Video: Case Study: How to Get Retroactive Permits

Video Transcript:

Do you have projects that were completed with no permits? Did you buy a house that had unpermitted work done before you got it? Is there a way to get permits for that work after it was done? Yes. Stay tuned and we’ll show you how.

Let’s talk about how you get a permit after the work was done and why it’s important. If work was done without a permit, we don’t know if it was up to code, which could mean dangerous situations. Fires could happen, things could collapse. All kinds of problems. Today we’re going to talk about how do you get a permit after the fact.

Why Get a Permit for Completed Work?

Why is it important to get a permit for completed work? Well, this is a home that used to have a carport. Somebody decided to enclose this with the garage. One of the things that they did was they enclosed where the old power meter was into an interior space. That was a code violation. The siding that was installed did not have any shear value. And so the structure didn’t meet building code.

When the city found out that this garage was being built with no permits and not to code, the property had a lien put on it, and then the homeowner was forced to pay a $500 fine every month until this problem was solved.

Bringing the Space Up to Code

What we’re doing to bring this property up to code includes pulling a lot of faulty wiring that was done to get the electrical systems up to code. They added a lot of weight to the structure and they didn’t have a proper engineered plan. So now you can see some of the foundation work that we’ve done here to be able to support the weight of the structure. We had to support this garage slab. You wouldn’t know it, but there’s probably 8 to 10 feet of Earth down below here.

Structural Engineering & Retrofitting

We’ve had to run LVL engineered beams throughout the space to hold the load of a vehicle when it gets parked in here. We had to pull off all the siding and we’re going to be installing a lot of shear wall to strengthen the structure. We’ve had to move the power meter out here so that that conforms to code.

Throughout the property, there’s also numerous places we’ve had to update fasteners and brackets to meet engineered specifications. This garage area needs to be isolated from the interior living space, so we’re having to create a firebreak between the garage and the living space.

Restoring to Code and Final Touches

This did look pretty good before we came in to fix it, but we had to undo all the work that was done so we could get into the insides to get everything brought up to code and keep it safe for the homeowner.

Once we get all of these modifications done and we have this house up to current building code, we’re going to go ahead and install drywall, paint, put some nice finishes on it and help it look really great.

Final Steps: Inspection and Removing Liens

After we pass our final inspection, we’ll be able to release the lien from the property and then this homeowner won’t have to pay fines ever again.

How to Obtain Retroactive Permits

So how do you get retroactive permits?

First, you’ve got to do some work to figure out what needs to be fixed and what’s not in code. You’re going to need engineered plans that you could submit to the city to show them how you plan to bring the property up to code.

Next, get to work, get out here and start to fix everything that needs to be fixed. You’re going to have inspections that you have to pass to ensure that the work that you’re doing meets or exceeds current building code.

Once you’ve finished all the work, you get your permit and you’re all done.

Need Help Figuring out Your Retroactive Permits?

Check out the article in the description below. It takes a deep dive in understanding how to retroactively get permits for projects that may have been done on your home. It’s really important to work with professionals that can help you in this process so you can avoid penalties or problems in the future. Continue to inform yourself and stay tuned for more expert advice for guidance on your remodeling journey.