Most municipalities will allow you to swap same for same. In other words, no changes to the opening. It still must be permitted. Weep holes go on the bottom, not the side.
As a home inspector (and a licensed contractor), I see dumb contractor work every day. The homeowner typically says "but it was done by a licensed contractor!" As if the ignorance goes away.
If Taza applies for the permit and does not get it finaled, he/she is committing fraud. No doubt other aspects of the real estate transactions would be questionable as well.
Q. What do you say to Taza in a new suit? A. Will the defendant please rise?
Amy Logan http://economy-glass.com/24hr-commercial-emergency-glass/
Tim Johnson| http://www.newjerseywindow.com/Roxbury_Township.php
If you use retrofit windows you do not need to get a permit. If you decide to get a permit you will need to finalize it, because you will not be able to get another permit for a different job before you close this one. You can't just let it expire. If you live in a condominium community check with your HOA because even though the City of Sunnyvale doesn't require permits for retrofit windows, your HOA may.
People will naturally question your entire house if they pull permits and see that you never bothered to get the final inspection for your permit. They'll think "What else did this owner risk?"
Btw, how did the city inspector just randomly show up? Did your neighbor alert the city inspector's office?
Dear Mr. Redding: Please consider a CREIA membership. Your web site offers my Standards of Practice, but you have no affilliation. It's my participation and money that develops these standards to help protect you against malicious litigation. You are welcome as a guest at any chapter educational meeting in California. Tell 'em "Joe Nernberg sent me." Have a great year.
Retrofit windows fit inside the existing wood or aluminum window frame. They effectively reduce the window opening and sometimes violate egress requirements due to the smaller opening size. You should check that the new windows meet the following code requirements (providing of course that you do not have an exterior door in the room that meets egress requirements):
lighting (8% of your floor area)
ventilation (4% of your floor area)
Minimum opening area.
All emergency escape and rescue openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet.
Grade floor openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5 square feet.
Minimum opening height.
The minimum net clear opening height shall be 24 inches.
Minimum opening width.
The minimum net clear opening width shall be 20 inches.
Don't violate these and you should be ok.
NO disrespect !
Some cities require a permit and some do not .
Some Cities have adopted a no fee" Retrofit Window and Door Certification" that may be submitted to the City in lieu of a building permit.
The Certification, signed by the property owner is an an acknowledgement that the windows or doors installed comply with California Building Code.
Here is EXACTLY what the Town Of Los Gatos building department states on their website :
9. Do I need a permit to replace my windows?
If you are removing stucco or siding to do the replacement, or if the structure is considered historic you need a permit. If you are not affecting the exterior weatherproof membrane, you do not need a permit.
Just goes to show you, home inspectors don't know everything.
It is best to talk directly to your local building department before undertaking any renovations to your home.
If you are going to break stucco / remove siding, tear the whole window out, frame and all, you do need a permit.
Looking further, it doesn't appear that you need to take the retro fit windows out (and re-install) in order to get the permit signed off as finaled (again verify with city).
I would pull a permit and have the inspector sign off that the windows have been installed correctly. But I would go down the the building department and speak with them. They are the ones who have ultimate authority on building issues.
Note: I'm not sure how the building inspector "showed up" at your house to look at your windows in the first place . It makes me think that you may have a disgruntled neighbor who wants to make sure that any construction done on your property is done right. If that is the case, your only solution is to have it done right and permitted.
As a licensed Realtor AND a licensed general contractor with extensive experience in both fields, I have one word of advice:
â€œDo it right.â€
There are too many risks associated with doing the work incorrectly and without permits. One of the building inspectorâ€™s roles is to insure that the work is done correctly - this is to protect YOU and any subsequent owners of your home. Yes, itâ€™s a pain. But it could be a FAR bigger pain down the road if you fail to do it correctly now.
As to the real estate implications of doing work without permits, see the links below:
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Saratoga may be different then other cities. From my understanding the window retrofit which is what I believe you ordered usually does not require a permit, but Saratoga may have different policies.
If the city inspector stopped you then most likely he knows what he is doing and is correct. You have a right to check the city's building code and verify it. Assuming he is right, he may have even put a stop work order to prevent you from proceeding until you get the windows permitted.
If your contractor suggested the retrofits and was not aware of the city's requirements you may be able to get him to replace the windows without you having to pay any additional cost, since he is responsable for following the city codes. Ultimately however the burden lies on you as the home owner.
I would not recommend the option of paying the permit, continuing on with the job, and then letting the permit expire. The city may not bother you afterward. However, when you sell your home the buyer may have the permits researched and see that the window permit was pulled but never finaled. He may then be concerned about the window's installation and concerned about the liability of buying the home. This may become a big resale issue for you, especially since it could be a violation to the code.
Also if you ever decide to do anything else to the home that requires permits, and the inspector notices that you changed the windows and did not follow code, he may red tag the house and fine you until the windows are changed to code.
You should also be aware that most permits exist for public safety reasons, and windows are no exception. If you replace those windows and do not get permits and there is a fire in your property that results in some form of personal injury and the windows were a factor then you may be liable.
Concise article on the Pros & Cons of Retrofit Windows vs. New Construction Windows: