The LBAR Government Affairs Committee spent 18 months on this project but that hard work has finally paid off. On Aug. 28 the City’s Construction Advisory Board directed Chief Building Official Tom Hawkinson to implement an “As-Built” Certificate program.
As-built construction is defined as building work completed without the proper building permits. In Loveland, REALTORS have seen a rise in transactions involving such homes. Basements are often the culprits, which isn’t surprising since many homes are sold new without finished basements.
In the past few years Loveland’s policy of strictly enforcing building codes has meant that anyone wishing to retroactively permit as-built construction needed to completely remove all drywall in order to allow inspectors to see all electrical wiring, plumbing, etc. The expense of this requirement caused problems during negotiations and also prompted some owners to change their minds about getting retroactive permits. Further complicating the situation for REALTORS was the fact that no other jurisdiction followed such a strict policy.
While an as-built certificate is not the solution for every situation, it will make it easier for homeowners to ensure that life and safety issues are not involved in as-built construction. Hawkinson intends to follow Larimer County’s model, http://www.larimer.org/codecompliance/nopermit.pdf, which essentially requires as-built work to meet basic safety criteria that was in place at the time the work was originally completed. As the City annexes more properties this will lead to consistency in enforcement, he said. Hawkinson intends to present a draft plan to the CAB in October for review and said the program will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. Hawkinson told the CAB that the as-built certification does not require City Council approve because it’s a change in administrative policy.