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#35654 - 03/18/04 02:42 PM They wonder why people avoid permits...
Electricmanscott Offline
Member

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
Took out a permit today for a simple kitchen renovation. Townhall people asked when I need an inspection. Told them ready now. They tell me someone has to be home "The inspector gets a little....." if he goes there and can't get in. "When will he go" I ask. Well he doesn't tell us that, it could be morning or night. Uh ok then.

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#35655 - 03/18/04 05:28 PM Re: They wonder why people avoid permits...
LK Offline

Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
We have a information sheet that we give to all our customers, that have permited work done, it explains the process. This helps them understand why they have a permit, to keep their insurance coverage in force, and protect them from non compliant work.
You will find most customers understand and comply, however there are a few that have no time for anything, including inspections. All you can do is try to help the best you can, you only can control your time.

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#35656 - 03/18/04 06:27 PM Re: They wonder why people avoid permits...
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6804
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Electricmanscott:

I can agree with you on the "get there when he gets there" replys, we get some of that here also. A few times, get to job 8:00 sit 'till 3:45.....call town....."Oh, he didn't come in today"; re-schedule.

I can say that some AHJ's will give you a 'window' (9-10AM etc)

With my AHJ 'hat' on (P/T position), the EC's call my line, by 8AM, and I give a window, and do my best to get there.

Here in NJ, the responsibility to have all inspections IS the EC's, not the owner, GC, 'kitchen guy', etc. Failing to obtain inspections in a timely manner can result in a "Professional Mis-conduct" appearance before the Board of Examiners, leading to a $$$ fine and a possible suspension.

BTW, I just heard of a memo from the State (NJ) that the $$$ fine for working without a valid permit (Elec, Plumb, Building, Fire) IS NOW $ 2000.00 instead of $ 500. Seems like the 'caught' people consider $ 500 a cost of doing business, and readily pay the fines.......so, the Gov. got smarter!!

John
_________________________
John

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#35657 - 03/18/04 07:12 PM Re: They wonder why people avoid permits...
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
John,

Pertaining to your last comment about people considering Fines to be a cost of doing business I just heard that our local legislature is trying to pass a law where vehicles can be impounded if a (focusing on Home Improvement) Contractor is caught working without a License and Insurance.

Bill

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#35658 - 03/20/04 01:27 PM Re: They wonder why people avoid permits...
harold endean Offline
Member

Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 2248
Loc: Boonton, NJ
John,

One of the reasons that the price of the fine went up, is because too many companies would rather pay the fine and keep the work going on. It happened in my town. Now once you hit them with the higher fine it hurts the budget a little bit more.

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#35659 - 03/21/04 06:46 AM Re: They wonder why people avoid permits...
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
Scott I was wondering what this thread was about when I saw it go up with your name on it.

After reading it I could not agree more, I work for a large company so I could take the "what do I care I am paid by the hour" attitude, but I hate sitting in the van waiting for the inspector and for those people that run their own business this must be absolutely maddening.

 Quote:
....."Oh, he didn't come in today"; re-schedule


Been there many times.

I know inspectors have a tough job and many times the budgets for that department have been cut to less than minimum.

That said the ones that have been in civil service too long seem to forget that tomorrow is not just another day for us in the trade, tomorrow is another job in another town and the day after that etc.

Fire Dept's. are the worst for this and I am not talking about them going on runs, they are easily distracted by many mundane things and do not care in the least that you are waiting.

I listen to the scanner in my town and hear the talk between the Fire Alarm service truck (59) and the station.

Station: Truck 59 Joe Contractor just called he is still waiting at box 570 for a scheduled disconnect.

Truck 59: Tell that %*$ #@&^ I will get there when I get there.

Sorry I just wanted to blow off some steam.

Bob
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#35660 - 03/22/04 04:33 AM Re: They wonder why people avoid permits...
PCBelarge Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 657
Loc: Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
For those who may be interested ... I have become involved with a few who have started a new inspection company. Our goal is SERVICE!!

We (I have been in the field for 25+ years) are going to try to help the EC relieve some of the inspection process anxiety.
1. The contractors can call an office 'person' for 10 hours during the day to schedule an appointment.
2. We will carry nextells and any EC can direct connect us during the day.
3. We will gaurrentee an inspection within 24 hours of the call, and have emergency services
4. If our schedule is interrupted, we will call the EC to reschedule.
5. We have a 'board' to make decisions, including decisions for rude or obnoxious inspectors. - there will be no repurcussions for ECs who may challenge a decision.
6. Gratuities are not permitted!!! - we are going to substantially increase the pay of the inspectors to help this problem.
7. The inspectors are required to attend a code class at least once a month. This same education will be offered to the men in the field - we are going to reduce if not eliminate "not in my territory"
8. We are offering to the building departments the same education (they are very receptive about this) and electrical plan review - so as to try and eliminate poor electrical prints that seem to have invaded our industry.
9. The EC can call before work (7 am) to schedule with an inspector - so he can schedule his day.

we know there will be some bumps, but we and the contractors will work them out.

We are doing more than that, for starters - what do you think?

Pierre
_________________________
Pierre Belarge

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#35661 - 03/22/04 11:48 AM Re: They wonder why people avoid permits...
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6804
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Pierre:

Your business plan sounds great......hopefully you are sucessful!
The twp I work in uses 2-way radios from field cars to the office; 'cell' phones may be coming in another 5 years. (Talk about being behind the times) I use my personal cell.

Here in NJ, the 'state' says 72 hrs for an inspection.....again, sometimes it works, sometimes it don't. Alas, it's not a perfect world.

The "gratituties" comment has me rolling!

Bill:
To the best of my knowledge, NJ does not have a confiscation clause, for equipment of unlicensed contractors, but...you never know who is reading this forum.....hmm!

Harold:
$2k will raise some eyebrows.....now if we can come up with a way to get everyone to call-in for inspections, that will be a plus.

John
_________________________
John

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#35662 - 03/23/04 04:24 AM Re: They wonder why people avoid permits...
Electricmanscott Offline
Member

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
Pierre that sounds good. The problem here is that the inspectors are municipal employees. This is a clear case of "It's not what you know it's who you know"

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#35663 - 03/24/04 11:28 AM Re: They wonder why people avoid permits...
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6804
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Electricmanscott:
Here in NJ we have a 'mixed bag' of AHJ's. Some are twp employees (Harold and I), others are from various 3rd party agencies (Garden State, BUI, Code 3(??), etc).

IMHO, as an EC, the 3rd party AHJ's are the hardest to get in touch with, and the toughest to narrow down to a ballpark time.

BTW, I for one, don't "know anyone" within the Twp that I'm employed in. AHJ's here are State Licensed, requiring experiece within the respective field, and testing to obtain the license. I recently applied for a PA AHJ Lic., thru reciprocation, and it was issued; based on experience and NJ Licenses held.

John
_________________________
John

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