NOT HAVING A PERMIT CAN COST YOU MILLIONS

HOMEOWNERS BEWARE: WORK WITHOUT PERMITS CAN COST YOU MILLIONS

 

Leading Edge Homes - Permits and Inspections Save Money

“Saving money” by not paying for a permit for your home improvement project is really like throwing money away.

$1,000,000 IN FINES

According to an article recently published in the Palm Beach Post,

But it could be worse: They were looking at paying about $1 million in the dispute, which has dragged on for 17 years.

According to a staff memo for Tuesday’s county commission meeting, Matthew and Patricia Beasley had replaced windows and remodeled without obtaining the required building permits, inspections and “certificate of completion” at their home near Forest Hill Boulevard and Congress Avenue.”

IS IT WORTH THE RISK OF GETTING CAUGHT?

The Beasleys threw away $12,000 for a permit that probably cost less than $1,000 dollars 17 years ago.

If you are caught having work done without a permit, you can face additional fines like the Beasleys, pay double for your remodeling project (if the code-enforcement department in your municipality requires you to tear down the completed work), and/or find it impossible to sell your home in the future.

Work that was done without a permit may be discovered at the time of the sale of your home.  A home inspector may check to see what permits have been issued for a property and verify that only those “permitted” changes have been made to a home.  If a home inspector finds work done without a permit, he may advise the buyer not to purchase the home and report it to the local building department. There have been many cases where sales have fallen through – all in the name of saving money.

DO I HAVE TO PULL A PERMIT?

I am often asked, “Do you have to pull a permit?”  My answer is YES if a permit is required for that particular type of job.

YES … I believe that it is for your safety.

YES … It may cost a little more money and time, but the potential problems for doing work without one is not worth any minimal cost savings.

YES … I do pull permits.  A contractor who says it not necessary may have something to hide, and that could be a red flag.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY:

Trying to cheat the system can cost you in the long run!

Please note: This article is for information purposes only. It is not meant to provide any legal advice. I recommend that, if you have any questions about the clauses in your contract or the suitability of the home you wish to purchase, you discuss them with a real estate attorney.

If you want a professional remodeling experience or a home inspection with a home remodeling expert’s view, contact your local design-build contractor, Leading Edge Homes. Inc. Want to see some of our work? Visit our website or view our online book.

Knowing your options now, will help you be prepared in the future. If you are buying a home, knowing what needs to be corrected and the costs to do so, can help you decide if the home is right for you.

For all of your home remodeling and inspection needs, contact your local certified “roomologist”, Leading Edge Homes. Inc. at 561-795-2551.


Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.

If you have questions about a home improvement project, call Leading Edge Homes at 561-795-2551 or email Todd at: todd@leadingedgehomes.com and he’ll be happy to share his knowledge with you.

HOME MAINTENANCE: When There is A Hole Under Your Foundation

WHEN AN ANIMAL DIGS UNDER THE FOUNDATION

A hole dug under the foundation of your home can cause major damage.

A hole dug under the foundation of your home can cause major damage.

Last Thursday I got what may go down in history as the most unusual home repair request I have ever received.  A client of mine asked for my help with damage to the dirt beneath their addition foundation which was caused by their “free” rabbit.
It turns out the bunny dug a hole about 8″ in diameter and 42″ long beneath the footer and under the main portion of the house with an even larger area at the end!
I will be solving the structural problem by pumping concrete into the hole, and the homeowner has put their very expensive “free” rabbit back into her enclosure so she can do no further damage.
While this is a very easy structural repair to make, I have solved far more difficult ones for other clients.  From a sinking house corner, to termite eaten posts and beams, to roof joists hanging on by a wing and a prayer, I have repaired them all.

 

If you, or someone you know, suspect(s) that you or they have a house with a structural issue, please call me at 561-795-2551 and I will be happy to look at it and give you my professional opinion on how to solve the problem.

For all of your home remodeling and inspection needs, contact your local certified “roomologist”, Leading Edge Homes. Inc. at 561-795-2551.


Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.

If you have questions about a home improvement project, call Leading Edge Homes at 561-795-2551 or email Todd at: todd@leadingedgehomes.com and he’ll be happy to share his knowledge with you.

Home Improvement: BUYING A HOME – HIDDEN SAFETY DANGERS

JUST BECAUSE IT WORKS – DOESN’T MEAN IT IS SAFE

Leading Edge Homes -  Just Because It Works Doesn't Mean It is Safe

When buying a house – make sure it is inspected to meet all building codes.

BUT IT WORKS…

Last week I did a home inspection for a couple who have signed a contract to purchase a home in Palm Beach County.

The seller did not appreciate my thorough work, and called me over the weekend to say “but it works.”  Just because something works, doesn’t mean it is safe and complies with the building, electric, plumbing or mechanical codes.

ELECTRICAL SHOCKS ARE NOT A LAUGHING MATTER

If your electric outlets are not properly grounded, you can be in for the shock of your life. Electricity can pass through your appliances, or anything you plug into your outlet, directly into you. One clue that an outlet may not be properly grounded is that computers and / or appliances may not work when plugged in.

Other times, you may just get shocked when using something that was plugged into an ungrounded outlet.  Unfortunately, I know first hand.  It happened to me at a job site.  Lucky for me, I wasn’t injured.

But the violations I found for the buyer could be a shocking experience for him or someone at his new home.

SOME OF THE VIOLATIONS

It May Be A Shocking Experience

Many of the violations we found, although they may not inhibit the function of the electric can cause electrical shock.

Problem 1 – Missing Breaker Slot Covers

Missing breaker slot covers are an electric shock risk.

Missing breaker slot covers are an electric shock risk.

Problem 2 – Water Heater “Whip” Requires a Strain Relief Strap

Leading Edge Homes - Missing Strain Relief Strap

Missing strain relief strap can cause “accidental” damage to the water heater wiring.

Problem 3 – Pool Pump is Missing Ground Wire

Leading Edge Homes - Missing Ground Wire

This is extremely dangerous and an accident waiting to happen. Don’t swim in a pool where the pump is not grounded.

This shocking experience can happen to you…

Look what happened to these young children (this video is graphic) when a pool was not properly grounded.

Problem 4 – There is a Hole in the Wall and It is For the Electric

Leading Edge Homes - A Wire Through the Wall

The hole in the wall to get electric power is not only a violation of the electric code, it is an invitation to insects and water to get inside your home!

If you want to run power to something that is outside of your house, drilling a hole in the exterior wall to run a plug through it is not the way to do it!

Neither is painting the wire to match the exterior color a good way to hide it from the trained eyes of a home inspector.

IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT – NOT!!!

After more than 25 years of serving South Florida, I have seen many things.  Even when my daughter bought her first home, I found many electrical code violations and told her she would need to have the items repaired.

The seller would not negotiate on the price and I explained to her she had to consider the repairs as part of the cost of the home.

My recommendation to the buyer who asked me to do the home inspection is to negotiate with the seller. Only the buyer can determine if they want the home as-is, if they want to do the repairs themselves, or if they will allow the owner of the home to do any of the repairs.

Although the seller and his real estate agent want to argue that the electric works, the buyer must remember – safety first.  The main purpose of codes is to define the minimum, SAFE way of doing things.  Can anyone really argue against life safety?

If you want a professional remodeling experience or a home inspection with a home remodeling expert view, contact your local design-build contractor, Leading Edge Homes. Inc.

Want to see some of our work? Visit our website or view our online book.


Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.

If you have questions about a home improvetment project, call Leading Edge Homes at 561-795-2551 or email Todd at: todd@leadingedgehomes.com and he’ll be happy to share his knowledge with you.

Home Improvement: SIMPLE CHANGES TO PREPARE YOUR HOUSE FOR THE FUTURE

HOME IMPROVEMENT IDEAS – SIMPLE, TECHNOLOGY-FREE IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR HOME EASIER TO NAVIGATE

There is so much talk about home technology, especially since today is October 21, 2015.  For those of you who don’t remember the importance of today, it is when Marty McFly traveled to October 21, 2015, to save his children who were yet to be born, in the film “Back to the Future Part II.”

 

Of course, adding technology to your home can be great, but for aging in place there are some simple design things you can implement to make it easier for you and your loved ones. It’s the little things that make a difference:

Cabinet Handles

A Leading Edge Homes, Inc. kitchen – with a hidden spice rack.

D-Shaped handles are much easier to grasp than round knobs. They don’t have to look utilitarian… There are many pretty designs to give your kitchen or bathroom a new look.  If you already have knobs, you may need to add a backer plate to the doors to hide the old holes or mount the handle lower to reuse the existing hole.

Door Handles

Image result for door lever styles

Use lever handles, not knobs, because they are easier to push and grab on to.

Faucet Handles

Bathroom Remodeling - Leading Edge Homes, Inc. - Home Remodeler

A modern look for your bathroom.

Change your faucets to lever, touch, or sensor style faucets. Again, the shape of the handle makes it easier to use.

If you have been inspired by something you have seen or want to determine if it can be duplicated in your home, contact Leading Edge Homes, Inc. at 561-795-2551.  We will be happy to help you.

Other Thoughts

Place your microwave at counter top level because it is easier to reach.

Use a hand-held shower head that gets attached to a holster on an adjustable bar because it can be used when standing or sitting.

Modern conveniences and technology are great… but simple changes make aging in place easier.

Want to see some of our work? Visit our website or view our online book.


Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.

If you have questions about a home improvement project, call Leading Edge Homes at 561-795-2551 or email Todd at: todd@leadingedgehomes.com and he’ll be happy to share his knowledge with you.

Leading Edge Homes, Inc. specializes in improving your lifestyle through room additions, bathroom renovations, kitchen updates, hurricane-resistant screen enclosures, and more!  In business since 1991, they demolish your stress by building your trust.
Visit the Leading Edge Home’s website or call 561-795-2551 to discover how they can help you with your next home remodeling project in Palm Beach County.

Home Improvement: KITCHEN REMODELING WHEN YOU HAVE FURRY FRIENDS

Remodeling Your Kitchen With Your Dog In Mind

Leading Edge Homes, Inc. dog and human approved!

Leading Edge Homes, Inc. dog and human approved!

Leading Edge Homes, Inc. is dog and owner approved and your dog will love these changes when you are remodeling your kitchen.

There are so many things you can do to make hidden nooks and crannies for your dog and keep your kitchen safe from trip hazards. It’s a win-win for you and your furry friend.

SAFETY FOR YOU AND YOUR PET

A SAFE PLACE FOR YOUR DOG TO REST
dog in bed

If you have  “extra” base cabinet space install a dog bed under the counter or in your island. However, don’t build the bed space under a cooking area. Your dog will have a safe place to stay while you are working in the kitchen.

DON’T TRIP OVER YOUR DOG’S BOWLS

How many times have you tripped over your dog’s bowls?

pull out food

Hiding the food bowls in your cabinets.

Ask your remodeler to build a custom drawer, where the toe-kick is, that you can pull out when it is feeding time.

Although this is a unique idea there are downsides. You will need to pull the drawer out frequently so your dog can get water throughout the day and your dog may try to pull open the drawer and paw at the cabinet to get to his food.

food under cabinet

Another way to avoid a trip hazard!

Or, build a special feeding area under a cabinet or island.  That way the bowls are safely out of the way and your dog will have access to water as needed.

PULL OUT CABINETS FOR YOUR DOG KIBBLE!

Wooden Kitchen Cabinets with Trash Cans inside

Normally, people use this type of cabinet for holding garbage cans. Why not install a pull out cabinet for your dog food?

Now you won’t have to walk to the garage or storage cupboard for a cup of kibble.

I would strongly recommend that you use a container that is air-tight and has a lid so ants and other creatures don’t try to get a free meal!

TILE COLOR MATTERS

Want to hide your dog hair? Choosing the right color tile, depending on the color of your dog, makes a difference!

Kitchen remodeling tile color

I bet you can’t find my hairs on the tile!

Tiles that are in the grey or tan family hide a multitude of sins!  We have a brindle Jack-Russell / Boston Terrier mix, Tedy, and a regular visiting mixed breed dog that we affectionately named Blizzard. As you can imagine, Blizzard sheds white hair everywhere and Tedy is not far behind him.

The tile always looks clean (unless of course you are looking from an angle and can see the dogs hairs).

Renovating your kitchen with your dog in mind can help bring many great conveniences to your home.

For more ideas about how you can customize your house for your needs contact Leading Edge Homes, Inc. at 561-795-2551.

 


Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.

If you have questions about a home improvement project, call Leading Edge Homes at 561-795-2551 or email Todd at: todd@leadingedgehomes.com and he’ll be happy to share his knowledge with you.

Leading Edge Homes, Inc. specializes in improving your lifestyle through room additions, bathroom renovations, kitchen updates, hurricane-resistant screen enclosures, and more!  In business since 1991, they demolish your stress by building your trust.
Visit the Leading Edge Home’s website or call 561-795-2551 to discover how they can help you with your next home remodeling project in Palm Beach County.

HOME SAFETY: HEAR THE BEEP WHERE YOU SLEEP

IT’S NATIONAL FIRE SAFETY WEEK

 

hear the beep

Keep your family safe with a working smoke alarm in every bedroom.

Did you know that roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep? Last year, 114 people died in Florida house fires.

Smoke alarms save lives.

Almost half of those who died in the Florida house fires didn’t have working smoke alarms. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. In fact, having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half!

When it comes to smoke alarms, it’s about “location, location, location”.

The key message of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, October 4-10, is to install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home.

Is Your House Protected?

The Florida Building Code will requires that homeowners install a 10-year, sealed battery smoke alarm in homes when replacing outdated or nonworking alarms.

The batteries are virtually tamper proof. You can’t take the battery out and it doesn’t need to be replaced for a decade.

If you are updating a home, you can also use the alarms instead of using hard-wired models, which may save you money.

My Thoughts…

A sticker or something needs to be places on the “new” type of smoke alarms so that you know when the alarm was installed. I have enough trouble remembering what I ate for dinner yesterday, let alone remembering what year I need to replace my smoke detectors.

If you purchase a home, replace all the smoke detectors when you move in. This way, you will know when the ten year countdown begins.

My fear is, in ten years, people will forget to replace their smoke detectors and then they will not be protected.

Although it is more expensive, I prefer the hard-wired alarms that are interconnected in your home. That way, if one alarm sounds, the others will sound too!

NEED HELP?

If you need help installing your replacement smoke detectors call us at 561-795-2551.  We will be happy to assist you.


Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.

If you have questions about a home improvement project, call Leading Edge Homes at 561-795-2551 or email Todd at: todd@leadingedgehomes.com and he’ll be happy to share his knowledge with you.

Leading Edge Homes, Inc. specializes in improving your lifestyle through room additions, bathroom renovations, kitchen updates, hurricane-resistant screen enclosures, and more!  In business since 1991, they demolish your stress by building your trust.
Visit the Leading Edge Home’s website or call 561-795-2551 to discover how they can help you with your next home remodeling project in Palm Beach County.

 

HOME SAFETY: Fire Safety Tips

Home Fire Safety Tips

Jack-o-lanterns, turkey fryers, Christmas lights and trees – oh My!

Today, it officially feels like Fall in South Florida and it is a signal that the upcoming months pose many fire hazards.

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home, you may have just two minutes to escape?

According to the Red Cross, 60 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.

Before the merriment and frenzy of the holiday season begins…

Now’s a great time to dust off your home fire safety plan: test (or install!) smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers and review your family’s fire evacuation plan.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors:

Replace the batteries and test by pressing the test button or holding a smoke source (like a blown-out candle) near the unit.

Fire extinguishers:

Make sure it’s rated for all fire types (look for an A-B-C rating). Review the indicator on the pressure gauge to make sure the extinguisher is charged. Ensure that the lock pin is firmly in place and that the discharge nozzle is not clogged. Fire extinguishers should be replaced every six years.

Also, make sure nothing is blocking the fire extinguisher and you can access it easily.

Fire evacuation plan:

Determine an exit path for every bedroom, and make provisions (rope ladders, etc.) for bedrooms that are not on the main floor of the home. Establish a location away from the house where everyone should meet. Having a family’s fire evacuation plan could save your life!

Now that you are safe… let the fun begin.

We hope that you never need us to help restore your home after a disaster, but Leading Edge Homes, Inc. has done it many times. If you need help after a disaster or if you have questions about how to improve the safety of your home, call Leading Edge Homes at 561-795-2551 or email Todd at: todd@leadingedgehomes.com and he’ll be happy to share his knowledge with you.

Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.

 

Leading Edge Homes, Inc. specializes in improving your lifestyle through room additions, bathroom renovations, kitchen updates, hurricane-resistant screen enclosures, and more!  In business since 1991, they demolish your stress by building your trust.
Visit the Leading Edge Home’s website or call 561-795-2551 to discover how they can help you with your next home remodeling project in Palm Beach County.