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Re: stone wall

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Performing work on your own residence without a permit is, IMHO, foolish.
Yes you can potentially avoid re-assessment and a hike in property taxes,
and yes you can avoid permit fees and hassle, but there is a major catch.
When you hope to sell your house, the assessors description and original
title documentation will indicate the square footage and various features of
the property.  If all of a sudden you are trying to sell your 2500 sf house
as a 3500 sf house, the un-permitted work will be discovered.  The work will
then require permitting after the fact prior to the sale being able to
close, will be required to meet the codes in effect at time of permit
regardless of when the work was performed, and will be subject to the
verification and inspection process (i.e. remove all that drywall so we can
verify the electrical / framing / plumbing etc is in code compliance, dig up
those foundations and sawcut the slab so we can verify footing width and
reinforcement etc...).

Just because you are a licensed professional does not relieve you of the
responsibility to have building department inspections and comply with the
legal process.  Being a civil / structural engineer does not qualify you as
an electrical contractor.  If anything it would work the other way, you
should have known better.  I could even go so far as to say that subverting
the local building laws and regulations would be unethical and potentially
actionable by the State board if the local building authority decided to
make a case out of it.

In most local jurisdictions there are several types of work which can be
performed without a permit, as a for instance in my area retaining walls
less than four feet in height (including footing) do not require a building
permit.  Verify the local requirements and comply with them.



Paul Feather PE, SE
pfeather(--nospam--at)SE-Solutions.net
www.SE-Solutions.net
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kestner, James W." <jkestner(--nospam--at)somervilleinc.com>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2003 8:40 AM
Subject: RE: stone wall


> Building permits alert the local government to re-acess your property so
they can raise your taxes.
>
> Jim K.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andrew D. Kester [mailto:andrew(--nospam--at)baeonline.com]
> Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2003 8:47 AM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: stone wall
>
>
> Gail:
> I have found that if you do the work on the weekends when the city
building
> department is closed, or at night, and do it quickly enough where noone
> notices, you can get a lot built without a permit. It also depends on how
> nosey your neighbors are, and if they like the finished product. If you
> build an ugly wall or something they don't like they are more likely to
> place that anonymous call. Since I have an old ugly house, everything I do
> to it my neighbors compliment me on (if they only knew).  I know an SE who
> has practically doubled the size of his house, replaced his septic system,
> etc., without a permit. It is all probably done twice as well as most of
the
> junk permitted in residential. I figure that if I do something that a
> building department doesn't like (because I did not get their permission),
a
> signed and sealed letter is like my get-out-of-jail free card. It may seem
a
> little big headed of me, but how many decks have calcs done and then built
> by that same SE? Those rules are for mere mortals, (evil laugh) who ha ha
ha
> ha ha!
>
>  But things may be different in the land of politicians :)
>
> Andrew D. Kester
>
>
>
>
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