Comment 41526

By frank (registered) | Posted June 03, 2010 at 08:17:10

Children, put down the squirt guns! Notice Ben's not making another rental unit, it's a family room...i.e. rec room or play area or tv room! There should be no variances required.

I've done both types of renovations... the kind with a building permit and the kind without. Nearly every CITY inspector will tell you that if your project is small, start the work and if you're slapped with a stop work order, then make the required submissions. Drawing up plans and getting surveys to build something like a deck or complete a garage conversion is a waste of money especially since as you're building it you'll probably change your mind (or your wife will change it for you) requiring you to have your drawings modified and reapproved. Property setbacks and all that fun stuff is something you would require an architect to decipher and it's expensive to have someone complete a survey for you.

In short, the city guy was right: close the door, go about your work quietly.

Previous commenter said something about shoddy work and protecting the person who buys the house...here are some things to consider: even WITH a permit the chances that a person who actually KNOWS what they're doing checking your work are minimal, you should hire a home inspector and he should be able to identify shoddy workmanship (keyword:should) and it's "buyer beware", not the other way around not to mention that there are a lot of contractors who do shoddy work with/without a permit.

Bottom line is, it's your house and barring any problems you may cause your neighbor, you should be able to do what you like with it. Gummerment should protect you from other ppl not protect you from you. That's how we become a nanny state with neverending legislation for the most mundane things...that's how government becomes caught up making red tape as opposed to cutting it.

Comment edited by frank on 2010-06-03 07:18:46

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