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Why should I have a contractor pull the permit instead of pulling them myself?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Is there an advantage? Or a disadvantage? I want to start deconstruction (vs. demolition) and some basic INTERIOR rebuilding BEFORE the construction phase, and I can bring the debris to the dump in my truck. Why the heck, in this remote island location, should I wait to pull a permit on a property that I never anticipate selling, and yet, fully intend on remodeling?
post #2 of 13
I suppose it depends where you live. Did your architect provide you with a demolition plan with bracing details (if applicable)?



Can you pull your own building permits? Yes, it is your house. You might let the plumber and the electrician pull their permits separately.



YMMV



post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
No demolition plan was provided. Some of the room has sheetrock that is coming down. The structure will remain intact. The flooring, closets, bath and interior sheetrock is coming out. No bearing walls will be touched yet. I'm doing this as a way to shave costs off of the job, and demolition is something I can do. I also want to recycle some of the lumber since the t+g is of different dimensions these days, and I don't want some yahoo with a sledgehammer going nuts. I will be able to reuse the red cedar to replace a few doors that are being moved.

So, if the contractor I hire is going to act as GC, and sub the plumbing and electric, would he be pulling the permits for them? Just looking for how the typical contractor works this aspect of a remodel.

Thanks!
post #4 of 13
as a homeowner around here you can pull any permits you want for work being done on a single family house you occupy. the problem with doing that then having a contractor do the work is that you assume responsability for the work done.
let the contractors pull their own permits and be responsible until inspections are completed.

for the little bit of "deconstruction" you want to do i don't think permits are even required.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ted527 View Post
as a homeowner around here you can pull any permits you want for work being done on a single family house you occupy. the problem with doing that then having a contractor do the work is that you assume responsability for the work done.
let the contractors pull their own permits and be responsible until inspections are completed.



The homeowner is always responsible for open permits or any work done on the property. The AHJ is not going to force a contractor to any work, they only pass/fail the work that has been completed.

post #6 of 13
How long has he been in business? Referrals or can you see his work? Does he have required license and insurance? How long have his subs been working with him?
If he is a qualified,skilled contractor he should have no problem with these ?'s. If he has a long history with his subs. Let him take out the permit. It's worth the extra?=less headaches for you.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by gadwall8 View Post

The homeowner is always responsible for open permits or any work done on the property. The AHJ is not going to force a contractor to any work, they only pass/fail the work that has been completed.



homeowner retains portion of final payment until inspections are passed.

also if contractor is on the permit there is a paper trail if something bad happens.
post #8 of 13
How old is the house? If it was built before 1978 there
may be lead removal issues at stake here. There are a
lot of rules regarding demolition of a property if you are the
contractor that do not apply if you are the homeowner.

So if the permits in your name the rules do not apply.
post #9 of 13
As typical with everything here in Hawaii, government red tape trumps common sense...

If you ask the County Bldg Dept, they will tell you that you need a licensed contractor to pull a permit and do the work (and pay the permit fee based on the value of demo and construction). The County wants to keep the contractor's working, so they make it as hard as possible for homeowner's to do their own work.

Practically speaking, there should be no problem with you doing your own minor demo work - removing carpet/flooring, wall paneling, wall cabinets, etc... I really don't think any homeowner will pull a permit for this kind of work. Removing walls (T&G or gypbd/stud) may be an issue, as these may be load bearing.

Ask your contractor for a price with and without the demo work. It might not be worth it for you to do the demo if the price difference is small. Having the contractor do all the work also relieves you of the possibility of any misunderstanding of what work is to be done by you and what work you expect the contractor to complete.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ted527 View Post
homeowner retains portion of final payment until inspections are passed.



also if contractor is on the permit there is a paper trail if something bad happens.



A permit is a permit. The application informs the AHJ of the planned work and allows for inspection of said plans and work as to conformation to the applicable codes.



A contract is a promise for consideration, that is the paper trail. You can tie your payment schedule to passed inspections ( ) but, whose name is on the permit is moot as the permit is neither a promise or consideration.



In a worse case, if the client and contractor part company on less than amicable terms and the permit is in the contractor's name, the AHJ can delay or charge for transfer of the permit to the homeowner. This happened to a client I worked for . Remember the contractor buys the permit with the client's money and ought never have to pay for them twice.



A title search will turn up any open building permits which can delay/derail refinancing, home equity lines, or sale.



YMMV,



post #11 of 13
I often use a Home Owners Exemption in permitting. Homeowner is responsible for seeing that contractor and subs have liability and Workmans Comp. I pull that permit in client's name as his agent. Electrical and plumbing permits are tied to this and are taken care of by those subs. As a contractor though, I would be documenting the client's demo work, so as to protect myself if something happened that would adversely affect me, my ability to do the job as quoted, or cause me any unwarranted liability.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by gadwall8 View Post
but, whose name is on the permit is moot as the permit is neither a promise or consideration.



A title search will turn up any open building permits which can delay/derail refinancing, home equity lines, or sale.

YMMV,




not sure where 1st and insane is but permit forms in NJ come with paperwork stating it is illegal for a homeowner to pull permits for work being done by a contractor.

i bought 2 houses in the last 2 years, title search did not show squat about open permits i found out about later.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ted527 View Post
not sure where 1st and insane is but permit forms in NJ come with paperwork stating it is illegal for a homeowner to pull permits for work being done by a contractor.



i bought 2 houses in the last 2 years, title search did not show squat about open permits i found out about later.



I've done 4 projects under a homeowner pulled permits 1 each in NJ & NH and 2 in NY. All four cases, I called for inspections and walked the jobs with the inspectors. The job in NJ the last inspector copied down my license #.



Obviously, there are variation between jurisdictions and title searches.



Once again YMMV



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