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The Problem with Unpermitted Additions

If you’ve ever had to deal with an unpermitted addition at your home, you know it can be a hassle. Our experts sit down to discuss solar and unpermitted additions. Learn what the problems are with unpermitted additions and what you can do about them.

Details on ‘Unpermitted Additions’

[Sean] It’s time to ask an expert where we answer every day home improvement questions to help you better show in your home and the home improvement industry. Today I’m with Tyler from BVI Solar and our Resident Expert, Gregg Cantor, from Murray Lampert Design, Build and Remodel. Thank you for joining us today to talk about permits and unpermitted projects and structures. First, let’s define what we’re talking about. What’s an unpermitted structure?

[Tyler] So an unpermitted structure or project is anything that was not built up to code and meaning building code, electrical code, plumbing and so on or that never had a permanent poled or a permit closed out so in some way shape or form it is not matching what the city or the or the government requires.

[Sean] Exactly you can call it illegal. So, Gregg how widespread of an issue is this out there?

[Gregg] It’s very widespread. In fact, in the last week I’ve seen four homes that had work with no permits and most of it knowingly without permits but sometimes people buy homes and then they find out later that work was done without permits okay.

[Sean] So if somebody has an unpermitted project or structure what are some of the problems that can cause for them?

[Gregg] So it can really hinder their ability to do additional projects in the future particularly if those projects are pulling a permit and trying to get that permit closed out properly through an inspection.

[Sean] So let’s say I’m  trying to go do a solar improvement…. can it stop this solar improvement from happening?

[Tyler] Absolutely we’ve run into situations where customers have put new structures on the property that might go into their neighbors easement or setbacks or where they’ve built something that’s not up to code run electrical to it and then the inspector would come out and say hey that doesn’t meet code and that needs to either get torn down or brought up to spec in order to get your solar signed off well

[Sean] And Gregg you said people that oftentimes know but sometimes they don’t if they bought a flipped home

[Gregg] Right, most of the city’s city of San Diego County and the smaller cities you can go online and actually type in the address and do a search for permits to make sure that the permit is there

[Sean] Nut one thing I was going to recommend or ask if somebody were to call Murray Lampert if they think about doing a remodel will you help them and walk them through that process?

[Gregg] We definitely take their information and look up whatever we can online and do some research to see if they’re good.

[Sean] And what about solar? Would you do the same to make sure that permits are in line for that home?

[Tyler] Absolutely it’s in our best interest, it’s in the customers best interest so we’d be more than happy to do that.

[Sean] Great service from both because it’s important to know about the about the firmest ABS for your home if  you have questions for our experts or want to see more information on previous questions or to find out how to get a hold of these guys to find out about permitting status with your home go to approved home pros comm in the ask an expert section