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Old 02-17-2014, 12:22 PM   #51
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i completely understand what you're saying and do agree, but some people live within the city limits are required to use a licensed plumber or electrician and have permits to do the job. city building codes require this for the job to be done legally.
My state has very strict licensing regulations for plumbing, HVAC, electrical and general home improvement work. It applies to every City in the state, rural and all and, home owners are usually exempt from the licensing requirement for work on their own property. One thing that does work well is the state keeps pretty good history on the track record of the licensed professionals and they have a sort of warranty policy. If you use a licensed contractor and they screw up, you can file a complaint with the state and, if your complaint is justified, they have a fund set up to access money put in place to correct the work.

Also, I got some good advise from the licensing agency on several contractors I was looking into when planning home improvement work. I'm glad I did because the agency gave me some good background history that helped on selecting a reputable tradesman.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:46 PM   #52
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If you decide to do the work on your own, be honest with yourself and make sure you know what your doing especially with electrical, plumbing and HVAC work. If you screw up you could cause more damage to repair then the original work would have cost to be done by a professional. Someone having a license and calling themselves a professional does not necessarily mean they perform good quality work. Interview several potential contractors and ask them all the same questions:

  • Do you have a license?
  • Can you give me a list of the last five jobs completed with names and phone numbers?
  • Ask specific question on how they plan to do the work: scheduling, material quality, personnel that will be doing the installation
If they try to talk you out of providing the list of previous customers don't hire them. The contractors I hired were happy to have me contact their clients to hear how happy they were with the work. This is a sign of their own work ethic and pride of performing quality work. Also, get a written quote with payment terms, detailed description of the work to be performed, list of materials, manufacturers and model numbers and, schedule of how long the work will take to be complete. All proposals should have a provision to do additional work or changes without invalidating the original agreement. No matter how detailed you plan the original job something always happens that necessitates a change during construction.
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:54 PM   #53
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Around here they require you pull a permit for literally anything. One of the neighbors got popped for changing his locksets on his house after a burglary. Yep. Need a permit for that. Another guy was replacing a window that got broken. Yep. Need a permit. Not only that but you can't replace single pane glass with single pane glass. You have to use double-pane insulated (though I am not sure how they get around that with registered Historical homes).

I would not be a bit surprised if they require a permit for a homeowner to change a light bulb.

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Old 02-17-2014, 08:28 PM   #54
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Around here they require you pull a permit for literally anything. One of the neighbors got popped for changing his locksets on his house after a burglary. Yep. Need a permit for that. Another guy was replacing a window that got broken. Yep. Need a permit. Not only that but you can't replace single pane glass with single pane glass. You have to use double-pane insulated (though I am not sure how they get around that with registered Historical homes).

I would not be a bit surprised if they require a permit for a homeowner to change a light bulb.
Around here they make you put double pane in historically significant houses, but they have to have a frame and stiles that match the period. It's also my understanding that there is a custom glass company that for a slight phenomenal fee will do something to the glass that will make it look wavy.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:53 PM   #55
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Around here they make you put double pane in historically significant houses, but they have to have a frame and stiles that match the period. It's also my understanding that there is a custom glass company that for a slight phenomenal fee will do something to the glass that will make it look wavy.
I wonder if they use antique glass combined with a piece of modern "perfect" glass? My current residence is 100 years old (built by my great grandfather) and the glass has bubbles and waves in it. I love that old stuff. If I have my 'druthers I would like to remove all of the glass when we sell this place and use it in a future house or cabin. Then again I would like to just move the whole house to another property out in the boonies. That's on my "Lottery List".
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:58 PM   #56
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I wonder if they use antique glass combined with a piece of modern "perfect" glass? My current residence is 100 years old (built by my great grandfather) and the glass has bubbles and waves in it. I love that old stuff. If I have my 'druthers I would like to remove all of the glass when we sell this place and use it in a future house or cabin. Then again I would like to just move the whole house to another property out in the boonies. That's on my "Lottery List".
I will try to find out for you. I know a guy on one of our local preservation boards. He may or may not know, but if he doesn't he will find out.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:14 PM   #57
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I will try to find out for you. I know a guy on one of our local preservation boards. He may or may not know, but if he doesn't he will find out.
Its not too terribly important to me. But I appreciate your willingness to find out.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:24 PM   #58
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Funny, in NY you might think I would be plagued with rules and regs but mostly what matters is how you do something here not if you do something. It helps that our home is on the very edge of the district, it also helps that my home and most of the others are a couple centuries old and you cant imagine just how much is grandfathered or classified as repair even as semi major construction. Ive never pulled a permit for my home ever and wont if I can help it!

Ive learned form some of the best tradesmen in our region and most admire my work as much as I do theirs. Thats not saying anyone should go out and do it, you gotta start small and work your way up or your risking way too much life and money wise by DIYing without the right amount of knowledge. Nobody can really do everything themselves even if its just muscle power. I dont ever work on the supply side of the breaker panel, thats just me! We would never would have gotten a nice set of stairs in my addition if I hadnt hired a good friend of mine to let me assist him in layout and construction, I learned allot, what I learned was never design stairs if youve never designed stair before!!!

Ive added some of the renos of the stairs, living room and the one and only kitchen I will ever do! I like hardwoods and very few of them come from a store, most are reclaimed or milled by a buddy of mine. The kitchen is 75 year old Library cabinets that they smashed trying to remove. I had 2 truckloads of broken white oak. I remilled and joined every piece and their wasnt as much as a pinknot in two truckloads of the stuff. It was a bear but my cabinets are 100% old growth White Oak, every piece of them and it was all free!


These projects are not for the faint of heart, my wife literally was ready to walk more than once! Im working on a 300sq' reno now, were opening a bed and breakfast soon!

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Old 02-17-2014, 09:29 PM   #59
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Around here they require you pull a permit for literally anything. One of the neighbors got popped for changing his locksets on his house after a burglary. Yep. Need a permit for that. Another guy was replacing a window that got broken. Yep. Need a permit. Not only that but you can't replace single pane glass with single pane glass. You have to use double-pane insulated (though I am not sure how they get around that with registered Historical homes).

I would not be a bit surprised if they require a permit for a homeowner to change a light bulb.
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Around here they make you put double pane in historically significant houses, but they have to have a frame and stiles that match the period. It's also my understanding that there is a custom glass company that for a slight phenomenal fee will do something to the glass that will make it look wavy.
And I suppose they charge you a fee for this permission to fix your own property?
You know guys these are elected or appointed officials which means "you"
pay them to dictate to you. So why do you tolerate this? You can't fix it overnight but you can incrementally, the very same way you eat an elephant, one bite at a time! These officials have to justify their existence and the their only avenue is more and more legislation which makes your life more and more difficult.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:39 PM   #60
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And I suppose they charge you a fee for this permission to fix your own property?
You know guys these are elected or appointed officials which means "you"
pay them to dictate to you. So why do you tolerate this? You can't fix it overnight but you can incrementally, the very same way you eat an elephant, one bite at a time! These officials have to justify their existence and the their only avenue is more and more legislation which makes your life more and more difficult.
Right here with ya Pas! Im Scottish, (Wallace Clan to be precise) I have license by virtue of my birthright to Poach and Evade the kings Tax authorities if I deem it necessary for the sake of the clans budget!

Im also as good a carpenter, electrician and plumber as most of the trades I could hire locally and I am a damned sight pickier than they are. New plumbing, no sir, just a few repairs....
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