Making sure your house adheres to current building codes can be a daunting experience, not to mention an expense that can often run into thousands of dollars.
But if you want to sell your home and get the work that needs to be done completed correctly, a year-old Pleasantville-based family business can help you accomplish that goal.
Brothers Timothy and Michael Lener, and Timothy’s wife JoAnn, are the partners of Get My C.O. They do all of the legwork to make sure hundreds of items that are in the code are followed. Once they know what needs to be updated, they can put the client in contact with their list of reputable contractors that undertake the required work rather than having a homeowner with little or no expertise search on their own.
“It’s super important to do the detective work and know each code and know what the best path is for the client to get through this mind-boggling process that it is,” said Timothy Lener, an architect that has worked in the area for 30 years and knows most of the building inspectors in Westchester.
“Sometimes we can resolve them within a couple of weeks, a few weeks,” he added. “Sometimes, however, it takes months because the (building) departments take a long time to process the paperwork and the permit and some clients may not be as motivated as others in getting some of the work done.”
Managing partner Michael Lener, who spent most of his career in retail before launching Get My C.O. with his brother and sister-in-law, estimated that about 90 percent of their clientele have been homeowners who are listing their house.
The familiarity that Timothy has with the code and building departments throughout the county allows them to evaluate and, if necessary, get the jump on any work that needs to be done before inspectors arrive, he said. It’s beneficial for clients to contact them who have just decided to put their house on the market.
“When they see our plan, they’re going to approve it,” Michael Lener said of building department personnel. “We’re going to give them more than what’s required, and when they come in (to inspect), everything is going to be up to code.”
In just over a year since the Leners launched Get My C.O., the most common safety issues they’ve encountered are bringing basements up to code by having enough light and ventilation, electrical upgrades and that handrails on steps are safe. Work related to energy efficiency and insulation are also high on the list.
Then there is the requirement for carbon and smoke detectors on each floor and a smoke detector in every bedroom. Timothy Lener said all inspectors look for the detectors because they save lives.
In the last 35 years, the book containing the code has probably tripled in size, he said, making the need to retain a professional critically important. Many homeowners are surprised just how extensive building codes have become.
“They just don’t understand what they’re going to come across because codes have existed in New York State for almost 100 years now,” Timothy said.
There are instances when the plans of a house don’t match what’s on file with the municipality and the Leners are called to legalize the house. Very often a previous owner added a room and the larger area was never recorded in the files. They do all the detective work to prove that the house’s current occupant wasn’t responsible for the illicit construction.
Get My C.O. specializes in single- and two-family houses throughout Westchester. For anyone interested in exploring how Get My C.O. can help, the Leners will provide a free 30-minute initial consultation. For more information, call 914-727-0980, visit www.getmyco.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.