An article published in the New York Times recently highlighted the need to secure building permits prior to remodeling a home or commercial building.
According to the author, Steve Edor, Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary Hillary Clinton began extensive renovations on their new home in Chappaqua, New York without securing any building permits. As he noted,
“Those records, first reported and posted online by The Journal News, based in White Plains, revealed that the town received a complaint in early October about excavation work at the Clintons’ new home that seemed related to the removal of dead trees. But when an inspector arrived, he noticed that a much bigger project was underway: The home was being renovated, complete with an updated kitchen; a new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system; walls being moved; and the backfilling of a swimming pool with gravel.
Without informing the town to obtain the proper permits, the Clintons apparently set the project in motion soon after they bought the house in August, with an eye toward having everything ready for the holidays. “I was told that the owners wanted to have all work done and finished by Thanksgiving and were quite adamant about it,” William Maskiell, the building inspector for New Castle, N.Y., wrote in his inspection report after speaking to a contractor. (Chappaqua is a hamlet within New Castle.
“What started as a paint job turned into this,” he added.”
This article illustrates that all property owners must follow local rules and requirements for obtaining building permits, secure inspections and submit plans prior to starting construction. When a property owner starts construction but fails to secure permits, a stop work order should issue and all construction should stop. The property owner needs to apply for permits, and variances if required, then have contractors come back and restart the project. While time consuming and potentially expensive, following the process and securing the permits prior to construction must occur.
If you are having issues with building permits, or have failed to secure permits prior to construction, please contact a professional at Dalton & Tomich PLC to assist you.