Permit pulling - DIY or let the pro?

ellusionzSeptember 6, 2013

Silly question and I know most will say let the pro do it... but what are the pros and cons of pulling a permit yourself instead of letting them do it so you can save some money (if you're allowed to)?

I'm going to get a screen room built in my backyard, and I know part of the bid for the concrete work said if they pull the permit its 300 but if I do it, its 75. My screen room bid wasn't broken down so need to double check that side of things.

Thanks for any input y'all can give me. I live in Orlando, FL btw if that makes any difference.

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I think it is not they charge more to do the actual permit but they have to deal with the inspector and be on site for the inspection.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 5:44AM
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If you pull the permit, YOU are responsible for meeting code, and if the project is red flagged, your own the issue, not the contractor. You also have to do the standing in line at the office for the permit, and be on site for the inspections.

You hire a contractor because you don't want to DIY. Don't negate one of the good reasons for hiring a pro by muddying the issue of responsibility.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 9:17AM
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AHA! A pelosi moment, you have to pass the bill to find out whats in it away from the fog...................

Don't mistake the following for anything other then general information and not an advocacy for either.

Make a trip to city hall, after they have been open for a couple hours and other than mon. morning and ask them.

In many areas you will be required to provide a dimensioned plot plan, with the proposed new construction shaded or crosshatched, which is a birds-eye view of your property and is used to insure that you do not exceed lot coverage, encroach into required front,side and rear yard setbacks and maintained the min required area available for landscaping.

You may also be required to sign a paragraph or additional document which will denote weather you intend to do the work yourself, with or W/O the help of family members, only, have the work accomplished by license or licensed contractors and that they have a current state and city license and insurance.

If you plan to do the work yourself with or W/O family members, most currently written homeowners insurance polices contain liability coverage

If you are having the work accomplished by a licensed contractor/s you may be required to provide details of the product you are having installed and the name of that product, (the city will have a list of approved suppliers and approved product).

There is an inspection card issued with the plot plan and any additional documents that it is your responsibility to protect from the elements and have visibly posted at the construction site.

"If you pull the permit, YOU are responsible for meeting code,"

Only if you do the work yourself.
Contract documents with a licensed sub make it your responsibility to ensure that corrective action is accomplished in a timely manner, or they do not get paid.

"be on site for the inspections."

Leave a not on the door and the gate open.

Generally businesses selling these products know the code and will not try to sell you a product that cannot be permitted.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 11:35AM
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It really makes little difference who secures the permit. Permits were originally intended to create a system where minimum building standards were met, to protect the building owners from sub standard work.

Very often, localities are now using the permit process as a regulatory function, requiring certain certifications, certain building methods, particular materials and jacking up the prices to make money for the city/county.

The requirements for a permit seldom have anything to do with the actual person standing at the desk/counter.

There can be different classes of permits. Locally there are areas where the home owner can pull the permit. The job can be done by any worker---to include the home owner. The inspection will be to the same level of work as any other permit. There will be different levels of planning to meet. I've pulled permits with plans drawn on a napkin. Others required plans from a licensed architect. Or blueprints. Local regulations apply.

Not all cities/counties in the US do that. Many require licensed or accredited workers.

The reason the company gave you the choice has nothing to do with inspection/work, simply they do not want to waste their on site time at the codes office---and charge for that time if they have to.

As far as who has to be present when the inspection is done, that is totally a local jurisdictions rules. Could be the permit puller, could be the GC, could be a designated person on the permit.

Best idea is to contact your local codes office and ask them these questions, because their procedure is the one you have to follow.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 12:02PM
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One reason they charge you more to pull the permit is that its a time waster for them. When my electrician did a heavy up for me last year he was told the day it would be inspected, but only a window of time for the inspection. He ended up waiting here until 3:00 pm before they showed up, so he was tied up and unable to move to another job.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 8:04AM
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A building permit is always in the name of the owner of the property although someone else (a contractor or tenant) can apply for a permit with the owner's permission. The only reason a contract price would be different is if the owner acted as the GC and stated that fact on the permit.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 9:43PM
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"A building permit is always in the name of the owner of the property"

This is not always true.
The person or entity "responsible" for all actions regarding the permit, obtains the permit and pays the associated fees.

The property address where the permitted work is to be accomplished, along with the property owners name, is also listed and the permit filled by property address.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 11:49PM
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A property owner is ultimately responsible for what is done on their property. Don't be misled by building department forms or contractor procedures.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 6:57PM
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I live and work in Orlando-
Let the builder pull the permit!
Trust me, the time and aggravation you will spend is well worth the extra money!!!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 11:37AM
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Depending upon the locale, you may not be allowed to pull the permit as a homeowner. Here, the permit/ inspection process seems more casual than many places, but the permits except for ones in the "fast permit" category, general, limited alterations to a 1 or 2 family dwelling by the homeowner---have to be pulled BY the licensed contractor, HVAC-er, plumber, or electrician.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 4:06PM
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