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I would like to have an exterior gas line installed (for a grill) and an exterior frost-proof faucet (so it's closer to my garden). I had a plumber come out and his quote came back "Any permit by owner". How do I find out if I need to pull a permit? Is the plumber trying to get me to pull a "work by owner" permit (which honestly I think I could do). Does this seem reasonable? I would probably honestly do the work myself except I'm too busy and I've never done natural gas work before.

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You would need to find out who the authority having jurisdiction is. Often time, it is the city, county, or township where you are located. In some cases, it might be the state as well (in MN for electrical, for example).

The wording is a little ambiguous, however. They could mean:

  1. You (the owner) pull the permit, but put down that the contractor is doing the work. This is not unheard of and probably fine. The contractor may be small and not want to deal with pulling the permit. This will then also indicate to you whether they are (or need to be) licensed to work where you are.
  2. They want you to pull a permit as if you as the owner were performing the work. Do not do this. In this case, if something goes wrong with the job, you would be the one responsible for it. For example, after the work is done, the inspection reveals some issues that needs to be addressed. Do you think the contractor will not come and fix it if they've already been paid? Probably not. This scenario could also lead to issues when you sell the house.
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    Yep. Walk into your city office complex and look for the Building Permits office. Ask until you have the answer. It's that simple. Philipp offers great advice about liability. – isherwood Jul 12 at 13:19
  • Good answer, but just to add, permit fees can (depending on the jurisdiction and, I dunno, the phase of the moon) vary widely. Small contractors might prefer to push that load directly onto the client so they don't have billing issues. And when you're in the permits office, remember to ask if any other pressure testing will be required: some jurisdictions require a whole house pressure test (at surprisingly high pressure), which can cause failure, which will then need repair. – Aloysius Defenestrate Jul 12 at 14:31
  • You should also clarify who sits for inspections and if that's the plumber, how is that charged. (AHJs often only specify that an inspection will occur in a 4 hour window, which is time-consuming.) – Aloysius Defenestrate Jul 12 at 14:35
  • Just call the borough/township people. I thought I needed to contact someone for my upgraded fireplace per the code and ended up being since it was propane and not natural gas, nothing needed to be done. – TEEKAY Jul 12 at 14:43
  • @AloysiusDefenestrate "ask if any other pressure testing will be required: some jurisdictions require a whole house pressure test (at surprisingly high pressure)" really good advice, thank you! – Sam Jul 14 at 14:45

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