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Permit for 200sf bedroom addition even if out of pocket?

Posted by bmh4796 (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 25, 14 at 13:31

We are adding 206sf of bedroom space because our oldest of 4 will be getting her own bedroom out of some of our master bedroom, so our bedroom will need to extend 9feet into the backyard. There is no plumbing involved. Just 9x23 feet of slab addition, framing, Sheetrock, and roofing- a gable.

We have a licensed contractor and licensed architect. The architect said that since we are paying for the addition out of pocket/no bank loan, then we don't need a permit- she whispered this. I'd like to avoid the 400 dollar expense and hassle of going downtown etc. Why did she whisper this? Is it against the law? I didn't ask the contractor because he's already not fond of her.

We are also doing a kitchen renovation, but the appliances will go in same spot as old appliances. The electrician is bringing the outlets up to code too. We are putting new floors throughout the whole house as well.

Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Permit for 200sf bedroom addition even if out of pocket?

Yes you need and really must have a permit no matter who or how you paying for the addition. I would also be leery of using a "Licensed Architect" who would suggest that you do not do your addition properly (as you would be breaking the law).


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RE: Permit for 200sf bedroom addition even if out of pocket?

It's all great until you go to sell, or the periodic assessor visit.

And then you have a 9x23 unpermitted, uninspected addition to explain and pay the fine for.


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RE: Permit for 200sf bedroom addition even if out of pocket?

I would NEVER attempt that here. An inspector driving by is going to notice construction of an additional 200sq ft. So will an assessor. You will be paying the permit fee AND fines (and maybe doing some deconstruction for inspections) if you don't do it up front.

(Wow! I can't believe a licensed professional would suggest such a thing).


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RE: Permit for 200sf bedroom addition even if out of pocket?

"The architect said that since we are paying for the addition out of pocket/no bank loan, then we don't need a permit- she whispered this."

WOW! Lose this loser!


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RE: Permit for 200sf bedroom addition even if out of pocket?

You may also at some point have to explain the lack of proper record to the property tax folks. Ditch the architect.


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RE: Permit for 200sf bedroom addition even if out of pocket?

So your architect has been dinged in the past by designing non-compliant structures?

Yup. Worked with those types before.

A permit has nothing to do with financing. It has to do with the scope of work being performed.


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RE: Permit for 200sf bedroom addition even if out of pocket?

Ok. Thx everyone. I'll definitely get the permit. She's a good architect. She has a good reputation. Maybe she was joking?? I don't know. I am always the last person to "get the joke". I'm glad I asked. From your replies, I'm gathering that a permit is a must, so I'm sure the contractor wouldn't have proceeded without one. We are still getting all of our ducks in a row.

Now I'm embarrassed that I asked.


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RE: Permit for 200sf bedroom addition even if out of pocket?

What the "architect" meant was that without a bank involved it is more likely that you would be able to get away without getting a building permit. Of course, the GC and his subs would have to perform work without a permit too and you would also be assuming your neighbors were OK with it. In my experience they will be out at first light looking for the permit.

I would be looking up the "architect" in the online state database to see if her license was active. Ironically, she doesn't need to be licensed to design a house but a suspended license is a big red flag. She might also be pretending to be an architect because, after all, if you don't have to stamp the drawings, who would know?"

The upside of a fake architect is that they usually can't use the courts to collect their fees after you fire them.


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RE: Permit for 200sf bedroom addition even if out of pocket?

In the worst case scenario, the addition is completed and everyone is paid. The inspector shows up and red tags it, because it encroaches on a set back. If you can't get a variance, you'll have to tear it down.


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RE: Permit for 200sf bedroom addition even if out of pocket?

There are other benefits to a permit. Even if the plan reviewer and inspectors are not good at their jobs they provide a double check for mistakes in the design and performance of the work and it motivates the contractors to not cut corners. it's actually very cheap insurance.

The statement by the architect served the interests of no one and is a clear violation of the code of professional conduct for architects. That puts her judgement in question and reflects poorly on other architects.


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RE: Permit for 200sf bedroom addition even if out of pocket?

That said, a permit and the resultant inspections does not absolutely insure that you do not encroach on an easement...

I speak from experience in reference to relocating the outside unit of my home's heat pump.

OP should get the required permit(s).


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RE: Permit for 200sf bedroom addition even if out of pocket?

bmh4796 - Building inspectors are not your enemy. My own house is a walking disaster with unpermitted previous work that I have been spending the last 3 years correcting and have another 3-4 years to go. The inspectors have been great in helping me bring the house up to as close to current code as possible (plus I get a new house out of the deal!). Some things just can't be done and they understand that but they have suggested things I could do while the walls are open to improve energy efficiency and make the house safer to live in, which is their primary concern. The permit fee is money well spent.


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RE: Permit for 200sf bedroom addition even if out of pocket?

I've lived in jurisdictions with very lax permitting requirements, but all of them require permits and inspections if you're adding square footage to a house.

I agree with the others above that say inspections/inspectors are your friends. Whether you're hiring out the work or doing it yourself, $400 is a cheap consultant fee to make sure everything is being done to code.

The only reason someone would not want to get a permit was if they were planning on doing something not to code. Do you really want that?

OK, I guess there would be another reason: planning to build to code, but permit fees are exhorbitant (like thousands of dollars). I wouldn't lose a bit of sleep over a $400 fee. Again, cheap expert consultant.


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