We had the good fortune of connecting with Diahanne Payne and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Diahanne, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
The single most costly element that most homeowners and even most builders don’t know is the liability they face in having an illegal addition. If a visitor trips over a threshold that the code says is too tall or slips because a bathroom tile is too slick, or gets hit from a piece of falling drywall you are 100% liable. A suing attorney’s first action will be to see if this area was built legally. It doesn’t matter if that area was already built when you purchased your home, you are NOT absolved from liability. Moreover, your home insurance does not have to pay to resolve the suit for illegal additions. If permits were not granted and licensed people did not do the work, the construction is considered “substandard” because it was NOT inspected. Homeowners put themselves at risk by renting a property without permits. Over the course of my career, I have seen unsuspecting homeowners pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars because they either did not build to code or they didn’t know their addition wasn’t built to code.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I call my firm “Plans Are Us” because that’s exactly what I do. Further, I make code issues and unapproved housing issues disappear like magic! The issues that take most people weeks and months to resolve I resolve in a fraction of the time. I have built strong relationships with the government gate-keepers and I speak their language. They know, respect, and trust my work. While “Plans Are Us” is not an architectural firm (we do not design anything) we make plans that make the illegal legal. This is why I created a separate division of my business called “Illegal Additions Made Legal.” We create and file a multitude of documents for our clients. Our work goes way beyond jest filing plans to obtain permits. We file entitlements, modification as wells permits for commercial buildings. The most robust area of my business right now is in working with the owners of multi-family buildings who wish to transform unlivable areas of their properties into rentable living spaces. In the 20+ years I have been in business, I have served clients from the tip of Californa to the bottom. I am proud to say that I have saved my clients millions of dollars, thousands of hours, and have eliminated tons of unnecessary paperwork. It’s truly an honor to help bring peace and ease to frightened and frustrated owners who desperately need their Illegal Additions Made Legal!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would start with the Canals in Venice- and give them a little history of the area. Next, we would head to my favorite taco stand ( on Lincoln and Rose). Then we would proceed up the coast on PCH so they could view Malibu and get a T-shirt, then continue towards Neptune’s Nest in Ventura County for some Lobster. Moving along we stop by the outlets in Oxnard to stop and shop for some camping stuff, etc. After that, we continue to Santa Barbara and (if they are adventurous) head towards my favorite campsite at El Capetian Beach to spend the night. In the morning we’d get in a good swim, find some good food at a local diner and keep heading north to Route 1 along the magnificent California Coast. Key to my tour is always making sure there are good sounds on the box and live the dream. That’s my idea of a perfect long weekend.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mother- Jean Carolyn Allen Payne. My mother always encouraged me to follow my own path. I found a niche- Making Illegal additions legal. However, my very first experience dabbling in problem-solving was when I was 10 or 12 years old. My father, Dr. S.C.Payne, MD, bought my mom a new dishwasher. I told my father I wanted to surprise her by installing it. He encouraged me to do so saying, ”Try it. We can always pay someone if you mess it up!” I ended up pulling an all-nighter, teaching myself how to install. Even though I didn’t complete the job, my mom was thrilled at my attempt. She said, “OK let’s finish this.” And we did! Unknowingly, my parents had set me on a path of fearlessly tackling difficult projects and never giving up. It’s why I work diligently today making Illegal Additions Legal!
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Youtube: Diahanne Payne-Illegal additions made Illegal-310365-8543, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itbgNEpp2Fo
Other: https://www.kcrw.com/people/diahanne-payne http://voyagela.com/interview/meet-diahanne-payne-illegal-additions-made-legal-division-plans-us-atwater-village-however-work-6-counties-southern-california-la-orange-san-bernardino-kern-ventura-san/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxvsWFyfPc8