Asked on May 16, 2013

Cobb county residentual permits and inspections

Baby H
by Baby H
I purchased a home with an unfinished basement. It has framing/installation/some electrical and roughed in plumbing. So I spoke with an Licensed electrician about wiring it out to code and him pulling a permit. He advised me if he pulled the permit it would have to be for the full job not just electric so it would be better if I pulled an home owners inspection permit because I'm doing the basement in stages. I called and requested this and I was told it was 71.50 a sq ft and 4.50 per something else. Well I have 1200 Sqt so just adding that together that tells me that can't be right as that is about 85,000 bucks. I question why it would be so much to to finish my basement and was told thats the system and they hung up on me. I called back and got someone else and rephased the question still to get told they needed to know the full amount I was going to spend to finish the basement.
Anyone have any insight on this?
  13 answers
  • Euroshake Euroshake on May 17, 2013
    The permit fees are based as a percentage or multiplier of the total cost of construction. The amounts given are the cost per sq ft based on national averages to which the multiplier is applied. As an alternate you may use actual costs of construction but your costs are compared to the average. It is best to get written quotes for each trade and use these as your costs plus take before pictures to detail additional work to be done.
  • First off on pricing; how much for a car? Come on that should be easy - how much... I know, well do you want a Yugo or a Lexus, what features, any issues with financing or is that already taken care of... You see just asking for a price over the phone or internet is meaningless. As for just doing electrical, yeah that is to much but that was probably for a full remodel with default finishes As for the permit - any company saying you should pull a homeowners permit is a big red flag, he should be able to pull a permit for just electric only - with that check with the building department for their policies & procedures as they do vary Seriously before you continue on you should check out (on finding a qualified contractor) &
  • An electrician should be able to pull just an electrical permit separate from the building, mechanical or plumbing, especially if you are doing it in stages-you just will not get a final or Certificate of Occupancy until all work is complete. You can pull the permit yourself and list the electrician as a sub-contractor. Also, the fees are based on square footage, but that does not mean you are spending that amount of money-simply list what you expect to pay and unless it is unreasonably low, the permit fee will be based on that.
  • you should have at least three different quotes if you pull the home owners permit in Cobb u have to go through the Cobb environmental Department first if you have septic. Give them the lowest cost they don't require any proof however based on the square footage they have a idea but the advantage of puling your own permits is saying you are responsible and u and a family member are friend will be doing most the work with exception of electric, plumbing and heating and air in that case your total cost of finishing the basement is way lest than any quote you receive and give them that number. I normally pull my own permit for the entire job but very few of our clients pull there own because they use independent contractors to do electric plumbing and heat etc.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on May 17, 2013
    Back in 2001 I did a full 960 sq foot addition to my home....not just re configuring existing space as you are. My permit costs were in the neighbor hood of $900 for a quoted $85,000 addition. In reality the addition has creeped upwards of 120K (my total costs) the 85K was what I paid out to a framing crew for the dry in. I have done all the interior finishes (hardwood, tile, drywall insulation, elec, plumb etc) myself.
  • C&K Custom Remodeling C&K Custom Remodeling on May 17, 2013
    Put together a rough drawing and take it to the permit department in person. Over the phone there can be way too much confusion.
  • Baby H Baby H on May 17, 2013
    Thanks for all the responses. Let me just say I was calling to find out what I needed paperwork wise and the pricing, to which I was asked for the size right off the back (1200 sqt) and told I had to pay 85,000 to them to pull a permit. Bring a check for 85k and hung-up on.I don't see anyone paying 85,000 just for a permit. I have gotten quotes from two licensed electricians one large and one small company and they both have advised me to pull a home owners permit would be best for Cobb County. SLS as the homeowner doing most of the work and thinking this is a 2-3 year project at the least I didn't have a number in my head, but they never asked me how much I planned to spend on the project but how many square feet and gave me the amount of the permit. I will indeed look into the rules of why both companies seem to believe they have to pull a full permit and not just an electrical permit. Where as the home owner can pull just a permit that will allow any work done in stages. KMS makes more sense 900 bucks for a full 85k addition.. Not 85k for a permit like they advised me. The basement has the framing/installation, roughed in plumbing and some electrical already when I purchased it. So I'm just looking to add some electrical, drywall, flooring and bathroom pieces. If I had to guess maybe 15,000 in 2-3 years. Lloyd way to much I will not be writing a check for 85,000 for sure LOL oo and I'm not on a septic Thanks everyone
  • Baby H Baby H on May 17, 2013
    I see, the question was to actually read the women told me they estimate at 71.50 a sqt ft and at 1200 sqt thats what I would be paying to finish it. She never actually asked me what I planned on spending to finish it. Thanks
  • Euroshake Euroshake on May 18, 2013 The permit fee is based as a percentage of the actual or estimated costs. All work that was previously done should be documented (framing, HVAC, plumbing) and estimates for future work to determine costs otherwise the county will use the 71.50 default amount. You typically will have one year to complete the work.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on May 18, 2013
    Permits! UGH! But keep in mind that you do not just get a permit--you have to get it signed off on, or you may run into trouble down the road trying to sell the house. And if you put in something that is not legal, i.e., a staircase to steep and not to code, that will haunt you! It is best to play by the rules. But you can use some reclaimed materials that can keep your cost down. You certainly do not want to put in extra fancy stuff and then not expect your assessment to go way up! TIP: For all DIY projects, know that we have "Habitat for the Humanities Resell" stores in the Atlanta area. Worth checking them out!
  • Baby H Baby H on May 30, 2013
    well I figure out they didn't know what they were talking about. I'm in the city of smryna and didn't need any of the required "bond,documents,insurance". Just my id. Took about 15 minutes and less than 200 bucks
    • Rob Miller Rob Miller on Feb 02, 2014
      @Baby H I'm about to begin the process of finishing my basement and I'm located in Cobb County too, Where did you go to receive the permit?
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on May 31, 2013
    Good to hear...@Baby H not much time wasted or much green. Having the proper paper trail will help you if and when you decide to sell.
  • MusicRoom MusicRoom on Dec 30, 2013
    I did the same thing, but I think possibly due to their rudeness by hanging up on you, you didn't get the full story. There is a formula they use to calculate the value of the finished work. As you mentioned, this is $72 or so per square foot. This is not the cost of the permit! This is the value of the finished product from which they determine the cost of the permit. I applied for a permit to build out a 225 sq ft space in my basement. 225sfX$72=$16,200. My permit was $71.40.