Re: Do I need a permit?
I seriously question the argument that codes are for our safety and that their purpose is not fiscally driven.
Case in point, a client purchased a home under construction by an owner/builder. For all intents and purposes, the home was completed with the exception of primarily finish work such as drywall, paint, trim, tile, floor coverings, etc. Before I could start working, I had to go pull new permits under the new owners name, which were as expensive as the originals, not just a nominal "renewal" or "transfer" fee. Then, all of a sudden, work that had been previously signed off by the building department no longer met code and had to be upgraded at considerable added expense in both new permit fees and cost of upgrade/repair of the now red tagged items.
The other side of the argument is that it weeds out the unlicensed hacks from the legitimate contractors. Again I call bullshit on this, as more than once I've had to go in behind fully licensed and insured contractors to repair botched work. In fact, I am currently dealing with a seriously botched addition that was completed in August 2012 and leaked like a sieve in the first rain storm. A topical inspection found that there was no step flashing of the roof along an adjacent wall. Upon removal of the wet drywall and insulation, it was revealed that the roof was never tied into the existing house roof properly, there was no valley flashing of any kind and the shingles were not woven properly. Opening the interior also revealed a cavalcade of horrors from the ground up. It is not likely that this particular project had permits, however it does show that there are as many licensed hacks out there as unlicensed hacks.
The fundamental idea that codes are about safety is a good one, as is the idea that permits/inspections make sure that work is completed in a professional and safe manner. The reality is quite the opposite, as is outlined in the two instances above and many many others I could recite in my 20 years in the business.
I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!