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Process of getting a permit for basement renovation from 2 years ago?

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Posted by: from Toronto
5/13/2019 at 8:45:40 PM

My husband and in- laws are very handy, and spent a whole year renovating our basement (which was completely unfinished). We were idiots and trusted the wrong person, who told us no permits were required since the electrical was "basic", but I now see we really should have gotten one through ESA.

We installed potlights, ran new circuits throughout, etc. I'm confident they did a good job, and we even had an electrician friend review our work quickly before everything was covered and he said it looks great. However now I'm worried about potential insurance issues should, heaven forbid something happen and a fire break out.

We would like to "right our wrong" if possible, so my question is:

1) is it possible to get a permit now? Or another inspection that would suffice?

2) everything is drywalled, and finished and painted. We've been actively using the basement for over 2 years. Will the ESA make us remove all the drywall to inspect it? Or would they be satisfied cutting out a few "samples" and leaving most in place if they don't see any issues?

I can't be the first person who has had this issue, yet the ESA website says nothing about what do to if the work is already done, only mid-renovation. Anyone know what this process would look like?

I really don't want to rip out all the drywall in the basement :( it took a lot of work to get to this point.

REPLIES (5)
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Date/Time5/14/2019 at 6:35:20 AM

ESA will likely want to do what's called an ElecCheck. They come in and look at everything that has been done. Take apart receptacles, pot lights etc. I have never heard of ESA requiring drywall to be removed for further inspection.

Thanks,

Kyle

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Robert from ElecTriLight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time5/14/2019 at 6:40:55 AM

Call the ESA and ask the call center how to proceed. Whoever told you no permit was required was lying and is not a qualified electrical contractor. EVERY bit of new wiring requires a permit, changing a surface light to a recessed light requires a permit, replacing a circuit breaker requires a permit...The only exception would be a like-for-like product like a switch, dimmer, plug, or surface light. Any modifications MUST be permitted. Pigtailing aluminum wiring to copper requires a permit.

I have heard instances where homeowners insurance was cancelled because of this risk, not dealing with it and hiding it could only lead to a non-payment if something were to happen.

Call ESA and get an inspector in.

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Date/Time5/14/2019 at 8:35:52 AM

Hi,

Call the ESA and get the inspector in to check the work.

In some cases, inspectors ask to cut the drywall to see behind.

Best regard,

Sam

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Date/Time5/14/2019 at 10:06:50 AM

I strongly recommend you call Esa right away and explain the situation because it happens too much in our business. You always need a electrical permit when your wiring in a basement! They will help you out because you're trying to do things right and you were lied to by your contractor. If you know that the electrical was done by a licensed electrician and have his name and number this will help as long as he is licensed. If not they normally David inspector check all the connections and Breakers that were tied into the existing or new electrical panel. Some cases may require cutting out a little bit of drywall here in there which can be easily patched after. Be safe be smart call today get this rectified. Wish you the best. Jeff

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Date/Time5/14/2019 at 8:00:02 PM

Oneil from Powersource Electric

Hello Jessica,

I recently had a client with a similar situation however, we were able to successfully assist the client with correcting defects and acquiring a positive certificate of inspection.

In regards to your questions,I would recommend that we do a site visit to ascertain the scope of work done and if any defects are present. Secondly there is always the possibility for a portion of the drywall needing to be removed to allow for better visualization by inspector.

Powersource electric Inc

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