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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. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Nah, web agrees with you. But I have seen the described situation many times. Just because a cop tells you he sees the lowest forms of behavior, does not mean he practices them himself (he may, or may not)......

    In my case, my house is accessed at full (or actually higher than full) value - this is probably because my wife attends a town meeting or two and asks questions - when you do that, the local authorities jack up your taxes because that is one of the few pressure points they can apply. I try to stop her from pissing them off, but it is her hobby. I tell her it is getting expensive for me!

    Again, don't shoot the messenger. I am merely stating some of the many reasons people don't want government representatives in their homes. Some have meth labs, some grow pot indoors, some rent out rooms, some do remodeling without permits, some hate authority (a mans house is his castle).....point is that behavior is complex, not simple like "who would be so stupid as to not do it for $100".

    As far as the price of permits and safety, you will find a "way back" thread when I described the cost of gas logs installed into an open fireplace...

    1. Way back - our shop used to simply refer a plumber who would install the logs - no permit
    Logs: $299.
    Install:$200.
    -------------
    $499 total

    2. Now - My old shop installs them in-house and gets permits for all
    Logs: $399
    Installation - Starts at $650 and goes up from there
    ----------
    Total: Well over $1,000

    that is, of course, over a 100% increase in the total price to the customer. This is due to paperwork as well as the fact that the installation must be done is stages and inspected at least twice.

    Again, not complaining about it, just pointing out that it is not $100 difference. The more expensive the job, the less % of the cost that the permit is (in most areas) - also the jobs take a lot longer. In these cases, both customers and contractors are much more likely to comply. But the small jobs, where the permit is actually more work and time than the job itself, are another story.

    I must admit that here in Western Ma. the process is simple. But a lot of my experience comes from NJ, where you walked in and they handed you a folder with a number of forms in it for any job. Here, they just have one sheet of photocopied paper - more my style. In NJ, you had to even answer on the form how many elevators were in the building!

    I am not a contractor or store owner any longer. As a homeowner, I got permits for my shop, pellet stove, etc.....but the reality remains that much work goes on without them and I usually withhold judging people since they do things for their own reasons.

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    It's not the 100$. It is the taking a half day off of work (loss half days wages), sitting in the room with a number in hand, having the counter person tell me I need a copy of my septic report (I know, totally unrelated), so then I go the health department (another half day), get the report, go back to the county, another half day off of work, she accepts my application, if lucky I get a call in a couple of weeks that it is ready, another half day of work, pick up a permit and pay the 100$. So far I have lost several hundred in wages, lost time, and great aggravation. Now the install and the potential for some yahoo inspector to jerk me around and maybe snoop at the other unpermitted jobs in the house. You tilled your field? Where's your permit for that? You have chickens? Where's your permit. That ceiling fan looks new, where's your permit.

    It is NOT as simple as paying the money for a permit and inspection. It is a major PITA. I would gladly pay my professional installer double the permit fees at 200$ to have it permitted but the installers won't do it because they say it will cost additional several hundreds of dollars due to the PITA of inspections, waiting in line to pull the permit, hassle, etc.

    Insurance companies do pay for stupidity. If I run a stopsign in my truck and cause a wreck then I am stupid. Yet, insurance will pay despite my being illegal and stupid. For homeowner's insurance we have heard in this thread that the policy doesn't cover lots of things and that is unique to homeowner's where it appears as though they are making every attempt to deny the claim and save the company money. Medical does the same thing, I smashed my finger at home and had to swear up and down that it wasn't on the job (L&I), at someone else's house (their HOI), or while in an auto (someone's car insurance). I have learned to expect the insurance companies to weazle out of paying up which is why I agree that a permit should be gotten despite the extreme PITA factor. Make no mistake- a permit is a PITA much larger than the permit fee.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Agreed, the full permit process is a PITA. But most mechanical permits should be expedited. In King county, there is no health permit connection and a wood stove permit can be done over the counter or mailed in. http://www.metrokc.gov/ddes/acrobat/cib/23.pdf. Tell your county to get on the stick.
  4. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I think the most irritating thing is that it's a PERMISSION you are asking for... I could deal much more willingly with a law that said "you must have a fire safety inspection" on the modifications you make (which we can't stop you from making) as opposed to the current law that says you have no right to modify your OWN property without asking the permission of Big Brother...

    If I'm renting a place, it makes sense that I have to have the landlords permission to make changes, it is his property not mine... But we are told that we OWN the property, and that it's our right to do with our property as we see fit, so long as we don't endanger others. Yet when it's our home, we suddenly have to get a "Permit" from Big Brother, who does not own the property, and they wonder why this galls?

    Gooserider
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    When I worked for a local government a woman that worked there had a total of three months of delays in the construction of her new house because of slowness and screw-ups in the inspections department. She was livid.

    She also worked in that department.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I almost went through the same thing last year. The construction permit took me a few hours of submit and review. All went pretty well and I got approval for the foundation upgrade on the spot. Then they tell me - oh, now it has to go to the health dept. - that's in another town (20 min. to the north), and it will take 6-8 weeks to review. It was too late to hand carry the permit up, the office was closing in 15 minutes, so I asked about sending up to them (the normal process) - that takes a week! I let the process start, but told them I would be tracking and asking for it to be expedited considering there was zero changes in the septic nor any need to change. They agreed smiling and wished me good luck.

    6 days later the permit arrived at the DHS. I politely spoke with the receptionist, then the reviewer, then her boss. They were totally overwhelmed, the review would take maybe 10 minutes, but it would take 6 weeks to look at the permit. I asked why there isn't a DHS triage person at the main permit office that could handle this type of permit on the spot. That suggestion got me handed up to the head of the department. We went over the problem, she liked my idea, but had no staff to do this, in spite of the fact that it would reduce their load and expedite nearly a third of the permits. I knew this was a hot point with the county exec., so with the supervisor's blessing, I proceeded to contact the exec's office, congratulated them on expediting the permit process, but why this bottleneck when there was a pretty simple solution? All agreed and I was told they were getting on it and it would be on the exec's desk soon. A week later my permit was approved. Sometimes ya gotta be the squeaky wheel and if something's broke, figure out how to fix it.
  7. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

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    What is a permit?















    :lol:
  8. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    IN Canada, do you need a permit or is it just that an approved installer must be used?

    I think this type of licensing would do much to alleviate the PITA part. In the case of the septic (OT, of course), I can now tell the story.....

    In a former house I owned, I once had a septic problem. The pipes had filled and they were made of tar paper so they squashed to nothing......

    I called a guy I knew who had done work for me before. He described the process of replacing the drain field. My property was 100% sugar sand, so it was a septic dream! Then he said "We can do the job with a permit - it will cost you $13,000....he said he does them that way every week. OR, he said, he would do it for $3,000 on the weekend AND DO THE EXACT SAME JOB if I helped handle the plastic pipe.

    Now, I ask Mr. Super Hunky for a simple vote. Up or down. $10,000 in savings, which at the time would take me about 3 years of savings to come up with?

    Now, using the same licensing logic, if there would have been a way this guy could have been licensed to inspect his own....or use a bond or proxy for same - maybe it would have cost $4,000.....3 for the work, and 1 for the inspections. Fine - but $10,000 extra! That's a lot of cash, especially 20+ years ago.
  9. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    My gray water runs out some PVC pipe out through the hill. Is that ok :)
    I smell ashcan coming soon for this thread.
  10. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

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    Yes, you need a permit to be a "legal beagle" in Canada
  11. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I live downhill from you, and it smells different than ashcan, for sure!

    Actually, most grey water can perk here and there, and compared to what those mines and factories around there have done, you are Mr. Clean.
    Back in my commune days, we ran the sink to a pit about 2 foot square with some gravel in it - worked fine...of course, our water use was probably 10 gallons a day.

    Back in the old days, cavemen didn't even have PVC, so count your blessings.
  12. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    This is a BIG part of it for a lot of people. It comes down to how they are treated by the government. The real situation, of course, is that the person looking for the permit is a "customer" of the municipality and pays the bills for them. But I have had customer walk in my store crying (yes, they were female) after leaving the Building Dept. which was a few doors down.

    Here in our little town, the inspector is in for 2 hours per week - I think 6-8 on tues. night......but since I am usually in no hurry, it doesn't matter.....BUT IF I WAS in a hurry, I would be a little pissed. However, I am treated like a human being there, and they say YES instead of no to everything I ask.

    As I said, attitude makes all the difference. Treat people with respect, and they will go along. I think this was well said in the Golden Rule and also in the Bees with Honey. On the other end of the equation, we do have to consider that inspectors deal with some builders and others who are downright rude and mean, and try to get away with things - the end result being a poor product. This is where a tougher guy like our own Elk can be appreciated. So that is quite a balancing act - to be sweet to the average consumer, yet rise to the occasion when some ash-hole who has a lot of money at stake wants to take advantage of you....and, to top it off, you make $30 an inspection! I could not handle that job...I am not even tempered enough.
  13. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I have broken the code of silence, but feel it important enough to add insite to this diccussion No Craig,, there is no mention of any manufactures PART one

    I sitting in front of the key board wondering why am I going to report to work. Part of me is still convinced I can make a difference. I could ensure s the next HVAC system I inspect is a bit more efficient.. I can require leak testing I require all joints to be sealed.
    I also look at fire block and draft stopping. I going to make sure you burner is installed properly. That gas fireplace in the bump out the chase or bump out will be insulated and draft stopped to prevent cold air escaping in your home. I may meet the HVAC contractor and explain the now code edition changes That’s right inspectors are also the educators

    Lets examine the permitting process. In my office I have created my own wood stove permit application. Statistics point to our society being quite mobile, a lot of housing turn over. All information is gathered that correctly identifies the stove installed and the liner manufacturer. This becomes particularly important when dealing with gas stoves and aluminum liners. Most Aluminum liners are warranted for about 8 years./ I responded to CO incidents only to find the old liner riddled with pin holes.

    So you are sitting in my office and we are discussing you installation In the discussion It is determined cross-sectional code required a full liner The home is about 10 years old and the fire place has been used a hand full of times I know I originally did the throat inspections and know the general construction.. I waiver the need for the condition report but not it needs to be cleaned. All clearances are discussed and the hearth extension You fill out the application and make a check out to the town o for $35

    When requested to do the inspection I expect that it will pass. I have given the blueprint.
    I could impress the owner by using a ruler but I can count bricks I could use the angle mirror and check behind objects I could use the bore scope and see up the flue but the surround is off as required and every thing I see is in order. I would say 99% of inspections go this way

    Then there is the inspection request where the stove is installed before the permit was pulled Its not supposed to happen this way but real world rat race mentality it happens more often than the prior correct sequence way. The stove is an insert I arrive at the home and the surround is attached I’m not responsible to remove it and replace it. The inspection fails. I want to see that flue collar connection I want to examine the block off plate Im going to use my angle dental mirror to determine the full liner is in fact present.
    Would not be the first time I discovered a direct connection when a full liner is paid for and required. The ruler is used to verify the lack of hearth protection or clearances to the mantal.

    Here is another point not considered Warranty issues. As part of the listing and labeling of every major appliance is the language for code compliance For wood stoves it started in 1979 as part of the UL listing. Every stove sold from that point on has language in its installation manual. To satisfy the listing, the stove must be installed to listing and code compliance. Unless there is some other authority, Compliance requires the certified appointed officials to certify inspect. All thoses who followed the manual and installed according to the instruction must have missed the first page telling them permits and inspections are required and re4quired to satisfy the listing. The manufacture or indivual dealers can deny warranty claims on stoves not permitted. For two reasons one the full listing requirement has not been met and it is illegal for them to work on un
    permitted installations. There have been many post here, where a stove was installed incorrectly and the dealer arrives to discover it had nothing to do with the stove.

    So what happens if I fail the installation? Usually the homeowner has paid the installer and is at their mercy to return to correct the violations. The inspector can become your first line in getting the issues solved. In extreme cases I have made the phone call to the installer dealers to get it rectified. It cut through the BS and things get done. An inspector can be a consumer advocate. Your best line in defence.

    Let me dispels some argument presented in this post. First of all nobody is going to home depot and install 440 voltage anything. They do not sell products in the voltage line.
    The argument that all people leaving home depot making illegal installations is weak I’m not saying it is not happening but every major appliance hot water hearters ect/ are require to post and list code requirements same as wood stoves . When one buys furnaces and compressors from a supply house it is the responsibility of the seller to request the proper C&C license before delivery. The same requirements are in place for oil burners and hot water heaters.. The ultimate responsibility for doing things right is up to the intervals no matter where they purchase a product. The argument is real weak because.. 15 people break the laws means I can advocate 15 more to break the law that is ill responsible. Most of the time the Hearth promotes safe responsible installation of stoves that home depot analogy does nothing to reinforce the core message of this forum. Only to detract form the true intent here
  14. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    part 2

    In MA I do know we are working to streamline the permitting process. The state has standardized Electrical Plumbing and gas permits In fact they can be downloaded and printed out. Our town opens every Wed night 5 to 8 for the persons not able to conduct business during normal working hours. We will also fax you forms should you request them.
    A word about I permitting fees In MA.: The building dept does not set the fees Theoretically fees are supposed to equal services rendered.. We are not supposed to turn a profit. But every town does and transfers the money to the general fund. Last year I was asked by out selectman to make fee recommendations I quarried all the similar towns and made my recommendations. They were rejected and requested that I increase them.
    All fees we charge are based upon approved fees by your town’s alderman We do not set them. We can not waiver them without their permission. In essence the people set the fees. If you do not like them then it is your duty to question them.. Got to laugh when one questions the fee amount. Why are you questioning something you approved or by a person you voted for?

    IT is possible to sit down with me and chat/ I help you fill out the forms and you pay the permit cost and pick up your permit next day. Total of your time involved 10 minutes, Probability of passing the inspection 99% Or we can mail it to you. If for some reason you miss me leave a phone number and I will return your call and discuss what needs to occur.
    My professional change If you hear of home rule or an inspector not wanting to get off his duff to do an inspection. I will be very interested in researching such situations in MA. More on that if it leads to fruition.

    As for getting permits and inspections after the fact:. Most inspectors usually accept the honesty and do not charge penalties,

    Web brings out a good point about our home being your castle There are times I ‘m called do an inspection and discover un permitted work.; I may casually mention it and that some record Keeping is in order. There have been tines where I discover life safety issues. that may not pertain to the immediate inspection. IS the general public opinion that you prefer for me to ignore them? I know too much government intervention is evil?
    What would you want me to do? To tell you how serious some instances are, I have discovered dis connected furnace vent pipes My Co detector went off the charts.
    I may have saved a few lives that day. Pretty cheap for $30

    Pretty easy to broad stroke inspectors and tell of some less than stellar encounters.
    But like any profession there are some dedicated professionals that do not deserve being grouped and type cast in that general broad stroke. What amazes me you the taxpayers and voters appoint the very person you are critizing. If you expect more then do something about it. Appoint the persons that best fit the job description of professionalism you desire. Your apathy is allowing the very situation to exist.
  15. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Of course elk, you realize the purpose of this entire thread was to get you out of hiding!
  16. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Too goose I too agree that each man’s home is his castle till it effects me. Not picking you out personally lets juxxsupose Say you wired something wrong that created an electrical fire . That means taxpayer money going to cover FD cost to extinguish that fire that means part of my money. Eventually it also factors into my insurance premiums. Why Should I pay for your incompetence’s? Homeowners are allowed to do their own wiring but permits are still required. If the $30 permit fee picked up your error I think that is money well spent. Not only did it save you money but every resident in the town.
    Codes like laws are guide lines for being responsible citizens doing things right, A way of evening the playing field for all.. There will always be people that think they are above the law that is human nature. They’re are many that profess to know more than me concerning code.

    Edit the post was so lagre that I had to split it I note now what I missed before it concerns Craig and I

    I was going back to ccut and past it in but perhaps sincerity is best first hand so here goes even wost typing

    I have met WEb and Mrs web. I consider them oustanding people. The ones I would enjoy calling friends.

    Both of us are strong personalities and eventually friction can happen. As things heated up things should not have been said.

    To me the water has gone over the dam. Nothing worth dredging up again. Credit is due to Craig for providing the best information in the world concerning solid fule appliances..
    All here have learned the importance of safety.

    Craig has done everything by the nunbers his addition his pellet stove all permitted and inspected I know He told me I have witness it in person.

    There is another reason I have not posted and it has nothing to do with Craig
    A professional oppertunity has been offered me. IT is in my best interest to stay out of pissing wars on public forums.. If All works out

    I will limit posting here every word typed will have to be measured. No more feelancing. I never have lost the desire to promote safety and cleaner burning and I have a lot of things going on trying to enhance these ideals.. Some have already made it into our next addition of code.

    Goose I need an address elkimmeg@comccast.net You never know I might spring free Saturday
  17. jamorris

    jamorris New Member

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    The use of emoticons is more than an affection. It does convey humor of many kinds. When I see no smileys, I suspect seriousness. :)


    Jerry
  18. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Hope you understand this stuff is not personal. Each town and inspector is different, and you can see from the answers here that many are uninformed (telling a guy he does not need a permit, for instance)....

    It is a fine balance. The libertarian view - which is the "home is castle" idea, is central to most Americans. That is why many feel so strongly about guns and self-defense, but the attitude bleeds over onto ANYONE....and especially those who are perceived to be government. I must admit to getting pissed off when the tax lady stopped her SUV in front of my house, took pictures, then walked around to my rear yard and took more - without permission! Of course, they are mad at me because we did not let them in the house last time they wanted access.....it's part of my religion not to let these people in!

    In the case of Home Depot, the point is this - and something I think you (and anyone who looks) knows. Many, if not most, materials bought there and at many other places are installed without a permit. Of course, we can't say whether it is 40% or 80%, but in any case it is billions of dollars worth. Acting as if this does no occur does not fix the problem. It is reality. So it is part of the discussion, period. As I have said, things are very different in NH than they are in even Ma. - Martha did some "get out the vote" work (house to house) there and was amazed at the "house is castle" attitude. In fact, they extend it to "property is castle" there.......pretty much anything goes (in many places).

    Probably my main point is that my apathy does nothing. I am a little ant, and if I stopped existing today things would not change regionally, nationally or world wide. By reporting on my experiences, both good and bad, I do effect things - but it works both ways. So one person may read my opinions and say "I'm not getting a permit, because I don't want my taxes to go up". Another person (like you) might read it and say "wow, some people have had bad experiences.....let me streamline the process and make it better so more compliance will be obtained".....now you may have done that anyway, but some other official somewhere may get the right idea - or, a well meaning forum member may have a problem in their local office and then suggest that they streamline, etc.

    In other words, I accept the fact that Karma works in every way, and I believe in personal responsibility. The easiest way to have no effect is to say or do nothing. Instead, I may have some positive and some negative effect, which in the end (IMHO) brings out most of the relevant info (like this thread), so that the educated customer can see all the angles and experiences...and opinions.

    I guess I see Forums as just discussions and opinions, and even BS and entertainment. When we start looking at them as fact, I think we make a mistake. That is why there are articles and even wiki entries here, because they are checked and edited....these forums are not. So, to like it to the strip joint, thinking or looking is probably doing no harm (whether at the chippendales or about a permit)...what matters is the actual safety of the installation, as well as the use - and also that the homeowner have the facts so they can make certain they can rest easy at night when it comes to insurance and similar matters.

    As an experiment, I'm going to try this......

    hey, Hog - get a permit and fix that grey water thing!

    (now we will see if it happens).
  19. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    the human side of being an inspector not discussed here

    Jefff bought a Jotul kennebec insert he is going to do a self install. He is not all that sure he is capable but after talking the process threw he feels He can do it.
    A few more calls come in and Jeff is looking for support and solutions. Finallly he is ready for the final inspection. I mean the tape measure is sitting on top of the stove the manual is opened and instructions highlighted. Its a perfect install.. Over by the kitchen table working in the kitchen is his wife listening to every word spoken.. I sign off the permit at the table and inform Jeff's wife
    what an excellent job he did. Forget master card that was priceless. I willing to bet Jeff would have paid double my fee to have his wife hear of his craftsmanship
  20. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    I believe the solution to inspections would be to put the onus on the insurer to require an inspection on new appliance installation.

    You want to be insured? You have to follow your insurance company rules.

    I guarantee if inspections were done by insurers they would be more thorough and more stringent.

    Power Boilers are this way and the inspections and certifications are required by the boiler insurer. Some states do have boiler inspectors, but the insurance inspectors I have met are far more stringent than state inspectors.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Welcome Elk, good to get the inside perspective. I have no qualms with inspectors. The one that signed off on our foundation was a real nice person. He raised a few concerns. I thanked him and addressed them right away. Actually I think a good inspector is worth his weight in gold if you have a so-so contractor. It's nice to have someone on your side.

    But I'm no angel and have rewired hot water heaters and moved an occasional outlet sans govt. intervention. However, I'm not condoning this unless you know what you're doing. If not, or you're doing it for the first time, having a set of professional eyes looking over your shoulder could save you money and possibly your life.
  22. Mrs-GVA

    Mrs-GVA New Member

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    Its absolutely amazing how Elk can change most perspectives. Elk, I'm glad that your back! :) You brought to the table the value of pulling a permit. Now everyone has had an inspectors point of view, an adjusters point of view (I don't go to work every day finding ways to deny the claims), installers point of view....we've gone through the entire spectrum of whether or not to pull a permit and after 7 pages....I should hope a person can make the right decision.
  23. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Notice what I said Elk, I am less bothered by the idea of having a required "safety inspection" - especially if as you said that it should be, a case of the fee pretty much matching the costs of the service, it shouldn't be a "revenue center" for the town, and it shouldn't be a means for the tax man to jump your assesment... To the extent that the process is merely a safety check, I have relatively little problem with it, as the gov't does have a legitimate interest in reducing demand for it's emergency services. (I won't get into the more interesting question of whether the gov't should BE in the emergency services business...)

    Where I have a problem is with the notion that I have to get big brother's PERMISSION to make modifications to MY property... If I own something, I should be allowed to control what is done to it, and the gov't should not have any power to tell me I "can't" make the change as long as there is no safety related reason to prohibit it. (And in "borderline cases" the burden of proof that something is unsafe should be on the gov't) I am especially bothered when the gov't attempts to refuse to allow things like cosmetic choices. such as prohibiting vinyl siding, or non-wooden replacement windows, or tells you what color you can paint your house... Perhaps it should be called something other than a "permit" :question:

    Will send an e-mail with the info...
  24. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Ah, but Goose - if I am not wrong, the tax man looks at all permits which add value to the house. I'm not certain exactly the mechanism, maybe Elk can explain, but your taxes do go up based on the value of improvement. And, to top it off, if you decide to save a lot of money and DIY your addition for $30,000, when they come to revalue your house, it will be by the sq. ft and your addition may cost you 100,000 in extra tax basis.

    Of course, that is OT.....but it is reality. In cases such as stove, I suppose they simply add the declared permit value ($3,000, for instance) to your basis.

    Most of the prohibiting of colors, siding and stuff is in deed for historic area and developments...not the government. Even when it is the government, it is because citizen (usually a historic society) pressure them to do so. I

    It's sort of a vicious circle - everyone wants their house and property to be nice, but the nicer they get, the higher the taxes get! There is really no such thing as "fair" in this whole business, since you might own a house valued at $600,000 and have no kids, while the neighbors have one valued at $200,000 and five kids (in the local schools).

    People have told me that in some areas of NH, there is a sort of contest to make your house look worse instead of better - so less taxes......more live free or die, and why Goose probably has plans to move to the Free State someday.
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    45,842
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    This seems universal. In India and Mexico you'll see building with lots of rebar sticking up out of the upper parapet. Kind of like the 2nd floor never got added. They don't finish the building intentionally because that's when you have to start paying taxes on it.
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