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Need help with what to do when county says I need a permit but installer didn't get one and says one

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by swalz, Aug 18, 2008.

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  1. swalz

    swalz Feeling the Heat

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    I had a Haman XXV installed last December and before the stove was installed I asked if I needed a permit and the dealer said no. A couple of months later I was filling out paper work for my home insurance to make sure it was covered and one of the questions was was there a permit and was it inspected. I called the county and they said one was needed and have the contractor to get it, I called the dealer who installed the stove and they said they would get back to me. I received a letter in the mail from the dealer that he was certified and it was installed to code. The county says the contractor needs to get the permit and that I can't do it and the contractor says I don't need it.

    Anyone have suggestion on what I can do and if you are a contractor in Delaware point me in the right direction?

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  2. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff Feeling the Heat

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    I'm not from Deleware, but if that happened to me here in MA I would go have a chat with the building inspector and explain to him that your installer said a permit/inspection isn't necessary and ask the inspector to give them a call and have a chat with them.

    If they are professional installers as they say they are, they would have acquired the necessary permit/inspection. Because they did not, they are NOT professional installers.

    Just my thoughts.

    Steve
  3. mbcijim

    mbcijim Member

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    I'm in PA. We're covered by the International Building Code (IBC).

    First thing I would try to do is take your letter to the person who issues permits. See if he will give you the permit. If that doesn't work ask the installer to go meet with permit guy. If he's reputable, he'll do it.

    Worst case is forget about it and switch insurance company.
  4. richkorn

    richkorn Minister of Fire

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    That's strange-I guess it depends on where you live because where I live, the permit is the responsibility of the home owner, not the contractor/installer. My purchase receipt from the stove dealer said "Customer to pull required permit" and they gave me a copy of their contractor license.

    Do what shortstuff and mbcijim said...
  5. swalz

    swalz Feeling the Heat

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    Newark, DE
    I called the Department of Land Use and explain to them again and they transferred me to someone to leave a voicemail. Hopefully they will get back to me this time, they say I need a permit but don't seem to know what to do to help me out. As for switching issuance I have already tried but everyone I check is almost doubled the price.
  6. Lorilooo

    Lorilooo Member

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    We had a Harman Accentra Fireplace Insert installed in July, and we had to pull a permit with the town. Inspector needs to come out and do his thing and sign off. It's the responsibility of the homeowner in this area. Sorry I can't give any advice. :red:
  7. swalz

    swalz Feeling the Heat

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    Called back and was given a phone # and told I had to file a complaint against the contractor and they will send or have someone call about what was done. This time I requested to talk to someone since I have made several calls with no response. I hope the dealer doesn’t get to mad at me and give me trouble when I need service or worst yet he goes out of business. :eek:hh:
  8. DiggerJim

    DiggerJim Feeling the Heat

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    Why make it hard on yourself? Just pull the permit (up here it costs about $20) and then have the inspector come look at the install. If it's good you'll get the signoff you need and if it's not then you can go back to the contractor with a specific set of issues he needs to resolve.
  9. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    I agree.
  10. mbcijim

    mbcijim Member

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    Swalz, I do commercial construction and get into these problems all the time. Your installer WILL get mad at you if you file a complaint.

    Per my original post, I would physically take the paper down to the code department and show it to them. Even if this means a few hours of your time. I've found most inspectors have no interest in giving anyone a hard time - they just want to CYA (cover there 'your' ass). If you give them a paper that says it was built per code that will solve the problem in PA a lot of the time. I'd also take photos of the install and photos of any close combustibles with a tape measure showing the distance. Any of the clearance issues that are in doubt, show them it's ok.

    Secondly, I'd call your installer and ask them to give you, in writing, for where it says you don't need a permit. This would also be sufficient for your insurance company. Show them that letter, and they will probably be ok with it.

    Filing a complaint will be a last resort. Remember you need his cooperation to get the permit. Most guys I deal with would flip out and get violent (or at a minimum very vocal) at that point.

    Secondly, as to responsibility for permit, in PA, the business can pass on the responsibility in there contract to the homeowner. So if your contractor did not specifically include it in his proposal, it is your responsibility. That's a poor business practice, but that's a whole different story...
  11. swalz

    swalz Feeling the Heat

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    I asked if I could get the permit but I am not allowed; that is why I have to file a complaint so it can be done. I don't want the trouble but the dealer is not working with me and I'm tired of trying to get them to do it right! Winter is around the corner and I want the stove to be covered under insurance.
  12. swalz

    swalz Feeling the Heat

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    I guess in Delaware that the home owner is not allowed to get the permit, I have asked but they keep telling me the contractor needs to get the permit. I have no problem getting it myself but they won't let me. I don't like things done wrong and if the dealer gets mad because he dose bad business then that will be his problem not mine. I would think he would get it done and not want the bad rep, I will not recommend him to anyone right now. I guess I could contact him one more time and let him know that either he gets the permit and I will also pay for it except any penalties for it being late or I will file a complaint.
  13. swalz

    swalz Feeling the Heat

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    Called the number I was given to ask a couple of questions; I was told that it did need the permit and they would make the contractor do it. I ask about getting it inspected and they said it could not be done until the permit was acquired. Don't want to get the contractor in trouble but also don't want trouble on myself because of this. I did leave a message with the contractor that the permit was needed and that if he will no get it then I would have no choice but to file a complaint. They also said that the contractor would be checked out to see if he has been in compliance if I file a complaint. Don’t think he wants that done so maybe he will get the permit.
  14. JBlank912

    JBlank912 New Member

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    Seems every town/county has its own rules. Where I am its by town, I knew I would need a permit (in my town you need a permit for a blow up swimming pool). I got the permit application, filled my part in, the installer filled in his part and we filed for the permit. We received it within a week, first time I ever saw the town issue a permit in less then 30 days, I was amazed. I am still awaiting my stove, the dealer said Lopi says it will be shipped this week, but they will not give us an install date until they get a trucker number just in case. I can't blame them.
  15. Ted69

    Ted69 New Member

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    Well where I live Ontario, I didnt get a permit..the installer said the same thing...not needed.
    So..my stove F400 is insured, certified.
    Ted
  16. swalz

    swalz Feeling the Heat

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    I was told if I went to sell my house I could not until the permit was done and there would also be fines, not something I want to deal with down the road. 8-/
  17. JoeyD

    JoeyD Minister of Fire

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    Is there something that says you cannot install the stove yourself? If not tell the inspector you installed the stove. That would make you the contractor and you should be able to get a permit. Of coarse if there is a problem with the install it will be up to you on how you are going to deal with it.
  18. terryjd98

    terryjd98 Member

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    Where I am in Ontario a permit is needed. What insurance company do you have? Did you check with the insurance company to make sure? I called my insurance company and they wouldn't even insure me for a wood stove but will for a Wood Pellet Stove for an extra $200.00 a year as long as wood pellet is not my only heat, Oil furniace will be my main heat on paper though hope to use little oil. I hope you did check with your town or township if you needed a permit or not. The Harman dealer I was going to get a stove from said he never bothered with permits. The dealer I bought the Enviro from said he got permits or I could and he would WETT certify it if he installed. I plan on installing myself.
    I hope you did find out these answers yourself because if you ever happen to have a fire and did need a permit and insurance company needed the WETT certificate you could be out $100,000.00 or more real easy.
    From the shopping around I did it sounded like the WETT certificate is needed under the Ontario Building Code. But I have also seen dealers not wanting to bother with the red tape. I hope you just never took the dealers word if permits are needed or not, your sure not going to be able to go after them if something happens, they would just say that it was up to you to get a permit. For a couple of hundred bucks for a permit and WETT certificate I am not cutting any corners, just not worth it.
  19. swalz

    swalz Feeling the Heat

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    Someone gets my point on this; it is not worth the problems it can cause down the road. I asked the dealer/contractor both the same person if I needed a permit and he said no. My insurance company wants to know why no permit was acquired and why it was not inspected. I paid good money for the stove and to have it installed to be told to not worry about it. Well I had it with the contractor and I am given him one more chance then if he chooses not to get the permit then I will file a complaint and he can deal with the county. I will offer to pay for the permit but no penalties since that is not my fault. They said he was out in the field today and could not call me and would call tomorrow. If I had someone threatening to file a complaint that could hurt my business I would make sure to call them and try to resolve the issue.
  20. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff Feeling the Heat

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    swalz, you have a heck of a lot more patience than I do that's for sure!

    Once, that's how many times I would tell the instalaller that he needs to pull the permit and no more. If he doesn't respond in a day, then that's not my problem anymore. Stop playing with this guy, especially offering to pay for the permit, it's his mistake not yours. He could care less about you and your "complaint".

    Don't wait another minute, do what you have to!

    Steve
  21. swalz

    swalz Feeling the Heat

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    Actually he should care, from what I was told if I make the complaint the county will force him to pull the permit. After they force him to do so they will review the other installs he has done to see if they were in compliance. If I was him I would not want that to happen, and yes I am very patient with these things and believe in giving people a chance. I don't like causing trouble but will and I will follow through if needed, after I talk to him tomorrow he might wish he never met me.
  22. terryjd98

    terryjd98 Member

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    From what I have read it sounds like the dealer/ installer Has to get the permit in your area. Here either party can get the permit and do the install. If do the install yourself then you have to pay somebody to come in and Certify the install. Then either the building inspector or the Fire Chief comes to inspect the install and pass it for the building permit part.
    I know my township the people are good to work with and they will work with you to help you out if you have a problem. The township I live in has a population of around 9000 and is in the country not city so that helps I think.
    Too bad you couldn't get the building inspector work with you and to check the install. If they thought it was ok just say you did the install yourself, get the permit, hire a different contractor to Certify the install for you. If you talked to the building inspector and explained that you were mislead by the Dealer about permits and what all had to happen is there no way they would try to help you out? From my experiances with building inspectors from doing renevations on the house, an addition to the house they always seemed to work with me and help me out if I never understood something. That goes for electrial inspector also, I wired my addition myself aslo. As long as they were getting their money for permit and you were doing everything you could to make things right and you were not trying to screw them thats all they cared about.
    It almost sounds to me like your inspector might be a bit upset with the installer trying to screw them out of the permit and cutting corners and wants something done about it, like they want you to file a complaint. From what I have seen inspectors get upset when rules are ignored and I don't blame them. How many times do you read about people dieing in house fire or a house burns down from a faulty stove install or bad wiring.
    Anyway sounds to me like you are at the point now you have no choice but to do what you have to, to make everybody happy. If need to file a complaint then thats what you need to do. If installer won't come though there is always small claims court where you could go after whatever extra expences you incure to get this mess made right. Maybe if the installer knows a complaint is going to be filed, other work of his is going to be checked out, he could be facing civil suite besides fines for other installs he just might make it right for you. Money does talk and if he could be faceing having to pay out a lot of money it would be cheaper to just make you happy then he might come through.
    Very good luck to you just be polite and firm, let them know your not going away and one way or another the installer will be paying in the long run and paying more if he doesn't fix his problem with you.
  23. swalz

    swalz Feeling the Heat

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    Well I filed a complaint with the County today against the installer for not getting the permit. He said that he was going to do it a little over two weeks ago and has not and they will not return my phone calls. I even told him I would pay for it, I called the County yesterday to see if he filed for one and was told no. Waiting for the County to call me to see what happens, don't want to have to go through what I did after buying my house and finding out that the previous owner did things without a permit. I had to get 3 variances and they almost had me tear down my shed and side porch because of it. The shed is heated and is 16X34 and I would have been very upset if that happen, one of the reasons I bought the house.
  24. globewyre

    globewyre Member

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    I just paid 105 for mine last night.
  25. Panhandler

    Panhandler Minister of Fire

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    The root of this problem might be that the local codes may require the installer to be a licensed contractor and perhaps the dealer is not. A few years ago in this county/city required all contractors to be licensed. This caused a lot of problems for businesses. A friend of mine went into business with another guy as he was grandfathered in and the tests and training to pass contractors test were kind of crazy. When I had my pool put in the pool dealer had been in business for decades in this city. I went to the city building to get a permit and found he was not licensed. There were a lot of heated words between city and pool dealer. They put in the pool on a Saturday behind a fence to skirt issues. Another example of city going crazy over permits to raise money. A friend of mine oowned a building. He put in a new furnace in his home and put his old one in his rental building. Six months later a tennent applied for a business permit for a furniture store and the inspector said"This furnace wasn't here last year when I was here" and red tagged the furnace and no business license. My friend had to go buy a $6 dollar permit so his tennant could get his business license.
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