Doing it right the first time...

Farmaholic

Active member
Oct 7, 2023
38
9
is often the most efficient and economical way of moving forward. Would you agree with that? Unfortunately, my grandfather decided to add a ramp to his entranceway without getting the proper permit to do so. He also didn't have it inspected. He expected to save time and money that way. However, now he wants to downsize and is having an awful time selling his house. It's a hot real estate market right now, and he has a buyer, but the deal is on hold until my grandfather pays a fine for building without a permit. The ramp must also pass an inspection. My aunt warned him about building that ramp without going through the proper channels, but he wanted to do it his way. A building permit might not seem important if you plan to live out your days there, but the moment someone gets hurt and claims on the home insurance, or the moment you wish to sell the home, you'll have to deal with the consequences of taking the easy way out.
 
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United States
It's the unfortunate thing about stubborn parents or grandparents. Haha, but joking aside, I totally understand. My father is the same way, has done many home renovations without getting a permit. They were all inside jobs, but I know if they were to sell it, I can see some people making a fuss about the changes or work done.

But, it's not my life. I warn him every time he doesn't listen, but it's up to him to listen or not. He can deal with the fees and problems that come from making repairs before a permit is issued.
 
What kind of ramp is it? I'm picturing a wheelchair ramp for an entranceway and, if that's the case, it should be able to be removed.

The other thing that caught my eye was that someone needs a permit for something that doesn't alter the structure in any way. This adds to livability in a non-permanent way. It's not that they built an addition to the house.

Anyway, it stinks that he got a fine for it. I hope it all ends well.
 
The previous owners of my house had some work done that should have needed a permit. For example, they ran electrical to the back of the lot for a hot tub (which we subsequently removed). I don't recall any permits as part of the paperwork that came with the house but suppose some of that could be on file with the City? I've also myself had some minor work done without bothering with permits.

My house was relatively new when we purchased it and overall was in good condition, which I think is why it didn't occur to us to inquire about permits. It's not something the real estate agent made any mention of either, as far as I recall. The bottom line is that I don't believe homebuyers generally care about permits unless there's some red flag about work completed on the house that calls the permitting into question. The safety implications of not getting a renovation permitted obviously depend on the competence of the person/company that completed the work. Even when permits aren't obtained, I'd imagine a lot of work completed by experienced contractors probably adheres to code. @Farmaholic, I'm wondering if your grandfather built the ramp himself kind of haphazardly or if he had an experienced contractor build it and the contractor just cut corners on permitting?
 
Obtaining the necessary renovation permits for your house is essential for several important reasons. Selling your house might not be on your cards at the moment, however, if you decide to sell in the future, you might encounter problems with all the constructions you have done without seeking permits. Well, getting permits is surely a hassle, however, you will run into bigger hassles if you do not seek permits
 
What kind of ramp is it? I'm picturing a wheelchair ramp for an entranceway and, if that's the case, it should be able to be removed.

The other thing that caught my eye was that someone needs a permit for something that doesn't alter the structure in any way. This adds to livability in a non-permanent way. It's not that they built an addition to the house.
The second loophole was pretty much what my grandfather counted on when he installed the ramp. Unfortunately, it's a cement ramp that's reinforced with rebar. As the house settled overtime, the ramp became wedged into the carport and brick. It's safe, but it's also permanent. Thank you for the information, though, and for trying to help!

@Eric, my grandfather built it himself. He's fairly capable with DIY, but the structure is old and things shift over time. The rules here are pretty strict about adding things like ramps without having a permit and inspection. It's okay to build an accessibility ramp and then live in that home, which is what he originally did. However, he rented the home out with the ramp in place when he decided to downsize. That wasn't okay. And now he wants to sell the home, which brought it all out into the open.
 
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