DIY and permits

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by jwelectric, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,529
    Location:
    North Carolina
    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. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    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. nukeman

    nukeman Nuclear Engineer

    Messages:
    706
    Location:
    VA
    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.
  4. SacCity

    SacCity In the Trades

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    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. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    3,237
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    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. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    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. nukeman

    nukeman Nuclear Engineer

    Messages:
    706
    Location:
    VA
    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. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Location:
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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. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,529
    Location:
    North Carolina
    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. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,529
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Well he spoke the truth. What he saw had to look better than some he had looked at, lol
  11. david_griffin

    david_griffin New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    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. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    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: May 1, 2011
  13. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

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    Location:
    Houston, TX
    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
  14. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,529
    Location:
    North Carolina
    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. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,263
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    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.
  16. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,529
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Where I live we elect our officials and charge them with the responsibility of spending the money to our best benefit. Should one decide to do differently with our money we simply elect someone else to replace them. It is called the democratic way of living.

    In order to have these benefits we must pay taxes. When we start trying to find ways to not pay taxes then the entire population suffers. As one man once put it, “to skip out on our taxes is treasonâ€

    Should we disagree with the way our government is run we the people change it through elections. If we don’t vote it is like saying, “what ever you do is fine with meâ€
  17. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Hello all,

    I would like to know where all the Lottery money and Sin Tax money goes.

    That should be enough to pay for our Teachers, Inspectors and Policemen. Since we all Sin and Gamble.

    I know I have paid 33 % of my income on taxes, And that did not include sales tax on gas or sin tax.

    We are now close to approaching 50 %, If you count all the taxes that You pay.

    Have a Great Day.

    DonL
  18. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    I have paid millions in taxes, and the cost benefit ratio is about the same as playing slot machines.

    How can one be inspired to pay taxes when the county road department has 6 guys filling potholes, 4 of which are smoking cigarettes? And they have free health care, every holiday off that one can imagine, and 9 out of 10 have the skill level of my 7 year old on a tractor?

    And in order to fire one of these guys, it would take the supreme court. They graded a gravel road here by my property. Looked like someone sprinkled a load of grapefruit size rocks for 2 miles down the road. Cars had to weave around like drunks in order to not loose the oil pan. Finally, I had to take my backhoe and grade the road - "My tax dollars at work". The only ones that do good work are the youth prison gangs they send out to clear brush along the road.

    As to the fire departments, egad! In our hundred year fire storm, the fire department assured all the locals they would give each house a truck and stand by. Only the 3 or 4 of us that stood firm have houses now, and the rest of the neighborhood looked like Dresden. I drove about just after the main flames passed through, and not a single "public servant" was anywhere to be seen. I could have saved 10 houses with a single garden hose each.

    Treason is public servants abandoning their posts, and entitlements to road workers that should stocking shelves at kmart.
  19. drick

    drick In the Trades

    Messages:
    392
    I saw a news clip a couple years back detailing what you are describing. I don't know if it was your area or someplace else, but 80 percent of the houses in the development had burned. The reporter was interviewing the property owners who still had houses and all of them stayed behind to defend their homes. What amazed me is that you would have a completely untouched house, and the houses on either side would be burnt to the ground - nothing standing. Watching the clip the thing I thought was criminal was that the fire department had promised to defend the neighborhood and then in the end was nowhere to be found.

    Good to hear your house made it through, although I can't say I'm all that surprised:D
    -rick
  20. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,529
    Location:
    North Carolina
    There is a fire that is burning hundreds of acres and yes these acres have homes on them.

    Fire fighters are steadily fighting this out of control fire trying their best to bring it under control but every homeowner wants a truck parked in their yard to save their home.

    Does this make very much sense? How can these people be at both places at one time?

    I understand that someone that is about to lose everything they own wanting every available fire fighter to be standing right there to protect their homes but at the same time there has to be someone to fight the main body of the fire and this is where those fire fighters were at instead of having a truck in every yard.

    To compare this type of fire to what we were discussing is totally out of text. Why not bring the destruction of Mt. Saint Helen into the discussion. Where were all the public servants at when this happened? Look at all the loss that happened there.

    As to the dirt road it is a simple matter of having the road paved. Of course this would mean a higher tax if this is what you want. If you don’t want the higher taxes then the dirt road is what you will have, can’t have it both ways.

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