stop work order - help!

10 Replies

I received a stop work order and hired an architect to draw up plans and handle the permit process. He turned out to be very unreliable.  Has anyone had any experience here?  I don't know who to trust anymore. 

Look up Jason Scott on here.

this has happened to me when i first started @David S.   go talk to the city inspectors in person and pull the proper permits.

always do any rehab the proper way by pulling permits it will help you sell if you are going to sell 

if you plan is to rent, the house will be safe

good luck 

Who to trust? their motivations. Stop work orders are annoying, sue him for negligence while paying it off and move on.

Architects don't typically handle permits, at least in any area I've worked.  General contractors do for a big project.  Are you acting as the GC?  What's the cause of the stop work?  Its not the end of the world.  Address whatever issues they have, get it inspected, and keep moving.

First We handle them all the time first get in contact with the inspector who did the stop work order and find out why it was stopped in the first place,it should be posted on your stop work order. Most of the time there will be a fine with the stop work order but the fine can be cut in half if you show that you are trying to correct the work and was not trying to get over  on the city . If you do not want to pay the fine  you can go to a hearing and if you explain it and it makes sense they will some time kick it out but 80% of the time they will cut the fine in half .Most of the time the items can be added on the drawings pay the fine and keep on going . Trust no one are you can call the city inspector before the work start and ask the inspector to look at the drawings and find out if you have the scope and the drawing the same and he can tell you  for what you want to do before you start free and you get a chance to meet the inspector is what we do  .It slows the job down but if you do enough building you are going to get one and if you are in a great neighbor hood they are going to stop by more . Hope this helps you out but this is just for the MD DC and Va area were we work at.

Thank you all for the helpful replies. I am new to BP and thanks to all of you already love this resource and am very grateful to all of you. I will heed the advice. Thank you.


What's the scope of work you hired the architect for? If it's structural you might get a better rate working directly with a structural engineer. Did you sign a contact with the architect? Was it an AIA contract....... perhaps a B105–2007 form? Do you have the licence number of the architect? Please provide more detail about the project (SFH? or commercial, location, etc...) and what was the stop order for (I assume for not having a building permit?) Before you start any project you should check your local county's building department for what types of permits you'll need. You'll be surprised what needs a permit. Here's link to building permit office in Chicago (I'm not sure if this is where your project is). Hope this helps.

Hi @David Sconduto, you are correct, you do need plans and permits if you got a stop order in Chicago. The reason your architect is pulling your permits is because you probably paid for expeditors, and if you did not pay for them, then I advice you to do so, otherwise your permits will take months and months, and your project cost will hit the roof. 

Contact me if you need the info of a good architect that moves fast. 

Good luck and Happy New Year!

@David Sconduto 

Anyone that hasn't had this happen in Chicago doesn't have a clue what it is like in this city once the city has you.  Our first couple of properties we purchased in the city we had this happen and they city takes you over their knee.  It is important to get in with an architect that has a good relationship with the building department.  If you have to go to court it is good to have an attorney that has a good relationship with city attorney's.  This will all make your life easier.   What is the stop work order for?  Did they come into the house yet?  You have been caught so the opportunity to go cheap on plans for permits is out.  If the building is vacant they will now try to hit you for not having the building registered.   

Almost all of our properties we have rehabbed are in the city and I have had the worse of the worse case scenario happen but it was do our doing that created the worse part.  David feel free to give me call or let me know any questions you have.  It is not the end of the world but it is just expensive in time and expense.  

The only good thing about our experiences is we did learn what happens when you get caught and we are way more careful or even pull permits at times but we did learn our way around the court system and made good connections with resources we can now go to.

@David S.  We've had stop work orders for various reasons on projects in Chicago, even after permits have been pulled.  Some advice:  Make sure the next architect you use is a "self-certified" architect.  The process w/ architects self-certified by the city is faster than w/ architects that are not.  Second piece of advice is to examine the stop work order closely.  You may find that it's very specific and there is other work that you may be able to continue.  Example:  We had a stop work order on a porch that we found out was built illegally.  We hadn't even started work on the porch, but there was a stop work order.   The GC stopped work on everything but we directed him to continue with everything but the porch.  

We may be able to provide you w/ a recommendation for an architect.  

While I'm on this post we're also looking for more architects ourselves.

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