Sonoma County Permit
      Identifying and correcting work done without permits
If you have an illegal structure

I have been working in Sonoma County for 23 years. The truth is, almost every home in the county has something that has been added without a permit or a part of the structure is not up to code. I do not view having an illegal deck or foundation repair as a criminal offense. Neither should you.

On the other hand there is a difference between say, installing a hot water heater without a permit and converting a chicken coop into a triplex without a permit.  I would not recommend either but there is a difference in how these offenses may be viewed.  And, even though, for the most part the county takes civil actions against work done without permits, the fines they hand out can dwarf many criminal penalties. It is not unusual for fines of between 10 and 20 thousand dollars to be imposed on things like additions and general remodeling work.  There are a lot of variables that determine these penalties and you need to know what they are. I state these facts, not so much to scare you, but to make you think twice before trying to handle the situation on your own.

If you have an illegal structure or unsure of the legality of work done on your  home you probably are  in need of an experienced, honest and intelligent assessment of your situation.  I can save you substantial costs in many cases, help you choose the best remedy in other cases, or just provide some peace of mind in knowing what you may or may not be up against.

If you have something you believe to be illegal, call me first. I will come out for free and take a look. I will give you an estimate of expenses you may be facing and either an estimate or fixed price for my services. Even if you do not use my assistance, I will leave you with a much better sense of your situation. And you will not be out a dime. If you call the county, or they find you first, when they come out and something is not right they will expect you to pay a fine and correct it. And not when you get around to it either.

If you have been recently red tagged or receive a letter indicating that there has been a complaint the situation needs to be handled carefully. The letter may ask you to call a building code enforcement officer and set up an appointment for code enforcement officers to inspect the property more thoroughly. You need to call me immediately. Immediately as in before you call them. And if you have already talked to the code enforcement agency, you still need to call me immediately.

If you have a prior red tag or have been notified about illegal work that had been done on your property in the past and would like to have it removed I will be happy to come out and at no charge suggest a plan to mitigate the problem.