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Rick, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 22002
Experience:  Licensed construction supervisor with 35+ yrs. experience.
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This work also included replacing the roofing material

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This work also included replacing the roofing material around a small skylight (see photo #4 and #5). Would this amount of work require a work permit, even if only in the legal sense?Oh, we paid the general contractor $3,000.00. A lot yes, but we were desperate cuz we thought there might be mildew. What would you estimate this job would generally cost?

A repair generally doesn't require a permit. An entirely new roof does. $3k isn't outrageous for this if it is done properly which means ripping off all the old roofing material and replacing it.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
When you say, “generally,” does this include legally? He has expressed a threat to take us to court rather than to come back and fix or correct the mistake you pointed out. Also there was a water trail that showed the roofing around the skylight isn’t what actually leaked down into the house. The trail led to the edge of the house, dropped down onto the ceiling below, and then traveled back to the skylight where the water did leak. We know because we watched this happen. The contract also says they would check for dry rot and correct as necessary. Because the existing roofing is still intact around the edge of the building where the water trail goes, it doesn’t appear that they did any checking for dry rot, which is in the contract.So, if they do take us to court rather than correct the mistake, given these additions to the scope of the job (i.e. to cur open the roof and check for dry rot), isn’t a work permit at least legally required? Or is it still “generally” not required?

The permit is HIS responsibility not yours. Permit requirements vary by locale. I said generally because I don't know where you are and I don't know the requirements for every jurisdiction in the country. In any event he can't hold no permit over your head because it's his responsibilty to get one if it's required. I'm not lawyer and this is not a legal opinion but I don't see how he has any claim at all that will hold up in court. If anything based on what you've told me you should sue him!

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Location is San Francisco, CA. And I was’t asking for legal advice, just procedure—as in would the scope of this work require a work permit as determined by the Department of Inspection (not the courts). I apologize if I didn’t make that point clear.

I don't know what the requirements are in SF. Your best bet to find out is to call the local code enforcement/building inspector's office and ask if a permit is required for a roof repair of the size (give them square footage) you have. You don't have to give your name. I do know that contractor's in CA are requird to be licensed and not pulling a permit can be cause for license revocation. The inspectors are there to protect you. Contractors who threaten legal action to extort money out of clients when they didn't perform the agreed upon work are despicable and give us honest contractors a bad name.

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