How do you BRRR people deal with permits and inspections?

2 Replies

I'm doing a rehab on a small house... I've done a lot of basic repairs myself, hired contractors for some of the bigger stuff. One of those items (gas lines) needed permitted and inspected. All fine, but now the inspector is asking me lots of questions about all the other work and saying it had to be done by a licensed pro, permitted, and inspected! He's giving me heartburn.

Now, my state law (Arkansas) says a rental is the same as a primary residence, so I can do anything I want. But municipal law can be different.

How do y'all handle this?

@Michael Roetzel That’s the risks of doing work yourself without pulling permits. Once you open the door to an inspector you can open a can of worms. It probably too late but in the future only have the work requiring the permit active when the inspector is on site. For example when you are working on plumbing don’t have any electrical or framing projects in progress. That way the inspector can not get side tracked on other non permitted work he sees in progress.

For this reason I generally do all or nothing when it comes to pulling permits. If a portion of project requires a permit them the whole project goes under permit. If it is a small project then I don’t pull a permit and don’t open the door to the inspector.

I only pull permits when doing major renovations that include adding rooms or major modifications.

We ran into an issue buying a property where the previous owner was a contractor. He did a garage conversion into master bedroom and back porch into family room. When it came time for appraisal he had 600 Sqrft of unpermitted addictions that could not be used in the appraisal. 2000 sqrft home became 1400 sqrft and he was under water on value. We walked away from the deal and he landed in foreclosure 6 months later.

@Michael Roetzel - I second what @Pete Harper said right there!

That's a lot of sound advice as far as the permits go.  Sometimes it's easier just to bite the bullet and have a GC pull one for the whole site and be the builder on record.  If you want to do some of the work yourself then negotiate that with the GC and go from there.  But keeping one project at a time "open" when the inspector arrives is very smart!