3
    Nuclear Engineer nukeman's Avatar
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    I get a permit for any work where one is required. It is well worth the small cost to make sure things are legal and having another person checking your work to make sure it is correct.

    Around here, the permit cost is very reasonable. I also know it is a pain for someone in the future to fix mistakes as I have had to correct a lot of previous bad work on my reno (hidden junction boxes, overfilled junctions, wiring too close to stud surface without protection, unvented plumbing, hacked joists, etc.). Doing it right the first time is MUCH easier than fixing it later.

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    In the Trades SacCity's Avatar
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    My neighbors just had a new roof put on with a permit,
    Not included in the permit were the new ceilings, insulation and lighting.

    Hurt my soul to watch but hidden and non-accessable junction boxs.
    God forbid when the lights need to be serviced. But their goal is to sell the house and move soon so long term was not the heighest priority....

  5. #5
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    If I am running a new branch circuit in EMT, for a new receptacle 20 feet from my main panel, I would not pull a permit because it is not worth the trouble.

    I have had permits for other more considerable plumbing and electric. The plumbing inspection I had took all of 5 minutes. I was set up for a pressure test but he only looked at the gauge once before approving the work. After all the preparation, I was really quite disappointed.

  6. #6
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Hello All,

    Are you allowed to inspect your own work, Where You live ? If You get a permit ?

    Even if you are a Licensed Inspector ?

    If you get a permit here, They raise your taxes. It is a improvement to your dwelling.

    I think it is a lot about Money. Not Safety.


    DonL.

  7. #7
    Nuclear Engineer nukeman's Avatar
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    Don,

    I would say no. There is a difference between someone who does inspections for when someone buys a house and the city/county inspectors. Now if a city/county inspector does work on his own home, then I don't know. In the engineering world, though, work would always be checked by an independent reviewer. Hopefully, it is the same with inspections.

    Regarding taxes, it depends on the work being done. Adding an outlet or replacing a water heater shouldn't change the value at all. If you are adding on or doing a major renovation, then you may see taxes increase. However, I believe this is fair. If you buy a $500,000 house, you expect to pay more taxes than if you bought a $100,000 house, right? You wouldn't expect them to be the same. If they were the same, the person with the $100,000 house would say that it isn't fair because he cannot afford $5,000/year in taxes while the person with the $500,000 house probably could. I think it is the same if you fix a house up. If you bought a house that would be worth $250,000 (in good shape), but you bought for $100,000 because it was trashed and then you dumped another $100,000 into it to fix it up, don't you think it is fair to base the value on $200,000 - $250,000 value instead of $100,000 value? What it all boils down to is it costs x number of dollars to run the local government. If everyone didn't report improvements and/or property values didn't increase to offset inflation, increased wages, etc., then the % paid on property would jut be increased instead of the appraised value. The money has to come from somewhere.

    As cacher_chick said, I do wish that the inspectors would spend a little more time checking things. However, they just have too many inspections to do with the number of people that they have. What I find is that if they see looks to be good work, they will be done and gone quickly. If they see things that they don't like, they are going to dig deeper and see what else is wrong.

    Bottom line: I think that if you ever had to do a bunch of extra work just because the guy before you tried to say a couple bucks and skip the permit, you will agree that permits are a good idea. The system isn't perfect and the inspector is not going to catch everything, but people tend to do better work when inspections occur because they don't know what the inspector will catch and they don't want to re-do and call for another inspection (waste of time and money). Without a permit, many people tend to just throw things together and not care if it is safe or if it is correct.

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; I was set up for a pressure test but he only looked at the gauge once before approving the work

    A fellow once told me about a pair of high rise towers he worked on in St. Louis. They called for a plumbing inspection. After the inspection the inspector told him that it was the best plumbing job he had seen in years. The plumber told me that they had not even started the plumbing in that building yet.

  9. #9
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Hello All,

    Are you allowed to inspect your own work, Where You live ? If You get a permit ?

    Even if you are a Licensed Inspector ?

    If you get a permit here, They raise your taxes. It is a improvement to your dwelling.

    I think it is a lot about Money. Not Safety.


    DonL.
    No. No one is allowed to inspect their own work.

    Nuke wraps up the tax issue in fine fashion.

    A lot of states have adopted the law that one cannot profit from an illegal action. States that have adopted this law give homeowner insurance companies a legal right to sue someone doing unpermitted work in which a paid out loss occurs.
    By getting a permit and having the work inspected no matter how small could save you from having to repay insurance companies for any losses they incur in an insurance settlement.

  10. #10
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    quote; I was set up for a pressure test but he only looked at the gauge once before approving the work

    A fellow once told me about a pair of high rise towers he worked on in St. Louis. They called for a plumbing inspection. After the inspection the inspector told him that it was the best plumbing job he had seen in years. The plumber told me that they had not even started the plumbing in that building yet.
    Well he spoke the truth. What he saw had to look better than some he had looked at, lol

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member david_griffin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Hello All,
    If you get a permit here, They raise your taxes. It is a improvement to your dwelling.
    I think it is a lot about Money. Not Safety.
    DonL.
    I have never applied for any permit :-) I simply keep it secret. The house is mine, I bought it by cash - not by bank credit so I have no reason to rise the value of the house :-)

  12. #12
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Electricians around here do not get permits for small work for themselves and family unless they are some sort of religious-robot nut cases.

    You get permits for unknown customers work and for work that requires the meter to be pulled. And for new construction that requires other trades.

    A lot of work gets done in these rural parts by "expansion" - one pulls a permit for underground electrical, and make a 100' subpanel run. Then several hundred more feet get added to various buildings and parts of the land, as the county does not keep a 'as built' drawing, and that one permit covers you on miles of runs.

    If they made the permit fees more palatable, and did not raise your taxes as a result of ones trying to be honest, many more permits would be pulled. And if the inspector showed up on time, you would not have the special event of 90 or 100$ an hour of labor picking their noses.

    We get a 8 hour window of inspection, and that is the biggest productivity killer ever invented. And law-breaker-maker.

    Permits do insure better work. And finally, permits get pulled when one has nosy and bad neighbors.

    The current state of the economy has greatly increased the pressure on people to cut corners and keep the gov. out of their houses.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 05-01-2011 at 01:24 PM.

  13. #13
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Very Nice BallValve.

    You are 100 % correct. In this world, That is the truth.

    Very well put... You must live where I do, In the U.S.A.


    DonL
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

  14. #14
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    As a citizen of my county the one thing I expect is for a sheriff to respond quickly in the event of an emergency. Should my house catch on fire I hope the fire department responds quickly. Should I be real sick or get hurt I want an ambulance to come in a hurry.

    These services cost money to operate and this money has to come from somewhere. I can’t help but wonder just where this money comes from. I am under the impression that it comes from the taxes I pay each year.

    I suppose that everyone else in my county wants the same response for these emergency agencies that I am expecting to receive but then I read things such as what has been posted here and can’t help but wonder if those who don’t want to pay their taxes are willing to do without these services or are they expecting the same service without having to pay for them.

    What would life be like if I couldn’t pick up the telephone and dial “911” for help? What kind of world would we be living in if there was no law enforcement? Would be go back to everyone carrying a gun and shooting first and asking questions later?

    This does not to include the help we can expect to receive when we get to old to work or disable to work. The help that we have come to expect when times are hard and there is no food on the table.

    This is the very foundation of our country but then there are those who think the government is out to get them for some reason or the other. I suppose we all think of ourselves and forget others. We think that our time is the only time there is and expect the world to revolve around us without any expectations of others.

  15. #15
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; These services cost money to operate and this money has to come from somewhere. I can’t help but wonder just where this money comes from. I am under the impression that it comes from the taxes I pay each year.

    You must not live in an area where the city/county/state officials think that it is THEIR money and spend it on themselves.

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