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Q: Should I get a building permit ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Should I get a building permit
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: erwindale-ga
List Price: $125.00
Posted: 01 Jan 2005 12:08 PST
Expires: 31 Jan 2005 12:08 PST
Question ID: 450088
Should I get a building permit for an extensive remodel by an owner
occupant?  This is in Banning, California.

I'm planning on doing extensive remodelling to a house that is in the
city limits, but away from any neighbors.  Part of this remodel
will change the information on the tax profile as far as number of
bedrooms and bathrooms.  I thought that when I got to remodelling the garage, I'd
pull a permit for that to increase the square footage of the house.  Among the
things that I want to do is raise the ceiling in some of the bedrooms.
 I've been told so many things from "You can get the house taken away
from you if you don't get a building permit" to "You don't want the
hassle of getting a building permit."  I'm doing this work myself and
I'm afraid that I might get discouraged in doing such a big project if
I have to keep waiting for inspections or if there are questions about
engineering reports.  I will make sure it is done correctly and to
code with or without a permit.

Clarification of Question by erwindale-ga on 01 Jan 2005 12:59 PST
I also heard that if you never finish the project, that you won't get
a tax reassessment which is a further worry about getting a permit.  I
may be able to just not finish part of a cabinet or something like

A further clarification is that I have floor plans that are about 1/2
completed that I did myself.
Subject: Re: Should I get a building permit
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 01 Jan 2005 13:03 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear erwindale-ga;

Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to answer your interesting
question. First let me begin by saying that we will always side with
published law in this forum since our policy does not permit us to
enable unlawful activity. Personally, I've no doubt that you mean well
and are making your inquire solely as a means of trying to
economically complete your project with the least amount of hassel.
Though your intentions are good, I've examined published law and based
the answer on that alone. Second, you?ve no doubt read our disclaimer
that we cannot provide legal advice, but merely point out what
published law states. A wise old guy I once knew used to enjoy
explaining the bitter truth this way: "I don't write this paper, I
just throw it".

Now, according to the law (Sec. 7031.5, BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS
CODE), you are indeed required to obtain a building permit in order to
build, modify or improve a structure in Banning California. Failure to
do so could result in a $500.00 fine PLUS the unpaid permit fees.
Having said that, the only reasonable answer is, yes, you should abide
by the law and get a permit before doing the construction.

?License Required for Construction Permit

7031.5. Each county or city which requires the issuance of a permit as
a condition precedent to the construction, alteration, improvement,
demolition or repair of any building or structure shall also require
that each applicant for such a permit file as a condition precedent to
the issuance of a permit a statement which he has prepared and signed
stating that the applicant is licensed under the provisions of this
chapter, giving the number of the license and stating that it is in
full force and effect, or, if the applicant is exempt from the
provisions of this chapter, the basis for the alleged exemption.

Any violation of this section by any applicant for a permit shall be
subject to a civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars

I might point out the last line in that code (??or, if the applicant
is exempt from the provisions of this chapter, the basis for the
alleged exemption.) and go on to say that things might not be as bad
as you have been led to believe. In fact, you can fill out the
application for the permit and in doing so request a permit exemption
under Section 7044, Business and Professions Code, (you can also read
this code using the same link above) since you are doing the work
yourself (or contracting it yourself) with no intention of selling the
structure within one year of the date of improvement. This may make
your experience a much easier (and cheaper) one. It appears that the
law requires you to fill out the application but the final
determination as to whether or not you actually HAVE to have a permit
is made on the City level, based on your reasons for requesting an
exemption. Who know, you may get one. The short of the matter though
is that even if you are entitled to an exemption, if you fail to
follow the letter of the law and get caught, you will be in the wrong
(and potentially fined heavily) no matter what your reasoning for
avoiding the law is.

Ironically, you can read more about this type of exemption at the
bottom of the building permit application itself:


Or you can request some literature (or have someone else do it for you
if you prefer not to be known to them) about this exemption from the
BUILDING SAFETY DIVISION by contacting them at:

PO BOX 998

PHONE: (909) 922-3120

I found absolutely nothing indicating that the authorities have the
legal right to ?take your house? for failing to follow the letter of
the law where building permits are concerned, but THEY WILL impose an
hefty fine and drag you through court if you are found to be outside
the law regarding this issue ? and if that happens it?s probably a
legal issue you can successfully defend in court.

Below you will find that I have carefully defined my search strategy
for you in the event that you need to search for more information. By
following the same type of searches that I did you may be able to
enhance the research I have provided even further. I hope you find
that my research exceeds your expectations. If you have any questions
about my research please post a clarification request prior to rating
the answer. Otherwise, I welcome your rating and your final comments
and I look forward to working with you again in the near future. Thank
you for bringing your question to us.

Best regards;
Tutuzdad ? Google Answers Researcher


Defined above



Google ://


Building permit




Banning California

Business and professions


Clarification of Answer by tutuzdad-ga on 01 Jan 2005 18:13 PST
Thank you for your genenrous rating. I'd like to point out an error
however in my second to last paragraph (and I assume from reading the
entire answer you've already understtod what I intended to say):

"...and if that happens it?s probably a legal issue you CAN
successfully defend in court."

Should have said:

"...and if that happens it?s probably a legal issue you CANNOT
successfully defend in court."

I think from the tone of my research you probably already understood
this to be the case but I wanted to clarify this just to make sure.

erwindale-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thank-you for this information and finding out about the exemption.

There are no comments at this time.

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