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  1. #1
    Bronze Member Lady Tonka's Avatar
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    Default I Won't Tell -- Do You Always Get a Required Permit?

    I've been mulling over what topic I would like to have your input on for my first posted thread, and I think this is it, since it hits close to home.

    Getting a required permit -- do you? Have you ever sorta ignored them and flown under the radar with whatever projects you built? Have you ever gotten caught and had to tear down your work?

    This guy decided to do his own thing BIG TIME and now it looks like he's going to lose everything:

    Visionary fined $200,000 for home 'improvements' - U.S. News

    The reason this subject resonates with me is because my Dad refused to get the required permits to build two "guest houses" on our 110 acres when I was growing up in the Sixties. The cramped little logger's cabin that came with the property was too small for three kids, so he wanted extra bedrooms separate from that structure. He had the foundation built for the first one when a code inspector "happened" to drop by (Dad suspected a neighbor for tattling) and made him remove it. Infuriated, Dad still refused to get the permit (causing a huge fight with Mom) and told her not to worry about it, that it was THE PRINCIPLE OF THE THING about a man being able to do whatever he wanted to on his own land.

    He did outwit the inspector by building two guest houses ten feet off the ground with no foundations and thus got exemptions for both. How did he do that? Well, I grew up in a tree house with a wood stove, built-in furniture, and a spiral staircase set between two huge oak trees, and my brothers had a "duplex" built the same way.

    Anyway, what do you think about what the guy in the article did? The Comments section is interesting.
    Lived long enough to know it all, according to hubby -- well, maybe to have HEARD it all, anyway...

  2. #2
    Elite Member
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    kioti ck30

    Default Re: I Won't Tell -- Do You Always Get a Required Permit?

    I do exactly what your father did, no foundation just build on heavy timbers set on a good base of gravel. Since it is "movable" no permit and no taxes. Anything I can do to get around the government restrictions I will do.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member carpenter383's Avatar
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    Default Re: I Won't Tell -- Do You Always Get a Required Permit?

    I live in a county that is fairly strict about getting a permit for pretty much everything. I think it's mostly because they want every penny of property tax they can squeeze out of people. I can understand the need for permits and codes if your building something for someone else, but I think it's ridiculous to require someone to have a permit to build something on their own land for their own personal use. A few yrs ago I built my 36x40 garage without a building permit, they just came out to reassess my property this yr and I was here when they showed up. They didn't say a word about my garage not being on their records. All they wanted to know was the dimentions of the building.
    “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.” Douglas MacArthur
    "The obligation of every human being to God, is higher than his duty to country, and not even a majority in society has the legitimate right to interfere with a man's allegiance to him."James Madison

  4. #4
    Silver Member Triguy1's Avatar
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    Default

    The short answer is no...

    Can understand some of the permits, if you are going to resell. But, I may have forgotten on occasion to get the proper permit for my basement remodel.

    BTW, you tree house sounds cool. Any pictures?
    Swim 2.4 miles, bike 112, run 26.2- brag for the rest of your life.

    2011 BX 2360, Rear remotes, 5 ft rear blade, MMM, FEL, sub soiler, 3PH wood spliter, Ratchet Rake, Carryall, Hydraulic top link, 3PH Tiller, 1 row Cultivator

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor murphy1244's Avatar
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    Default Re: I Won't Tell -- Do You Always Get a Required Permit?

    Your dads fun houses better not have power to them.
    Murph

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: I Won't Tell -- Do You Always Get a Required Permit?

    Here in New Hampshire, you can still legally do your own plumbing and electrical work. Can't do it for someone else, however, unless you are licensed. All work still must adhere to code. I won't get a permit for something I do myself.

  7. #7
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: I Won't Tell -- Do You Always Get a Required Permit?

    No permits in my town. We are supposed to file a form when construction begins so that the assessor will know to come around... they usually figure it out after a while anyhow.

  8. #8
    Bronze Member Lady Tonka's Avatar
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    Default Re: I Won't Tell -- Do You Always Get a Required Permit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Triguy1 View Post
    BTW, you tree house sounds cool. Any pictures?
    After I had been living comfortably in Dad's arboreal creation for six years -- through wind, lightning, snow, and ice storms -- an electrical short in the old logger's cabin where my parents lived burned the house down while we were in town. It was horrible and traumatic to come back to but it was a tinderbox and overdue for demolition when we moved in. All photo albums were lost in the blaze and we moved away shortly thereafter, selling out to one of the neighbors who, unfortunately, tore both tree houses down to make space for a riding arena.

    This picture is remarkably similar to my tree house, complete with decking but no second staircase:

    I Won't Tell -- Do You Always Get a Required Permit?-tree-house-8-jpg

    Even the code inspector admitted Dad did a good job for being a self-taught carpenter. Oh, and there was no electricity to either tree house. We used oil lamps to do our homework by.
    Lived long enough to know it all, according to hubby -- well, maybe to have HEARD it all, anyway...

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor murphy1244's Avatar
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    Default Re: I Won't Tell -- Do You Always Get a Required Permit?

    Quote Originally Posted by TCJatko View Post
    Here in New Hampshire, you can still legally do your own plumbing and electrical work. Can't do it for someone else, however, unless you are licensed. All work still must adhere to code. I won't get a permit for something I do myself.
    Sure you can do your own work but you still need permits for most stuff and they do need inspected
    Murph

  10. #10
    Veteran Member pclausen's Avatar
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    Default Re: I Won't Tell -- Do You Always Get a Required Permit?

    I don't get permits unless I have to. When I build my 30x48 shop about 10 years ago, I had to get a permit because the power company required it in order to install the 400A service.

    I didn't get a permit when I added at 32x36 pole barn extension to it this spring. I didn't get a permit when I finished about 1200 sq. ft. of my basement, complete with a full bath and lots of new electrical work. I didn't get a permit when I added a whole house generator with a 100A automatic transfer switch and sub-panel.

    I think that what you do on your own property is your business. I do own a code book and make sure all the work I do meets code.
    JD 5085M w/ H260 MSL Loader, Frontier AV20G Grapple, Frontier AP13G Pallet Forks, Woods BH1050 Backhoe, Woods SG100 Stump Grinder, Woods RM990 Finish Mower, Woods RB850 3 Way Hydraulic Blade, Woods LR108-2 Rake, Maschio H205 Tiller, Bush Hog 3209 Cutter, Vermeer 906 Chipper, Valby SGR76 3pt Grapple, Shaver 601H Post Digger, Tufline 8' Disc Harrow, Vicon Vari-Spreader MK-II 400, JD 45 16-3 Bottom Plow
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