Re: Rehabbing Houses - Posted by Carmen_FL
Posted by Carmen_FL on December 15, 1999 at 19:13:18:
Not much to add, just that in some cities inspectors are real pains, and WILL stop you if you try to work without the required permits. In one city, we worked for weeks, dumpsters and all - no problem, no permits. In another, we barely started to replace some wood outside, and there was the inspector. It took us over a week to get each permit, but they were pretty cheap (about $50). Any outside work (except painting) required permits, including additions, outside doors, windows, etc. Inside work generally did not. I think, in all, better safe than sorry - it takes longer if they catch you, and time is money. We didn’t get fined, but we could have.
I suggest that you ALWAYS get a licensed electrician. Expensive, but worth it - the last thing you need is a fire. We make sure to tell them that the house has to pass inspection - if not he/she gets the pleasure of coming back until it does. Also, for obvious reasons, roof work.
As for other work, it is not necessary to use licensed contractors, as long as you have the permits. It does provide you with some security, and they are insured in case anything goes wrong. You can also put a claim against the Contractor’s Board if he happens to be licensed and runs out without finishing the work or does a shoddy job. We use mostly unlicensed, because it is cheaper, but we know and trust the guys, and have insurance on the property in case they get hurt. The price difference - we got a quote for $5,100 from licensed contractors; we will have spent less than $2,000 with the unlicensed guys.
Tip: We are getting a bit of “barter” labor based on our willingness to help some of these people acquire a house creatively.