Ask The Expert


Mr. Lamoureux,

I own a commercial lot and I want to put in a 24 foot lamp pole. Do I need a permit for this? Can you give any advice? Thank you,

Dean C.

Hi Dean,

You absolutely need a permit.

You have to notify Dig Alert at 811 at least two days in advance before any excavation takes place.

You’ll have to go to the city and pull an electrical permit.

After that, follow all manufacturers’ recommendations for footings, pinning and steel.

The NEC (National Electrical Code) is the minimum requirements on a national level. The city or municipality that you are in has the right to upgrade that code. You have to make sure that you follow the code for your particular city. I don’t know how much electrical experience you have, but for safety reasons, I always recommend hiring a licensed electrician.

You are also going to need a lift and additional help to put up a 24 foot pole.

You’re going to have to put in your rebar and J bolts into wet concrete.

The company should provide you with a template. If not, you can make your own by tracing the base of the lamp post and cut a piece of plywood to fit that. Put the J bolts, the mounting bolts, through the plywood and sink them into the concrete. When the concrete bangs up, remove the template. Now you’ll know that the bolt locations will land exactly where they have to be to secure the post.

Hi Robert,

I just noticed this yesterday. The inside of my garage wall has a very small wet stain on it and there is a corresponding wet mark on the exterior siding. It just appears to start in the middle of my wall. I removed the wet drywall, about one square foot but I couldn’t see anything because there is plywood under the drywall. Is that structural? Should I cut out whatever I need to cut to find the problem? Thank you,

Gene H.

Hi Gene,

Yes, it’s structural. That’s your sheerwall. I would recommend leaving that alone, if possible. It would be better to open up the exterior siding and make the repair that way – if we are talking about wood siding, not aluminum. The problem could be a waste line leak or a water supply line, and the sooner you address it the better.

After you make whatever repairs are necessary for the leak, make sure to dry out the entire space so you don’t get mold, then replace the siding.

I know you may be a little hesitant about pulling the siding off of your home, but if you’re very cautious and put everything back the way you took it off, you should be fine. Use filler if necessary, make sure the paper is in good condition, then prime and paint when you’re done.

Hi Robert,

I am finally getting around to doing this and I want to have it finished by summer. I want to add a partition wall inside my garage. Do the 2 x 4’s need to be every 16 inches? Thank you,

Mike N.

Hi Mike,

No, since it’s a non load bearing wall, all you would need is 24” on center.

Robert Lamoureux of IMS Construction, Valencia, CA, has 25 years experience as a commercial General, Electrical and Plumbing contractor. The opinions expressed in “Ask the Expert” are not to replace the recommendations made by a qualified contractor after a thorough visual inspection has been made. Submit your questions to

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