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Question DetailsAsked on 5/6/2018

How to straighten out a permit on work almost complete.

I pulled a roofing permit to attach a porch. I did this project for my neighbor. I am a licensed handyman, but have past experience in building home. I find that this was the wrong permit. The work is almost done. What can I do to resolve this since there hasn't been any inspections done?

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1 Answer


Presumably you needed a Structural modifications or more likely an Additions permit, not a roofing permit. Or maybe a Deck permit would do it - check out the requirements in your area. Almost surely an Addition permit (including Planning and Zoning review for compliance with area zoning requirements and property line setbacks and such) will be needed, since this extends the house footprint.

You will also need Structural plans (and architect plans as well if you ran electrical or HVAC or plumbing) for it - if only a "deck" without structural continuity with the house (other than ledger board) and no roof, then a deck permit might cut it - and some areas allow plans from building center computer programs for that if usual construction and design.

Filing an amended permit application and Planning and Zoning application should straighten that part out. If you are straight with them about having filed the wropng kind of permit most agencies will not go too hard on you - commonly a penalty of up to about the permit fee in addition to the normal permit fee.

The tougher thing for you - except in Wild West states like Texas a Handyman cannot do structural or foundations nor run HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical - so the building department might well require you to bring in a General Contractor (perhaps with you working under him as a sub) to apply for the permit (wi9th plans as needed).

Depending on what you have done, they may require opening some it up for inspection - commonly one or two random places they choose to look in the walls (if closed in), if nasty I have seen inspectors require exposing ALL utility runs in the ceilings and walls, and in a couple of cases where the failure to file for the permit was pretty obviously intentional to avoid paying the high fees (based on % of project cost in some areas) actually required excavation along a couple of concrete pier foundations to prove they went below frost depth.

Usually not that extreme, but all told this sort of situation (any penalties, costs of opening up walls or such for inspection, etc) commonly results in wiping out any profit on the job and sometimes going in the hole - which assuming you were responsible for permit (i.e. it was not stipulated that the owner would get them) comes out of your pocket.

In some areas - mostly large older cities and some townships where the building official thinks he is God's representative in town, you are better getting an Architect on board who is experienced with after-the-fact building permits - especially if the Planning and Zoning step was totally skipped.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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