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repairs becoming renovation -permits?

We have been making repairs to a house that is a least 80 years old. There were multiple wiring repairs needed. The electricians said were at least 3 wiring systems in use in the house. At what point does a repair job become a renovation needing permits? For example, if they took all the wiring systems in the kitchen and made them consistent is that a repair or are permits required? What about installing recessed lights in ceiling and replacing fuse box with circuit breakers?

Big problem is that this has been done on ad hoc basis and I am afraid needs to be inspected. Will the electricians get in trouble if we call in inspector now? They told us we were on the edge of needing permits but we were still in denial about the scope of the project. Yes we should've been more aggressive, but now what? I'm confident would pass, but don't want to have to tear out walls (repairs did not involve tear out) to satisfy an inspector if can avoid it. Nor do I want to cause problems for electricians but don't want problems down the road either.

Re: repairs becoming renovation -permits?

Repairs would be something like finding a break in a junction , faulty switch or recpetacle , or faulty breaker that usually doesn't require a permit and inspection.

Generally ---- replacing cabling and additions of devices to circuits or adding circuits now becomes needing permits and inspections even though licensed electricians are doing the work.
You will be required to bring the electrical up to current code requirements.

However, some authorities will let it slide if a licensed electrician needs to run a new cable to perform a repair ---- say you drove a nail or screw through a cable between a switch and light for example.

To be honest the electricians know this and really should be able to tell you this.

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