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Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 812
(Anyone that's been in the chatroom the past few nights knows what I'm about to say...)

Reno (John) has a pic to attach pretty soon, of the plans I drew up to rewire my family's garage, plus a new window A/C and three ceiling fans.

Well, the hard copy of the plans is now shredded, and the scanned computer copy (except John's) is erased.



Both of my parents are refusing to get a permit, saying "Nobody else does," and "Why should I support Falls Township?"

I told my mother a story a member here told me, about a family losing their insurance policy after a fire due to unpermitted work. What did she say? "Look on the positive side that nothing like that will happen." Yeah. Sure, okay. Just hope you never dial 9-1-1 for a fire after doing that work. Which in these Levitt-built boxes, seems to happen very easily.

I explained to my father that the township never makes money off of permits/ inspections, and I think Falls might actually lose it. Nope. No permit.

They got a permit for the shed, and am getting one for a fence. Why not some new wiring? Why not for that porch you want to build? (Another story altogether.)

I was going to do the work for them, seeing their refusal to call an electrician. Not anymore. I don't care how much they yell, kick, scream or pound my locked door. No permit, no work. Go ahead, let my dad (Comcast guy who knows enough to be dangerous) do it. Then you WILL be calling 9-1-1 when the garage catches fire. Bye-bye homeowners' insurance. Good luck selling this place in 10 years. Good luck rebuilding the house with no insurance money after it burns to the slab.

There's 250feet of 12/2NM down in the garage. I'm not touching it. Unless there's a yellow Falls Township Permit Card in the front window. Even then I won't, since I know my father won't get an inspection.

Sorry for the rant,
Ian A.

Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
Originally Posted by Theelectrikid
Sorry for the rant,
Ian A.

That's OK, I will rant right back at you.

Are you under 18?

Do your parents provide your food, housing and clothing?

If it's a yes to the above in my world you do what your told to or you can go support yourself. is not fair, best get used to it now. wink

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 812
All I'm trying to say is I don't want to do it, unless someone's there to make sure it's OK. I don't see what's wrong with calling for an inspection on your 14 year old kid's work.

I'm sorry for ranting, just needed to vent after hearing my folks yell and scream that I wanted a permit.

Quote is not fair, best get used to it now. wink

I know that, I guess half the time I don't realize it.

Ian A.

Last edited by Theelectrikid; 07/24/07 06:10 PM.

Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 680
Permit is the smart thing to do. An Inspection is the proper thing also but don't think for one minute that something can't happen with or without an inspection

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 100
JJM Offline
I applaud you for your insistence on having the work permitted and inspected.

That being said, there is no issue with respect to insurance coverage, permitted and inspected or not. If your house (heaven forbid) burns down as a result of un-permitted or un-inspected work, the insurance carrier still has to write the check. As long as the fire wasn't arson, fire is covered loss, and the insurance carrier is on the hook in accordance with the legally binding insurance contract.

I have yet to see a homeowners or (building owners) policy have an exclusion for un-permitted or un-inspected work.

Remember, just because work is permitted and inspected does not guarantee the house won't burn down either. As a practical matter, particularly if a home or building has changed ownership a number of times, who is to say what work was original, what work was done, permitted, and inspected as part of renovations in say 1965, then in 1980, and again in 1995? Who knows what was done over the years.

What if un-permitted work was done prior to your parents taking ownership of the home? Does your insurance company rip out the walls and inspect the wiring as a condition of coverage prior to binding? Of course not. If previous owner(s) had un-permitted or un-inspected work done that resulted in a fire, do you think the insurance carrier would have any legal recourse against the prior owner(s)? Again, of course not, the previous owners aren't even a party to the insurance contract!

Remember, just because some bureaucrat signs off on a job doesn't necessarily mean it's safe - or even code compliant for that matter. You've read enough about inspectors here. Heck, here in NYC if a job is red-tagged, all you have to do is fill out a "self-certification" form and mail it in... no questions asked, no further inspection ever follows. There have been a lot of abuses of this process by unscrupulous contractors, but the practice continues.


Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 812
Originally Posted by walrus
Permit is the smart thing to do. An Inspection is the proper thing also but don't think for one minute that something can't happen with or without an inspection

That I know. I just want reassurance that the work checks out OK, as I am not an electrician. I trust myself and my work, I just want it inspected/permitted/approved.

(And yes, I alway have ECN open on my computer. Easy on-the-fly access whenever I pass by my desk.)

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,445
Likes: 3
Cat Servant
[Linked Image]

Last edited by renosteinke; 07/24/07 11:38 PM.
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 144
Dang Ian, if you really are only 14 hats off to you. You know more than just about any 14 year old that I have ever met. I am glad that you want to do this right the first time. I rewired my house a year ago this May, and my insurance company said the same thing that you ran across. after fighting with many people, and finally getting the appropriate permits, I actually did get to re-wire my house. I know that you probably don't want to hear this, but, be patient and try to see your parents point of view. There must be some reason why they don't want you to get the permit, and, I bet that if you figure it out and talk it over with them they might be cool with the idea. Stick with it and keep a cool head and you will most likely get accomplished what you want.

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,443
Likes: 3
Exactly how much electrical work have you done in the past?
I find it hard to believe (and no disrespect to you) that a guy of your youth could be responsible for a job like this, permit or no permit.
Have you served your time as an Electrician?, considering that this is all fixed wiring.
I mean are you connecting to existing circuits or are you adding new circuits to a panel?
Has there been any allowance made in the Mains for the new expansion?

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 214
In the same vein as Trumpy... I could've done a job like that at 14... barely, but my dad's an EC, I was carrying tools for him from age ten, just where did you learn how to do the work? relative, friend of the family? just curious, also, if you're inexperienced with house wiring, you're not using the inspector as a safety net, are you?

oh, Bob, you can't force a minor to do anything illegal smile that being said, most EC's around here wouldn't even bother to pull a permit for a job that small, and if I'm not mistaken our city has an ordinance saying something to the effect of "home improvments valued at <$XXX.XX ($500 I think?) need not be permited" so it might be perfectly legal for Ian to do this job sans permit


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