2004 built house never got finals

9 Replies

I have a house under contract that was never completed. Was started in 04 and looks like the last inspection was 08 or 09. Never got it's finals. Permitting dept said that they may have to repermit everything all over because the codes have changed. Have all plans that she says I will need. Anyone have any advice or concerns? May cost $1800 to redo she says?

@Trevor Schuler consult an architect or structural engineer to evaluate the plans and structure to see what changes need to be made to bring the house up to code. Don’t spend any money on permits or plan review from the permitting department until you know what your costs are to make the house right. Lots has changed in 15 years

Good luck!

Originally posted by @Michael Gravallese :

@Trevor Schuler consult an architect or structural engineer to evaluate the plans and structure to see what changes need to be made to bring the house up to code. Don’t spend any money on permits or plan review from the permitting department until you know what your costs are to make the house right. Lots has changed in 15 years

Good luck!

Thank you very much for the advice! Hopefully they don't require anything ridiculous. I realize technically it's not finished, but whats the difference in getting that house livable and the house down the street that was built at the same time. It's little crazy when you think about how these decisions are made.

Problem is the code changed and these municipalities are addicted to fees. Bad combo for your deal. Once you do put in for plan review they will throw you a whole new set of curveballs. I’ve seen deals like this where it just becomes easier and cheaper and to knock the thing down and start over. Hope that is not the case for you, but make sure you are comfortable with what you are getting yourself into. Stay off the slippery slope

Originally posted by @Michael Gravallese :

Problem is the code changed and these municipalities are addicted to fees. Bad combo for your deal. Once you do put in for plan review they will throw you a whole new set of curveballs. I’ve seen deals like this where it just becomes easier and cheaper and to knock the thing down and start over. Hope that is not the case for you, but make sure you are comfortable with what you are getting yourself into. Stay off the slippery slope

That's insane! So I should consult the architect and engineer to see what changes have been made to the building codes and figure out what the county may require. I don't see why they just wouldn't grandfather this thing in. Seems like a total waste otherwise. Someone could be living and enjoying it and paying their taxes and everyone would be happy. If anyone else has any experience with this please chime in.

Originally posted by @Trevor Schuler :
Originally posted by @Michael Gravallese:

Problem is the code changed and these municipalities are addicted to fees. Bad combo for your deal. Once you do put in for plan review they will throw you a whole new set of curveballs. I’ve seen deals like this where it just becomes easier and cheaper and to knock the thing down and start over. Hope that is not the case for you, but make sure you are comfortable with what you are getting yourself into. Stay off the slippery slope

That's insane! So I should consult the architect and engineer to see what changes have been made to the building codes and figure out what the county may require. I don't see why they just wouldn't grandfather this thing in. Seems like a total waste otherwise. Someone could be living and enjoying it and paying their taxes and everyone would be happy. If anyone else has any experience with this please chime in.

Yes consult the entire design team, architect, structural, civil. While its important to understand what codes have changed, it will be just as important to review what was actually built, and what is still salvageable after all these years. Something that was partially completed 15 years ago wont surprise me if its cheaper to knock down and start fresh, especially if its a lower price point home. There is a reason it wasn't completed, you need to find out that reason along with what its going to take to make right before you even consider closing on the property (unless you are paying pure land value).

Just as @Michael Gravallese mentioned, it would be best to contact a local architect or engineer to review in what state the home is in now and advise on the things which would be required to comply with current code. 

However contrary to Michael, this isn't totally driven on fees. The code changes are implemented from the State (or even Federal) level down to county, cities and towns. The state doesn't get those review fees, the immediate municipalities do. 

@Trevor Schuler , if it hasn't been completed, or what we like to say "signed-off" there's no responsibility place for the completed home. This has ramifications in what further modifications can be done when there's no baseline of the home. AND one of the biggest ramifications for investors is the ability to sell the property. If it is not complete, then there is no Certificate of Occupancy (or similar doc) stating inhabitance is allowed. This could complicate or delay the exchange, especially if dealing with a bank. A whole slew of things come into play. Better for you to have the documentation on the property. "Grandfathered" is when a structure/home/building is completed before a certain set of laws are enacted. This home was never really completed and is to new to be considered grandfathered. It come down to  on what was done and signed off versus what wasn't.
 

Jared Smith, RA 

Disclaimer: I am an architect, but I am not YOUR architect. I am not giving professional advice only general information. Contact a local architect/engineer for a detailed consultation specific to your project/locale.

@Jared W Smith thank you for the great response! Everything has been completed and signed off on except the final electric, water, hvac and structural. Basically the house is finished it just needs the flooring, hvac and power supply and structural final. House is 95 percent done and looks great.

@Trevor Schuler I see. I've seen this before.. You best be prepared to pay a premium to have those trade professionals sign-off on work they didn't install then. It would ideal if you could locate the company/people that did the original work, but that may be very difficult unless your municipality has records of who pulled the permits. And even if they do, they may no longer be in business. Structural can be signed off by an engineer or architect. This may be tough, as I have never done this myself even though I've been asked. Too much liability unless the walls are still open. 

All the best in your venture.  

Originally posted by @Jared W Smith :

@Trevor Schuler I see. I've seen this before.. You best be prepared to pay a premium to have those trade professionals sign-off on work they didn't install then. It would ideal if you could locate the company/people that did the original work, but that may be very difficult unless your municipality has records of who pulled the permits. And even if they do, they may no longer be in business. Structural can be signed off by an engineer or architect. This may be tough, as I have never done this myself even though I've been asked. Too much liability unless the walls are still open. 

All the best in your venture. 

Thanks everyone for your well heard advice, we shall what happens with this wholesale and if anyone is willing to tackle it.