Repairs: DIY or Pro? - Posted by Brian

Posted by Brian on January 14, 2002 at 13:27:42:

That’s good news. All I want to do is make sure the job is done right (it’s going to be my home), without being at the mercy of a contractor. Thanks much for the insight.

Repairs: DIY or Pro? - Posted by Brian

Posted by Brian on January 14, 2002 at 12:57:00:

I recently purchased an REO in an EXCELLENT location for about the cost of the land (+/- 10%). It needs some repairs, and I can do much of the work myself, but my county requires a building permit for any repairs over 100.00 (much like any other). I will do the work correctly, but I want to avoid the cost of a remodeler, inspections and fees (delays, etc) if I can. Can I get away with this? Can I do the work and just have it inspected, or do I have to have a licensed plumber, electrician, builder do the work regardless?

Thanks for any contributions,

Or Get a Good Expeditor - Posted by Frank Chin

Posted by Frank Chin on January 14, 2002 at 17:15:08:

Hi Brian:

I’m in New York City, and they gotten strict on work done by DIY, and in my case, also work by unlicensed people.

What the expeditors do is pull a permit for the work to be done (but already done). Then they get a licensed electrician, plumber to inspect the work that I or my unlicensed guy done, and sign off on it.

An expeditor is used since you can’t call a plumber from the Yellow Pages to sign off on work YOU DONE.

In NYC, and nearby Nassau County, if you pull permits for work alreay done, there’s a penalty imposed. So the smart expeditors obtain a permit like the work is going to be done, wait a month, and then submit the forms for completion.

One peculiarity in NYC is self inspection where plumbers and (I think) electricians can also sign off on the work in lieu of city inspector. This requires the submission of an additional form and additonal fees.

This started a few years ago when almost the entire city inspection crew was arrested for bribe taking.

One big plus with using an experienced expeditor is he knows the inspectors for the area, and can tell you if your work will pass or not.

I paid an extra fee not too long ago to do self inspection as I’m told the City Inspector in my area is a big pain. I later spoke with my regular plumber about this inspector and he got a good laugh. He says this inspector just HATES shoddy work, and really picks on plumbers that he knows just signs off on other’s work.

Frank Chin

Re: Repairs: DIY or Pro? - Posted by GL

Posted by GL on January 14, 2002 at 13:14:33:

I don’t know about your area, but normally the inspector doesn’t care who does the work as long as it is up to code. You have to use your own judgement about what you can do and what you need an expert for.

The best course if in doubt is to go ask the inspector. He will likely start off with an attitude. Don’t blow your top. Act slightly hurt and tell him, I am an honest citizen trying to obey the law. How can I obey the law unless you tell me what it is? You are my government. Help me.

I have had inspectors bend over backwards to tell me how to do a job in the most simple inexpensive way, by using this approach. They have gone over the job and helped plan it with much valuable advice.

On the other hand if you try to chisel they can chisel back twice as hard, make you rip out all your work etc. You may as well do it right from the start.