Pictured home: 13-3420 Nohea St. Pahoa.
Shifting became the watchword as we wound our way forward during Covid-19. Our Wine’d Down Zoom Meetings were our way of staying in touch while providing valuable information to our friends and the community. As things get back to “normal,” we find ourselves busy as beavers. Who would have thought?
This means we need to put our Wine’d Down Zoom Meetings on hold indefinitely. We were lucky to be educated by so many experts, including Ryan Kadota of Kadota Liquors who taught us to wine with class! Whether exploring trees with my favorite tree guy, conservation with my favorite conservationist, 1031 exchanges, real property taxes, home inspections, financing, surveys, and more, it was a rare chance to take a deep dive into topics we are asked about daily. Wine’d Down became hugely popular on social media, so be sure to check out the re-caps in our blog or email me if you need a list.
Omit the Permit?
One topic I hoped to get to related to “as built” permits. I often scratch my head when people build without permits. Sure, a permit slows the process, but sometimes life just takes over, I suppose. My new friend recently told me, “I had one kid and built a room, then another…and so forth.
So, what is “as built”? When an owner wishes to correct additions/improvements added without a permit, they must do so via “as built” permit. Keep in mind that there are many scenarios that could apply. I’ll touch on a few.
- First, an “as built” permit costs twice the amount of a normal permit. The first step is to hire a top-notch draftsperson (or architect) who will draw blueprints showing what’s there. If you have plans on-hand, it will help.
- Check your permit status. If you had a permit and just never completed the project, an open permit should allow application of the building codes in effect when the permit was issued. If a new permit is needed, current codes will apply.
- When electrical and plumbing are not exposed, the inspectors will likely ask you to make these systems available for their inspection. A licensed plumber and electrician must pull those permits.
- Another challenge is often hurricane straps.
- Current code also requires solar hot water.
- Your draftsperson should be able to advise you on your situation.
- One final challenge relates to wastewater. Shared cesspools are a no-no, and the last I was told, a change in bedroom count will trigger an upgrade to septic.
If You Sell…
Remember, if your plan is to sell within a year (or if the original permit was owner-builder), a licensed contractor will need to finalize the permit. While it is possible to sell “as is”, the million-dollar question is how much will permits increase the value. Without knowing the cost to cure, it’s impossible to know.
I just closed a home with permit hiccups at $150k less than the seller could have expected to garner with corrected permits! There are a few contractors who specialize in this type project but be patient, everyone is crazy busy and corrections could take time.
So, there it is in a nutshell. Best of luck and, by the way, if you are thinking of improving without permits, please re-think it because correcting after the fact is much, much harder than doing it correctly the first time…isn’t that how things normally are anyway!