Gary, Home Owner in West Long Branch, NJ

we have completed a garage conversion to bathroom and laundry with storage cabinets but have not gotten building permits, what do I do now?

Asked by Gary, West Long Branch, NJ Tue Nov 16, 2010

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Hi Gary
This happens all of the time so don't worry about it & take care of it from now. Just be honest & up front about it when you contact your local building dept at the municipal building & tell them what you did & that you were not aware that you needed to get approvals before the conversion. They will most likely tell you that you have to go in person fill out applications for electric, plumbing & building permits where you will need to describe the work that was done, include a sketch of what it looks like w/ dimensions & then they will review it. they will follow up with an in home inspection of the work, If the work was done correctly they will tell you what fees have to be paid to get approved permits. If it was not done correctly you will have to redo the work to their building codes & have it reinspected & pay the fees & then you are in the clear. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 17, 2010
Jeremy -

What do you suggest to the person? The work is done.
Do you suggest taht they just move on and forget abbout it? What else can this person do other than getting the permits after the fact?

I am thinking you did not read the question.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 17, 2010
Seriously Gary, what is your question? What do you mean what do you do now?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 16, 2010
You hope no one rats you out!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 16, 2010
Please dont listen to brokers on here who tell you to apply for the permits after the work has been done because "it happens all the time", Each state is different and an agent from Colorado doesnt necessarily know what is best for a situation like this in NJ. Everything should be done in a legit manor to save from later headaches when your selling.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 17, 2010
Does the conversion meet current code?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 16, 2010
I am the less government type. And it's great if we can reduce the size of the government and it's policies. However, permits are required for a reason. That is to ensure that the project is made within certain standards of safety. The price of those permits can be argued (greedy government), but in this case, the safety standards must be followed.

I agree with getting the permit (please be advised that there may be some consequences of getting them after the fact in fines).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 16, 2010

I'm with the get the permits crowd. Either way, they will be required upon resale and most certainly your taxes will increase for the added features to the home.

Francesca Patrizio, ePro, SRES
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 16, 2010
West Long Branch is a tough municipality when it comes to getting work done on your home. One of my sellers did some renovations and a neighbor "ratted them out." The township fined them and made the project extra difficult.
When you go to sell, the sellers' disclosure asks if you have applied for and received permits to get all the work done to show that you followed the law and the work was performed to code. You might as well bite the bullet now, rather than have it come up when you are trying to sell and the buyers think you were trying to hide something. Go to the town and apply for the permits.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 16, 2010
Get the permits and treat the situation as if you are going about this from scratch. This happens more often than most people think, but it is in your best interest to take this approach regardless of whether you are planning on keeping or selling your property.

Best Wishes,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 16, 2010
Hi Gary, The answer to your question depends on what your plans are. When you sell - whether it's now, next year or in the next decade, your potential buyer will be looking for those permits. Some towns have penalties for doing work without permits, some will simply send the inspectors and issue the permits after the fact. I've seen people have to take down walls to pass framing inspections.... It's hard to answer the question without knowing the area and without knowing your plans. Call the township - ask the question...

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 16, 2010
Hi Gary - you need to go to the township and get the necessary permits. You wil have to get the permits when you go to sell your home. These permits are for the safety of your and your family so the best thing is to go asap and get them!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 16, 2010
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