This article reminded me of my experience with the permit process was for a gas fireplace that we had installed last year.
After installation, a very nice elderly gentleman came to our door. This man, the inspector should have retired many moons ago. He was more interested in our ‘nice kitchen' and friendly dogs than the fireplace he came to inspect. I kept directing him toward the fireplace in hopes that our taxes wouldn't go up further because the kitchen has been updated (with permits, mind you).
I picked up the remote to the fireplace and turned it on for him. He lit up as if he'd just walked into the 21st century... looking quite shocked that a fireplace could be turned on by remote.
Mr. Inspector never got closer than 5 feet from that fireplace. He did not make sure it was set properly into its framing, or that the wiring correct. He did not even look on the exterior wall for installation maladies.
Sure I could have complained, but then what would the city have done in retaliation? My thinking is ‘just blend in'.
So there you have it... $50 for the ‘inspection' and a 10% hike in my taxes this year (ok... that's not all from the fireplace, but it sure feels like it). The only thing I feel good about after this inspection is that the city can't point fingers at me if I end up with a faulty fireplace that burns down my house.
Now I realize that in my professional life I am not to give value to un-permitted additions, un-permitted finished basements, un-permitted converted garages, etc. etc., but I have to say, I understand where people might be reluctant to go to the city when they are quite capable of doing their job and the city worker might not be...
Please note that I have the utmost respect for inspectors and recommend them whole-heartedly to home owners even if they are purchasing a new construction property. I am just blowing steam about permits and one city inspector...