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Question about wood stove install permit & inspection (are inspections required?)

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by tradergordo, Jul 28, 2006.

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  1. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    I got a permit for my wood stove installation not long ago. For my (smallish) town, there is one number listed for "Code Enforcement, Permits/Inspections" which is who I called in the first place to get the permit. I am done with all the work, I just called them back today to find out about the inspection process. Anyway, my concern is that they told me I do not need an inspection. Now there is only one person that works this phone and I think she's been there for a while and should know what she is doing, I don't think there is anyone else there that I could talk to even if I wanted.

    So I am just wondering -- is this normal? Just seems odd that they would tell me I do not need an inspection... I was kind of hoping I would get some paperwork signed by an official inspector, stating that everything was done properly. Sort of a "cover my butt" thing. But I really didn't know what to expect since I've never done this before.

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  2. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    I'd want the signed paper (you paid the fee, after all). What the inspector does is up to them. If they weren't going to inspect it, what was the point of the permit? Just a supplementary revenue source? Personally I wouldn't trust that the work is right because the inspector signed the paper, but the insurance company does. And that's what you paid $75 for. The insurance company doesn't trust you (the guy sleeping upstairs from the fire hazard), but they trust the inspector, who may never look at the fire hazard.

    Get it signed, even if you have to take it to city hall and have the guy sign it at his desk.

    Steve
  3. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    I agree, what is the point of a permit without an inspection? I didn't know if it would be an additional fee or not, but I wasn't expecting them to tell me I didn't need an inspection. I guess what I should have said if I had been prepared was, "OK, I may not need it, but can I have one anyway?".

    The flip side is that my insurance company says they will send out their own inspector (no charge). Apparently they would have to send their own inspector out anyway even if the city inspector had come out so maybe its all OK. Anyone know if the insurance company inspector will give me any documentation??
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    What can I say. In a perfect world everything would go according to codes, laws, and as planned. I must say you paid enough, an inspector should be able to get off his duff and come out there. We charge $35 for the permit and inspection

    Did you know fees or permit cost are susposed to = services rendered? Most town have milked the recent building trend and gladly
    accept our surplusses. In fact they request we upgrage out fee schedule every year. They have rejected our proposals, because they thought, not enough was being charged. Funny how the fee schedule gets questioned when a town project is permitted?

    Building permitting we learned long ago not to use the estimated cost as the fee basis. Lot of fudging going on. We use a sq ft formular plus some set fees say for roofing or wood stoves Even plumbing is figured a basic inital fee. then we apply per fixure cost on top. We also have dual fees residential and comercial
  5. Dave_1

    Dave_1 New Member

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    tg,

    Can't say.

    But I would insist that they, the insurance company & the inspector, do because if you sell the house & a fire should happen because of some overlooked point, then the owner can come after you in court.

    That is enough incentive for me to follow through were I in your position.

    Good luck with it.

    Dave
  6. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    Arg. I just talked to the insurance company - instead of actually sending out a real life inspector - they are sending me a form in the mail to fill out. Apparently the form asks about various clearnces. Heh. Not exactly what I had in mind.

    Elk - just curious because you do inspections - do you give the homeowner documentation when you are done? The only reason I ask is because if I call the city back and INSIST on an inspection (something I aparently already paid for when I got the permit?) it will probably just be a waste of my time if I don't actually get some documentation out of the process.
  7. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    I have to do alot of inspections for insurance companies. They send the homeowners those forms and then I fill them out as well as give them our 21point inspection sheet. In your case I would think that if they issued a permit then they should inspect the work though. If it doesn't need inspecting then it shouldn't need permitting.
  8. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin Minister of Fire

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    So they (Town or Municipality) can add the appreciated value of your construction addition/upgrade to the base
    value of your house for guess what.....

    MORE TAXES!!!

    That's all that my township was worried about.....

    Rob
  9. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    I think what I am going to do is just take a lot of pictures (as mentioned here) showing all the clearances, and pictures or copies of the install manual, and copy of the insurance form. THat should be adaquate to cover myself. As for the permit - yea, I guess you're right, they just want more taxes from me.
  10. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    Ashfield, MA
    Gordo:
    Just my .02, I do think that would be more than enough to cover yourself, and I understand what Gideon is saying, so in no way is this to be interpreted as giving legal advice.

    If I had to choose between the 2, I would be more concerned about satisfying the insurance requirements over the requirements of town inspection. (and this is in no way meant to be a slap at Elk or the inspection process). If the town is saying they don't need to inspect, I think that may be at their discression. The only thing you may want to do is copy what you send to the insurance company, clearances, spec's, etc. and send a copy to the town with a letter saying ..." I applied for a stove permit.... It's complete.... here is what I did.... my understanding is you do not require a physical inspection.... please contact me if you would like to inspect"

    My gut reaction is that you would be covered at both ends... you are fully disclosing what you did, and I THINK that puts the ball in their court as to any additional steps you need to take.

    You're not hiding anything, not doing anything wrong, and to me... I really wouldn't worry about it from a legal or insurance standpoint, I'd be able to sleep at night if I were you. If you are worried about it from a safety standpoint, I think I would spend the money to have a qualified chimney/installation guy come out and take a look at the install.
  11. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Letters get spamped into public record Great Idea get them off their*** and actually earn the permit fee. Make records and copies of everything Bring everything down and ask since they are not doing an inspection, mind sighning off my permit?
  12. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I think you have covered yourself well. They must present a document or something in writing that you have completed the job and that the permit is "closed" (usually a CO). But you should not worry about any legal situation. My guess is that 80% of home improvements that require permits are done without them, and yet the percentage of uncovered losses is extremely low.

    You can't fight (or change) city hall.
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