Imagine this. You have had a long hard day at work. You reach home, make yourself a fresh cup of coffee, head out to the deck and watch the sun go down. As the evening draws in, you feel all your fatigue and stress washing away. The tranquility of the surrounding fills you with calmness. Sounds appealing, doesn’t it?
This is precisely why people love having porches. What better way to put the stress behind you than being in the midst of nature?
But here’s the thing. Sometimes, these decks can be a problem too. Yes, the porch you had built for your relaxation can be the reason you land in a legal mess. Unfortunately, very few people know about porch violations.
If you want multi-unit porches, it’s time to learn more about porch violations in Chicago, how to evade them and what you do when handed a citation.
Hence, you are bound by law to seek a permit to repair or replace porch components covering an area of over 50 square feet in Chicago. Every state has its own rule regarding porch code. So make sure you check it out before starting the construction.
Let’s talk a bit about what can be wrong with your multi-unit porches.
Once your porch is constructed, making the required repairs and adjustments for safety compliance will not only be costly but also inconvenient. Therefore, it’s advisable to refrain from violations beforehand. This can also save you from a lot of trouble from the law.
Keep in mind that you have to adhere to the locally adopted building standards to qualify for a building permit. Chicago has some strict guidelines for granting the permit. You have to submit the drawings of your plan and seek approval before the construction is commenced.
There’s a high chance that the local planning department will inspect the area to ensure that your deck has no maintenance or safety issues.
It might be tempting to skip the whole process and get started with the porch project at the earliest. But if someone reports your project, you will have a major problem at hand. Surely, you don’t want to land in a legal mess due to a deck.
No, it’s not advisable to consult a lawyer after being charged with porch violations. You must make arrangements to get a permit before the first brick is laid for the construction.
Although it’s indeed possible to bring your porch up to code later, you will soon realize that this is too much of a hassle and something that could have been avoided.
The process for permits for decks isn’t just to make things problematic for you. In fact, it’s all done for your safety. An improperly installed porch can collapse, catch fire or have similar accidents. If you did not have a permit for the patio, you would be held legally responsible for the injuries and damages.
Permits are designed to ensure safety compliance. The risk of accidents would be minimized, and you wouldn’t have to worry about expensive legal and insurance fees either.
To get a permit, you will need to draw up the plans for your project. It does not always have to be a detailed architectural plan. Initially, even simple drawings would suffice. If you want to increase your chances of getting a permit, go through the guidelines by Chicago state for the purpose.
If you apply for the permit, an inspector can check your site to ensure everything is going as per the plan. The inspection can be before or after the building is complete depending on the locality.
If you build the deck according to all the rules and regulations, you will get the benefits with a proper paper trail. If you decide to sell your house in the future, you won’t face any difficulty.
Keep in mind that potential home buyers ask for proof of the quality of deck constructions. You won’t find yourself at a loss at the last minute if you do everything by the book.
So you failed to keep up with the City’s code and have been charged for violations. What will be the consequences?
Once you are cited with a building code violation, you have to take immediate measures. The time is running out fast, and if you don’t want to end up in an even bigger legal mess, you will need the services of an experienced administrative law attorney to put up your case with the City of Chicago.
Working with the attorney, you have to ensure that your property is brought up to code. At the same time, you have to start the required repairs and adjustments on the property without delay.
Do not wait for the administrative hearing to begin work. You can mitigate legal penalties by proving to the court that you have already started taking measures to rectify the problem. If you can’t fix everything immediately, at least begin the project to buy some time.
Let’s not forget that every case is different. The nature of porch violation can vary. But with the right administrative law attorney on your side, you can evade more problems. Usually, property owners are able to settle the citations via various approaches. But occasionally, the City might take your case to trial.
Needless to say, it would work better in your favor if you do everything properly and as per legal guidelines the first time around. The contractor you hire for your deck project has a significant role to play in this. A place like City Porches will ensure that your deck doesn’t land you in a legal mess.
Remember, you will find yourself facing monetary losses, not to mention legal charges if you fail to follow the process.