How do you know if the work in your home was done legally and with permits and inspections? Hopefully you had a home inspection, and hopefully the home inspector recognized the signs. But you as the home buyer have the right to go to the local town building inspectors office and ask what work has been done according to their records. Now it is not always possible for the inspector for the town, and your home inspector to know what was done and when. Some things are concealed, But if the city inspector tells you that the last registered and permitted item was a roof in 1978 and the roof is new, or the furnace is new, then you have uncovered a problem. The reason for the town inspector to come and inspect the work, is to endure that repairs have been done according to code, and standards. I recently inspected a home for first time buyers, and I discovered a new furnace, that was not inspected, not permitted, and not done well at all. How do I know? Well my first indication was the fresh patch of cement on the foundation where the oil fill pipes used to be, and then the PVC pipe at the foundation, which indicated a high efficiency furnace with direct exhaust. The problem here is that there was only one pipe, and it was the wrong size, and not sealed, thats just for starters. Once inside, there was no Emergency shut off switch at the top of the stairs as required, and then when I got to the basement, there was no "firematic" thermal switch, no switch cover plate, exposed wires, and no external air supply pipe. There was no filter assembly, and whats more, no sticker from the town inspector. After further inspection, the gas line was installed with no drip leg, and there was sloppy duct work and seeping seams. It seems that the only part o f this job that was correct, was that the heating was in the right house. The home buyer had no idea, and the Real estate agent had no idea, and it was up to the home inspector to catch this. After getting the details, it turned out that the installer was the sellers girlfriends father, and this was before they broke up...He decided to stop and not complete the job since his daughter was no longer there. Its going to be a project to repair this heating to "Proper condition" and its going to cost money. the inspection saved them $1500.00 just there alone. all told this inspection will have resulted in $20,000.00 worth of defects found for the Buyers. Not too shabby for a $350.00 inspection.