Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 4/27/2016

we made a bathroom out of the 4th bedroom without a permit? Can the city make me tear it down

We took the 4th bedroom made it a bathroom and closet and made an opening to the garage which was also convereted

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

1 Answer


Potentially - but all have procedures for getting a retroactive permit, IF the construction was of a type allowed in your area in the first place. Or you can try to get even that type of limitation waived with a Planning and Zoning Exemption application, though can be tougher after the fact and they are generally reluctant to help you much and generally requires a public notice period, so any neighbors who object to yhou or the construction have the opportunity to object - though since it sounds like you did little or no external changes to the building probably not much of an issue there.

Generally, assuming no P&Z violations on setbacks or height or such, you can pay the permit fee plus a retroactive filing penalty of 1-3 times the permit fee or sometimes a flat $ penalty or $ of job value penalty, have the work inspected (which can mean a few holes in the drywall by the inspector at times), get any remedial work flagged by the inspector redone, get any required certifications (plumbing, electrical, structural, etc) done as required, patch up holes and get final passing reinspection, and you are done.

With possibly, depending on area, an additional Occupancy Permit modification for number of rooms and such - which in some areas like NYC can require a lot of bucks in "processing fees" and requirements for an engineer or architect to review and approve the work. That can take many months to up to a year in places like Boston and NYC, and sometimes requires an attorney to get a restraining order on the city to allow you time to get exemptions or permits and get the work done before they try to shut you down.

If in violation of number of rooms or a requirement that a certain size house in your area has to have an X car garage, then lacking or failing to get a P&Z waiver of that requirement, you may be required to convert it back or build a new garage or such.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy