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Did you get a Permit for your install??

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jqgs214, Jun 24, 2007.

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  1. jqgs214

    jqgs214 Minister of Fire

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    Lets be honest here,

    Getting a permit in my town is a royal PITA. Did not have a permit with the old stove and with the new one going in was wondering what every one else has done.

    Thanks

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  2. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    we are now pulling permits for all of our customers. It is a PITA especially when you have to go around to 20 different ofices for each township / town. Here is why you want to do it.

    1) Insurance claim if for some reason the house starts on fire
    2) Selling the house
  3. jqgs214

    jqgs214 Minister of Fire

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    Oh, I know I "SHOULD" but man its like I'm building a sky scaper with all the info they need. They want 3 copies of my survey, since it has a fan they want an electrical permit and I told them it just plugs into the wall! All for the $100.00 fee they can make off me.
  4. Michael6268

    Michael6268 Feeling the Heat

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    Grafton NH/Upper Valley
    Two of three - no, but had to on the gas stove due to it was in a new addition that I did have to take a permit out on, and couldnt get a C/O without it.
  5. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    Almost every unit we sell has a blower and I don't think our permits we pull include electrical work. Thats just BS. Ask them if you should be getting a permit when you buy a new lamp! In plugs in you know...

    Also, it seems you started to apply for one already. We actually had one rejected once for some odd reason and it never did get pulled. Then a few months later an inspector went to the house and checked out the fireplace and then billed us for the permit! So once they have your address you are in thier radar.
  6. jqgs214

    jqgs214 Minister of Fire

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    Riverhead, NY
    Nope, I just went in and asked questions, got the forms etc. They dont have my name and address yet. Could be the guy I talked to didnt know exactly what I needed. I think the electrical is BS too. Had to explain 3 times what a an insert was. "Yes sir it goes INSIDE the fire place" "Really??" "Yes sir", "IN??" "Yes", "neat"
  7. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    It's a shame that all permitting processes aren't clean and easy. The idea and purpose behind it is great. The unfortunate part is that throughout the country it seems that many inspectors are ridiculously ignorant about the hearth products that are being installed. This usually means one of two things. 1.) The inspector comes and slaps a tag on it collects his fee and off he goes, not really knowing if the install is up to par. 2.) The inspector becomes overly "careful" and makes people comply with what I've termed "over interpretations" of code.

    Here's a nice example of what I've dealt with. The following pics are from an install that was initially un-permitted. We "snitched" on the installer when we found it on a real estate inspection. The pics with the sheet metal bent back over are the code approved fixes that the inspector let this guy get away with. And the only reason he had to "repair" anything at all is because we appealed the inspectors decision.

    http://w3.tribcsp.com/~aahcinc/291 Indian Paintbrush_01.jpg
    http://w3.tribcsp.com/~aahcinc/291 Indian Paintbrush_03.jpg
    http://w3.tribcsp.com/~aahcinc/291 Indian Paintbrush_04.jpg
    http://w3.tribcsp.com/~aahcinc/291 Indian Paintbrush_05.jpg
    http://w3.tribcsp.com/~aahcinc/291 Indian Paintbrush_10.jpg

    Another code approved install. A little explanation needed. One of those caps vents a direct vent stove and the other vents a hot water heater. Again this is an inspector approved installation. They "reprimanded him" about venting hot water heaters "he knows he shouldn't do that"
    http://w3.tribcsp.com/~aahcinc/100_0923.jpg
    http://w3.tribcsp.com/~aahcinc/100_0926.jpg

    This insert was installed in the bedroom of the home owners daughter. She kept complaining of headaches and weird smells. This is two-ply single wall aluminum liner being passed through a combusible wall and vented into an already overloaded furnace/hotwater heater chimney. Also prior to taking pictures I moved 20 articles of clothing that were hanging above and in contact with the liner. Note this one wasn't code approved and the installation was removed prior to the inspector being able to see it.

    http://w3.tribcsp.com/~aahcinc/747 S Lincoln_02.jpg
    http://w3.tribcsp.com/~aahcinc/747 S Lincoln_05.jpg
    http://w3.tribcsp.com/~aahcinc/747 S Lincoln_06.jpg
    http://w3.tribcsp.com/~aahcinc/747 S Lincoln_10.jpg

    This one is a b-vent insert that was downdrafting so badly that it killed the family hamster. The hamster died after 3 trips from the installing company saying nothing was wrong. We were called out to deal with the negative pressure causing the downdraft and found flex line run over the smoke shelf in direct contact with the aluminium liner. The plastic coating on the gas line melted off. When we had a plumber out to correct the situation he acutally discovered a pinhole leak in the gas line once it was moved.

    http://w3.tribcsp.com/~aahcinc/3001 Cotton Crk Pl_02.jpg
    http://w3.tribcsp.com/~aahcinc/3001 Cotton Crk Pl_03.jpg
    http://w3.tribcsp.com/~aahcinc/3001 Cotton Crk Pl_04.jpg
    http://w3.tribcsp.com/~aahcinc/3001 Cotton Crk Pl_05.jpg

    This one is an expedition in self wiring. This is a Quad with a battery back up that does not provide adequate amperage. The outlet was not permitted or wired correctly and the big scary part (I don't know why there isn't a pic of it) but there was a 90 hour deep cycle marine battery stuffed in the fireplace with this insert. Yea that's right.

    http://w3.tribcsp.com/~aahcinc/Quad_04.jpg
    http://w3.tribcsp.com/~aahcinc/Quad_08.jpg
    http://w3.tribcsp.com/~aahcinc/Quad_09.jpg

    I'll stop there. Point is is that all of these violations on top of blowing up a cabin etc. etc. are not enough to put this guy out of business. Heck even his manufacturers have no interest in dropping him. It must be nice to do this to people day in and day out and not ever have to pay the piper.
  8. Mr_Super-Hunky

    Mr_Super-Hunky New Member

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    Not getting a permit/having your stove inspected is LITERALLY a poor mans I.Q test!. Why on earth would you risk a home worth $100k, $500k, 1M + for a $100 permit??. That is insane!.

    Many people don't realize that insurance companies have investigative specialists (almost like crime scene investigators) to do everything possible to find a way to DENY your claim. Think about it. Say you have a chimney fire that ended up burning down your $500k home. The cause of the fire at this point means absolutely nothing as your stove *legally* needed to be inspected and approved (installation). What are the chances your insurance company will cover your home anyway....just to be nice??... ZERO!. Don't be stupid!.
  9. jqgs214

    jqgs214 Minister of Fire

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    Ouch,

    Didnt say I wasnt getting one, just expressing what a PITA it is and what other people decided. :)
  10. Mr_Super-Hunky

    Mr_Super-Hunky New Member

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    "ouch" is right!. trust me, *tough love* on this issue is the only way to go. The "hassle" it takes to get a permit is only a tiny fraction of the inconvienience of having to rebuild your entire home.....at YOUR expense!. I just had a 10k gall cistern tank get damaged due to an overflowing hose spigot. I DO have full insurance coverage and they still denied the claim!!. Why?, because in tiny print it sais, water damage claims are NOT covered by damage due to water "escapement"...meaning a faucet left on etc.

    The insurance companies have written their policies for their own protection, not yours!. Many policies don't cover "acts of god" which can literally include almost every possible disaster (fire, flood, wind) that you are insuring your home for to begin with!.

    There are many people in Louisiana that had flood insurance, but who's home claims were denied stating that their policies did not cover any act of god. So, now your thinking "what was the flood insurance for then"?., well, possibly if a water heater blew up or something, but then it may say in the policy that water damage due to "escapement" is not covered.!!

    Like I said, this just DID happen to me. I DO have flood damage insurance which is void due to water escapement. Since we live in Arizona, we don't get flooding so what is the point of the insurance?. I have read through the policy very carefully and determined it is worthless!! My fault by not reading closely to begin with. Most people don't!.
  11. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    My city has outlawed new woodstove installs and I still managed to get a variance. If you come in more knowledgeable than they are on emissions, etc, it plays in your favor.
  12. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    no permit
  13. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    Shane, thats some pretty scary stuff people do with gas lines. The one with the giant hole totally comprimised the integrity of the original fireplace, making it a hazzard to have an insert in it. I was a little confused though, all those units with gas lines going to them all look like wood installs to me (from the pictures of the insides of everything). Must be other brands besides the few I work with.
  14. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Pulled permits for both installs. The installers wouldn't come in without one.

    Despite the annoyances in pulling a permit and dealing with the inspection process and how lazy some of the officials are, the intention behind the process is to help make sure your instalaltion is safe and that you won't kill your family when you try to keep them warm in the winter.
  15. scfa99

    scfa99 New Member

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    There's no greater PITA than New Jersey, i pulled one. the risk of not being covered if the house burns is not worth the risk of paying additional tax dollars.
  16. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    None here. Replaced a pc of chit insert and relined the chiney with s.s. rigid. Ten times better than original that was there. Ins co. never got in house, but knows a fireplace insert existed.
  17. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    I didn't pull one; but now you all have me thinking. I researched the heck out of the inserts and installation practices and I'm more confident in my work than an unknown installers. When I do things like this I tend to go over and above, rather than just meeting code or specifications.

    The one thing that is now getting into my head is the insurance aspect. I did call my agent and he said that since I was putting the insert into an existing fireplace (that they knew about when I bought the house) he did not need any documentation. I took that as good information and went ahead.

    Now I'm thinking that if most of the inspectors you guys are talking about didn't know beans about hearth products, maybe my insurance agent is in the same catagory.

    Now that the insert has been in and running for a season, can I still pull a permit and have it inspected? Since I didn't pull one originally, they don't know it's there, or how long it's been in when they come to inspect.

    Hmmm.......
  18. jqgs214

    jqgs214 Minister of Fire

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    Tell them you bought it used and just put it in. Found out ya needed a permit and there you are doing the right thing. ;)
  19. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Tough love does not relate to this matter - on this much I can assure you.....when it comes to minor remodeling jobs in total, the percentage of jobs which have permits are EXTREMELY low. I didn't create this situation, but cannot help but notice it. If everyone who needed a permit came in to get one, you'd see city hall having to immediately quadruple the size of their inspection dept...or more.

    I have talked to a number of insurance agents over the years - many of who insisted that we not get a permit for the parts of a job on THEIR OWN house, and every agent has told me there is no such thing as turning down a claim for such a situation. Given the millions if installations (of every type - stove, electrical, etc.) that are unpermited, if this was true we would be seeing people bankrupted every day by such situations. So I would say it does not happen......you can probably find a story somewhere, but it is not normal reality.

    There are, of course, many other factors involved, but I want to set that particular one to rest. If you go to the hardware store and install a dimmer switch into your wall without a permit - you will not lose your house if it burns down because of it. There is almost nothing short of you spreading out some gasoline and lighting it on purpose that would make homeowners fail to pay.......well, except a hurricane like Katrina where they claim it was not the wind, but the water that made your house fall over!

    I've had insurance agents, judges, police officers, and even building officials have me do work in their home with no permit. This was when I was a remodeling contractor as well as the early days of stove installation. Our shop now gets permits on any job which requires it.

    Only point to this thread is that there are potential reasons for getting the permit, but NOT because insurance won't give you a penny when the house burns.

    Reasons -
    1. A second/third opinion on the job before it is started
    2. A record in city hall - for multiple reasons - they raise your taxes and also have a record of all construction done on your home for future buyers and reference.
    3. An inspection (of varying quality) when the job is done.
    4. Relative assurances that the contractor is using materials and processes that are accepted.

    So, no tough love needed. I will not get a permit when I put in my dimmer switch or put up a fence (many areas require this)- but I will get one when I do an addition or major electrical work. Technically, I guess that makes me an "illegal homeowner", and a criminal, so maybe they will ship me away somewhere and teach me how to speak "permit".

    Government differs in your town and/or mine/other. You can ask the same question (do I need a permit) to 25 towns and get many different answers....even though one answer might be the correct one. Heck, if THEY can't figure which one is correct, how is the homeowner going to do so?

    The other dynamic is with certain government agencies, the answer - if you ask - is always no. No is always safer and takes less responsibility and thinking than "yes". So you often have to press hard to get a yes. So I wonder who really needs to take the IQ test?

    Live Free or Die.
  20. jqgs214

    jqgs214 Minister of Fire

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    Well,

    Interesting response Web. Still think I'll pull a permit but its good to know that Ins. Co. will more than likely pay. I call my agent and they said the Ins. CO. really didnt care it I had one installed. Its an insert and they will just note it on my policy.
  21. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Good timing. I have recently demolished my masonry chimney with SS liner and wood insert, no permits. I have a freestanding stove to be installed in its place. I will have it professionaly installed except for the hearth, but won't get a permit until afterwards. I do want a permit for the sake of future sales as well as insurance hassle but I don't want it to hold up construction.

    I will do my best to not burn the stove until the inspection but if winter comes then all bets are off.

    I am considering getting my replacement electrical panel inspected as well. But then they'll see my hot tub installation and start asking about that. As part of my demolision process I have found a number of extremely poor electrical splices inside the walls and I fix them without permits as I go but the insurance company or the permit office will never know who did the work.

    It is all very confusing.
  22. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    It's strange the difference in the insurance companies & inspectors. I called up my insurance company and they told me it had to be inspected else I couldn't have a fire in it. I believe that to be true, your town decides how many wood stoves it wants (or can support) if I'm not mistaken. Going to city hall, I had to fill out a single page stating make, installed by, liner, height, price etc. which took me about 5 minutes. I paid I think $35-$40 for the permit and my inspector came out to my house, and with a tape measure checked clearances, he could see the silver liner sticking out the top of my chimney, and there was a block-off plate. It was done pretty quick, he said if I'd installed it myself, or it was installed by someone out of state he'd have to do more investigative work but he's familiar with the family owned business that installed mine and they do quality work. Once I got my permit in the mail my insurance company wanted something faxed to them and they asked if I'd like to increase my coverage by another $3,500 to cover replacement of my insert, I agreed. Pretty painless, my liner did have problems and I ended up ripping the whole thing out and redoing it... found a kink, a mis-brand part used (never use different brands they rarely work with each other) that I either replaced or removed, and I purchased an extend-a-flue. Now it's working 100x better but I didn't get a permit for the "repair" job done. He also took digital pictures, so if there is a problem he's going to see it's different than when he inspected it.
  23. Mrs-GVA

    Mrs-GVA New Member

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    When a person goes for homeowners insurance you are asked basic questions. You are asked the age of the building, the framing, electrical, plumbing, etc....you are also asked about the heating system. If your house does not have a pellet stove or a fireplace, and then you don't pull a permit, your house burns down, the insurance company will deny the claim....by the way guys....I'm a Claims Adjuster. I would definitely deny the claim, hands down. My company expects its adjusters to thoroughly investigate claims. I do. Not reporting a change in the heating system, in my opinion is fraud. Not reporting a pellet stove or fireplace, or wood burning stove is not notifying the insurance company of a risk....a contained fire. Fires in homes do occur from "friendly fires", when the fire leaves its intended place. By not reporting the risk, you have gotten away with premium fraud. When GVA and I put in our pellet stove, we did pull a permit, we did have it inspected and we did notify our insurance carrier. And MSH is not correct that insurance never pays. They do pay. Fire, wind, hail is covered. No flooding is not covered unless you have flood insurance. If water comes in from the outside, it isn't covered unless you have flood insurance, if a pipe bursts it is covered, if it seeps, no it is not covered. Sorry. But to answer the question regarding the Permit.....PULL ONE REGARDLESS THAT IT IS A PITA! And web, by the way, judges are different in every area.....maybe judges in your area are more lenient, but that is generally not the rule. If people change a light switch, circuit, not a big deal. The insurance company cannot prove you didn't have an outlet or light switch there, but add a stove....that they can prove.
  24. rdrcr56

    rdrcr56 New Member

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    Question for Mrs. GVA, I told my agent that I was removing an existing heatalator fireplace, turning the opening into an alcove and installing a wood stove. He said that was no problem as there was a fireplace first and not to worry about a permit.
  25. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    World of difference in pulling a permit and informing your insurance company. Craig didn't say not tell the insurance company, he just said insurance will pay off without a permit.

    And Mrs. GVH as bad as I am at electrical I could burn the house down a lot faster installing a dimmer switch than a stove.
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