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Dear PoPville – How Much Does a Good Home Inspector Cost Who Can Help With Permitting Paperwork?

by Prince Of Petworth July 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm 13 Comments


Photo by PoPville flickr user KJinDC

“Dear PoPville,

I am debating my next steps after a run-in with city inspectors over some work I have been doing in my basement. Now I am in the position of paying out some fines and getting permitting for some work that has already been done (including adding bathroom and doing electrical). I spoke to a third party inspector about possibly having them do the permitting paperwork and potentially using them as the inspector. I am wondering if it is a good deal or not. The initial permit price seemed high to me, I don’t have a quote on the inspection cost. Can your readers give me any tips? Anybody else been thru this process?”

Anyone use a home inspector to help with the permitting process?

  • cahbf

    Hire Olivia Akinson, oliviakit@aol.com, she will reduce the fine, do plans, get your permits as cheap as anyone. i’ve recommended her to many on her. tell her gregg sent you. plans are 500, permits 300-500, reducing the fine is negotiable.

  • Anonymous

    How’d you get caught?

    • victoria

      Yeah – curious about that!

    • greent

      Joker turned him in.

  • A “home inspector” in the traditional sense of the word is a different animal from a third party inspector. Architects can also be helpful in this process. I’ve had clients use both (either an architect OR a third party inspector) and think it’s a good idea.

  • Petworthy

    I used a 3rd Party Inspector for my renovation. Never again. They get paid for each time they visit, so they have a built-in incentive to fail you at least once. My inspector found a few useful items that needed fixing, and some very marginal items that required lots of time and $$ to fix. I suspect a city inspector would have been more reasonable.

  • eli

    Hi, I was the original poster. Petworthy–do you mind sharing the name of the company you had a negative experience with?
    My other concern is that most of the work is now done and there are likely some changes to make for code violations. However I would like addressing them to be as painless as possible and not have to tear everything out. Sigh.

    • joker

      Painless as possible? Maybe you shouldn’t have tried to cheat the system to begin with. A little late to be worrying about “painless”. Now you should worry about what it is going to cost you.

      Now that DCRA knows about it, they are going to make you bring the entire space up to code. Ceiling height, plumbing, electrical, mechanical.

      On top of now needing to pay someone to put together plans and get them through DCRA, and redoing everything you’ve already done, you’ve gotten yourself into quite the pickle.

      • eli

        gee thanks for telling me things that i already know that you have no experience with. you are awesome!

      • styglan1

        Hey asshat (joker) – sometimes previous owners did things that weren’t up to snuff but also weren’t completely obvious to the home inspector you hire to check the house out before buying. I for one have some structural code violations that only the HVAC person noticed over a year after buying the house. Chill out dure.

  • SarahAl

    I must, how did u get caught?

  • KO

    Jim Delgado – city inspector for many years and now does home inspections. He really knows his stuff especially when it comes to codes and permits. He has been recommended in previous posts:

    http://www.princeofpetworth.com/2010/05/dear-pop-reader-recommendations-please/

    http://www.princeofpetworth.com/2010/12/dear-pop-know-of-any-good-and-cheap-home-inspectors/

  • KO

    Oh yeah, and Jim Delgado’s contact info: 202-439-3100 or jimdelgado50@aol.com

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