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Andrew,

I hope that your message was written facetiously or in jest.

If a knowledgeable engineer does work on his/her own house, that engineer can 
submit plans and calculations that he/she prepared.  Plan checking/permit 
fees are applied according to value of the work being done.

If work is done surreptitiously and the jurisdiction discovers it, they will 
probably require that plans and specifications prepared by another 
independent engineer be submitted, plan checking/permit fees may be doubled 
or more, the work be opened up for inspection, and inspections may have 
hourly surcharges with a large minimum.  If the violator is licensed, he/she 
would be subject to disciplinary action by the state registration board.

If the house is sold, and the new owner submits plans for remodeling and 
discovers that prior work was done without a permit, and the new owner is now 
responsible for proving to the jurisdiction that all the work was code 
compliant (but what code does it have to comply with?) with the 
aforementioned fees/penalties, the seller may find him-/herself involved in a 
lawsuit and may have to take the house back, reimbursing the buyer for all 
his/her expenses and future expenses.

No, sir!  There is no way that I would circumvent building permit 
requirements on my own house, nor would I recommend to anyone that they even 
consider it!

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

Andrew D. Kester wrote:

. > 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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