Roof repair permits not a bad idea

The City of Minot is proposing to require permits for roof repairs, a change from policy requiring permit for a new roof or significant repairs. It is important to note that, to the credit of the City, this does not seem to be a top-heavy mandate. Instead, it is being presented as a protection for homeowners, some of whom might have been misled by contractors in the aftermath of the 2011 flood.

Repairing a roof won’t trigger the need for a building permit in Minot, but homeowners might be better protected if certain roof repairs were monitored by inspectors, says city building official Mitch Flanagan.

Nationwide, though, many jurisdictions require roofing repair permits, Flanagan said. Minot requires permits for new construction or roof replacement only, not repairs. Flanagan said there can be value in requiring permits for larger repair projects, such as those involving 50 percent or more of a roof’s surface. City inspections offer homeowners a level of assurance that a project is done correctly and meets building code, he said. In rebuilding following the 2011 flood, there were a number of complaints about roofing contractors who came into the area, he said. Permits also create documents of record to confirm work done on houses, which can be useful to potential buyers.

It’s well worth considering.

That said, Minot Daily New has certain principles that benefit the public and must be taken into considering. One, such inspections and permits must be simple unobtrusive and cost little. MDN has little patience for government regulation intended specifically to raise revenue for government body.

Two, this must be a City of Minot effort and not a Ward County effort. Ward County lacks the moral authority, integrity and staff expertise to have any part of this. Only the foolish would willingly let the county into this process.

Three, there needs to be very specific parameters for such inspections. Those need to be understood by all parties and there must be a well communicated appeals process. With all due respect, Minot’s history is one in which certain parties are held to a higher standard than others.

Shoddy contractor work, particularly in the wake of the flood, prompts the need for this consideration and the City of Minot is acting responsibly.

With the aforementioned caveats and supervision at the city level, this proposal is at the very least, worth consideration.