Permit Me to Inspect

By
Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

A few weeks ago I wrote about inspecting a home where an addition had been built with a permit, but had not been inspected.  Fast forward to this week and it was Deja Vue all over again.

The listing boasted of a total renovation in 2007. That immediately sent up my antennas. It wasn't long before I found something that told me this renovation project had probably not been inspected.

This side porch as any one can see is narrow. Not to mention the non existent handrail.

As an aside a handrail is not a 5/4 board or 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 set on top of the guard rail.

The stair treads measured just over 32 inches. With the addition of the guardrail there is less than 30 inches of width. A stair landing should be at minimum 36 inches as should be the stairs.  

A storm door has not been installed on the doorway. I would suspect because a 32 inch door would not swing fully open on the narrow landing.

Other deficiencies were found inside the home during the course of the inspection. I advised the client to check on the permits for the work. He informed that he had done so already and found records of permits for the renovation.

I asked if they had been closed. I got "the look" from him and his agent.

What does closed mean he asked. I told him that would mean the town inspector had inspected the property and issued a CO.

I got a call later that afternoon from the customer's agent to let me know that the permits were still open. All I can say is I wasn't in the least bit surprised.

If you're a real estate agent and you are going to take on a new listing with renovations to the home, make sure the clients have pulled and closed all permits. It can save a whole lot of trouble later on.

 

James Quarello
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

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Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

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Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

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Rainmaker
455,517
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

James - That sounds like a big oops to me. So much for the total renovation,.

Nov 12, 2009 12:16 AM #1
Ambassador
1,334,752
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

James, and now you get to be Mr Badguy:)  Yeeessshhh.  Nice to see you back playing in the rain.

Nov 12, 2009 12:27 AM #2
Rainmaker
1,244,628
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Mr James,

The roll of Mr bad guy fits you well. You are oh so mean.

Nutsy pretending to be a role

Nov 12, 2009 12:50 AM #3
Rainer
89,515
David Salvato
David Home Inspection Service Home Inspector San Bernardino - Los Angeles, CA

I always like inspecting the home that is listed as having a 450 sq foot addition. Then finding out it's a converted patio cover. Good inspecting James.

Nov 12, 2009 01:08 AM #4
Rainmaker
690,288
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

John, An all too common oops.

Charlie, That's me all right, just looking for trouble. Glad to be back.

Nutsy, You're an upside down fruit cake.

David, We do find all sorts of interesting construction, don't we.

Nov 12, 2009 09:40 AM #5
Ambassador
1,041,976
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Hi Jim, good to see you, I would assume you have been busy inspecting! I am a nut about permits, CO's and of course, easements, LOL. And I have been given the look when I have asked an agent or a homeowner about permits and CO's. Very important stuff.

For instance, a finished addition on a house means NOTHING to me if there is no CO. Often they do that because they don't want to get taxed on it, and the train of thought is that if they get the CO, and the house doesn't sell, why then their taxes will go up. OK, and what if they did the work improperly and there is a fire or something like that, and they contact their insurance company who says..... what addition?

Yeah, smart thing to do.

And I just love puzzles and investigating. I have a cousin who is a private investigator, I envy her the job, LOL. I used to be a store detective years and years ago, the stories I have... omg... LOL.

Nov 12, 2009 09:57 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,853,699
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

You should have said, "Permit me to open a can of worms by closing this topic as to closed permits!"

That would have gotten a look too...

Nov 12, 2009 10:11 AM #7
Rainmaker
284,761
Gene Allen
Fathom Realty - Cary, NC
Realty Consultant for Cary Real Estate

I think a lot of add ons never get the last look and it shows a lot.

Nov 12, 2009 01:08 PM #8
Rainmaker
690,288
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Andrea, Actually I was away with the family so this week has been hectic playing catch up. Your point about the insurance companies is another very good reason those permits need to be closed.

Jay, Why do I get the feeling you get "the look" a lot. ;)

Gene, In my experience that is often true.

Nov 12, 2009 10:44 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,853,699
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I do, but mostly from my wife...

Nov 13, 2009 12:25 AM #10
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Rainmaker
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James Quarello

Connecticut Home Inspector
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