Electrical work illegal without building permit

Misinformed seller puts buyer in a pickle

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Dear Barry, The home I'm buying includes a 1,500-square-foot living area that was completed several years after the home was built. It was originally rough-framed, but the finish work and electrical wiring were installed after the home was approved for occupancy. All work was performed by licensed contractors, but there were no building permits or inspections. The general contractor and electrician apparently informed the seller that no permits were required because no square footage was added to the structure. Is this work truly exempt from permit requirements, and could the lack of code enforcement cause future problems? – Rick Dear Rick, The seller has been misinformed regarding the need for a building permit. All building codes require permits for projects as large and significant as the completion of additional living space, and permits are required in particular for significant electrical work. The International Building Code (IBC), for example, states, "any owner or aut...