Permits for kitchen remodel

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rjsob58
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Permits for kitchen remodel

Post by rjsob58 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:04 pm

We are doing a kitchen remodel and the contractor was going to charge us approx $2500 to pull all the permits, but said we could save money by getting the permits ourselves. They gave us their business license, but the county said it does not cover electrical or gas, only the building permit. They wanted the business license for the electrical & gas contractor or we could say we are doing it ourselves. The remodel company said that they use another company for the electrical license so they can't give us that license number. I'm not sure I understand this, but they sent me this in writing:
you will be responsible for pulling the electrical and plumbing permit for the said job. We will be responsible for checking the work by our master electrician and plumber and scheduling the inspection with County/City
This makes me a bit nervous, but the final 3rd of the payment for the job is not due until we sign off and all city/county inspections are passed.

Am I getting set up for trouble?

P.S. - We got 4 bids and I did a lot of research on the company, including talking to a handful of references.

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mhc
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Re: Permits for kitchen remodel

Post by mhc » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:14 pm

I don't think it is that uncommon. One way to avoid it is to hire a general contractor to oversee everything. When I had my basement finished, I pulled the permit from the city. My contractor, who was not a general contractor, coordinated all sub-cons and inspections. It went just fine.

I think the main things are:
1. Proper permitting and inspections by city
2. quality of work
3. stick to contract (budget, schedule, scope of work)

I knew the person who was doing the work. I did not have to worry about his integrity.

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wageoghe
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Re: Permits for kitchen remodel

Post by wageoghe » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:27 pm

How much is the total job going to cost vs the savings by pulling the permit(s) yourself?

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like if I were hiring a GC (are you hiring a GC who will be responsible for all aspects of the job, including hiring subs?), one of the reasons would be because I would want the GC to handle all of that kind of paperwork for me. It just sounds kind of weird to me that you would want to be responsible for that, unless the $2500 is a large percentage of the overall cost.

rjsob58
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Re: Permits for kitchen remodel

Post by rjsob58 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:45 pm

wageoghe wrote:How much is the total job going to cost vs the savings by pulling the permit(s) yourself?

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like if I were hiring a GC (are you hiring a GC who will be responsible for all aspects of the job, including hiring subs?), one of the reasons would be because I would want the GC to handle all of that kind of paperwork for me. It just sounds kind of weird to me that you would want to be responsible for that, unless the $2500 is a large percentage of the overall cost.
The company specializes in kitchens & baths and they are responsible for everything. They said they don't hire subs - all their people are full time employees of the company. So they have an electrician, but not a master electrician. They do sub out for the master to inspect & sign off on the work of their in-house electrician. Does that make sense?

Total for job is about $25k. I'm saving about $1500 pulling the permits myself. Can I afford it? Sure. But its my inner boglehead that says save the $1500.

pshonore
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Re: Permits for kitchen remodel

Post by pshonore » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:51 pm

Generally, permit fees are based on the value of the work (although that may vary regionally) so I'm puzzled by how $2500 is saved by you doing the "pulling". I just finished an addition for which I pulled the building permit and acted as GC (there were no separate permits required for electrical or plumbing although I supply license #'s of the electrical and plumbing subs) All work was inspected. I did find that if the Building Inspector has worked with the subs previously, the inspections were very "quick"

hsv_climber
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Re: Permits for kitchen remodel

Post by hsv_climber » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:53 pm

I bet that all this info is State / County - specific.

rjsob58
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Re: Permits for kitchen remodel

Post by rjsob58 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:02 pm

pshonore wrote:Generally, permit fees are based on the value of the work (although that may vary regionally) so I'm puzzled by how $2500 is saved by you doing the "pulling". I just finished an addition for which I pulled the building permit and acted as GC (there were no separate permits required for electrical or plumbing although I supply license #'s of the electrical and plumbing subs) All work was inspected. I did find that if the Building Inspector has worked with the subs previously, the inspections were very "quick"
We're saving about $1500. The company will handle all the permits but they would charge extra fees above the permit fees because they hire out that process (having a different company get all the permits).

WhyNotUs
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Re: Permits for kitchen remodel

Post by WhyNotUs » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:27 pm

I pull my own permits to save $$.
As you say, final payment is contingent on the inspections being satisfactory- including electrical and plumbing.
Make sure that you know, in contract, who is on the hook if there is a problem with each of those areas.
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wageoghe
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Re: Permits for kitchen remodel

Post by wageoghe » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:43 pm

I understand what you are saying about the company having an electrician on staff, but not a master, hence the use of an outside company to provide the master electrician expertise (for permit purposes). We have only done one remodel (basement), and that one was with a GC that hired subs (including electrical and HVAC), so I don't have experience with the model used by your kitchen contractor. It does seem like a reasonable enough approach and does, apparently, give you the option of saving some money by handling the permitting process yourself. Having said that, if it were me, I would pay for the contractor to handle all aspects of the permitting/inspection process. I would just rather deal with one guy (the kitchen contractor) and have him responsible for everything.

Just out of curiosity, what is the scope of work? New cabinets, countertops(type?), flooring, lighting, appliances?

rjsob58
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Re: Permits for kitchen remodel

Post by rjsob58 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:40 pm

Scope is all new cabinets, counter tops (granite), knocking down two walls to open things up, moving the refrig to the other side of the room (water line & new electrical circuit), moving a gas stove about 4 feet so there is a counter on each side. New lights, adding some electrical outlets and moving a few others. I have all new appliances - purchased over the last 2 years. I am doing the flooring myself as it will include the whole 1st floor (kitchen, family room, dining room & a sun room). We are also going to do a backsplash ourselves at some point in the near future, but couldn't decide what we wanted.

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wageoghe
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Re: Permits for kitchen remodel

Post by wageoghe » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:02 pm

Sounds like a nice project and a reasonable price! Good luck!

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Permits for kitchen remodel

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:20 pm

rjsob58 wrote:We are doing a kitchen remodel and the contractor was going to charge us approx $2500 to pull all the permits, but said we could save money by getting the permits ourselves. They gave us their business license, but the county said it does not cover electrical or gas, only the building permit. They wanted the business license for the electrical & gas contractor or we could say we are doing it ourselves. The remodel company said that they use another company for the electrical license so they can't give us that license number. I'm not sure I understand this, but they sent me this in writing:
you will be responsible for pulling the electrical and plumbing permit for the said job. We will be responsible for checking the work by our master electrician and plumber and scheduling the inspection with County/City
This makes me a bit nervous, but the final 3rd of the payment for the job is not due until we sign off and all city/county inspections are passed.

Am I getting set up for trouble?

P.S. - We got 4 bids and I did a lot of research on the company, including talking to a handful of references.
No, no problem, essentially you are filling out the permit application as homeowner and general contractor. You hire your kitchen remodel guys, they do all the work, including the electrical and plumbing. You are responsible for having the town come down and inspect their work (that means you have to be present at the inspection), once they sign off on the permit you are good to go. And yes, you will save because towns/counties have quite the racket going on with charging higher fee rates for commercial trades vs. the DIY route by the primary homeowner. (A trick of the trade :annoyed )
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

fiscalsense
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Re: Permits for kitchen remodel

Post by fiscalsense » Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:50 am

I'm kind of surprised at the responses. I've done a lot of remodeling including a kitchen and always had the contractors pull all permits to maintain their liability at bigger jobs. I know the temptation is there to save the $1,500 but I would rather they just handle everything to avoid complications later. I just viewed it as insurance to limit risk. Strange things happen when you open up walls. Remodeling is stressful and this will be another thing for you think about. Also, although inspections are quick, they don't give you a specific time to meet but blocks of time and if something does come up you may have to meet a few times. Others on this website seem to have had a good experience pulling their own permits so YMMV.

fiscalsense
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Re: Permits for kitchen remodel

Post by fiscalsense » Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:55 am

By the way, I don't think the permit rates really differ (if at all) for commercial trades and DIY. You can call the County to confirm that. What cost more is the contractor charging more for their time, effort, and liability risk to pull the permit.

rjsob58
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Re: Permits for kitchen remodel

Post by rjsob58 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:11 am

Just to close the loop on this. We had no problems pulling the permits ourselves and it only cost $650 vs the $2k estimate the contractor provided if they pulled them. The remodel is done. Failed electrical inspection initially, but the contractor took care of all the code deficiencies. Everybody's happy, including my checking account.

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pteam
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Re: Permits for kitchen remodel

Post by pteam » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:27 am

What exactly do you need permits for in a kitchen remodel? For example if you just do the countertops and the backsplash do you need permits?

talzara
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Re: Permits for kitchen remodel

Post by talzara » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:31 am

pteam wrote:What exactly do you need permits for in a kitchen remodel? For example if you just do the countertops and the backsplash do you need permits?
Countertops should not need any permits. However, in some locations, opening up the walls will require the utilities behind the wall to be brought up to current code. For example, drywall might have to be replaced with cement board before installing the backslash.

But the original poster is doing a lot more than that:
rjsob58 wrote:... knocking down two walls to open things up, moving the refrig to the other side of the room (water line & new electrical circuit), moving a gas stove about 4 feet so there is a counter on each side. New lights, adding some electrical outlets and moving a few others. ...
Knocking down walls may require a structural inspection, depending on whether the walls are load-bearing.

Moving water and gas lines requires a plumbing inspection.

Adding lights and receptacles requires an electrical inspection.

rjsob58
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Re: Permits for kitchen remodel

Post by rjsob58 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:22 pm

pteam wrote:What exactly do you need permits for in a kitchen remodel? For example if you just do the countertops and the backsplash do you need permits?
We knocked down walls, add new electrical outlets, moved others, added lights in ceiling, moved gas line for new stove location. So we needing building, electrical and gas.

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