Get the necessary permits

Are you planning any home improvements in the near future?  Get the necessary permits.  I can already hear some of you grumbling about it, complaining that it’s just a money grab, but the truth is that the permitting process has a purpose.

Get the necessary permits
Home imporvements

The permitting process assures that buildings, land and home improvements adhere to the building and zoning codes within your locality. Building and zoning codes exist to ensure that homes and other improvements are safe, structurally sound, and help maintain health standard.  If you think you’re savvy for avoiding the permitting process on your home improvements, read on. 

If you’ve circumvented the permitting process when building your improvement, chances are that there will be consequences in the future.  If you’re lucky, the permitting inspectors will catch up with you during your construction project. If you’re still in the process of your construction, you’ll likely get a notice to cease the project and go through the permitting process.  However, if your required to reconcile with your local permit office after the improvement is completed, the process can vary depending on your local permit office and the age of the improvement.

Unpermitted improvements are red flags for home buyers and their agents. When you decide to sell, there’s a good chance that home buyers will ask you about permits on your improvements, especially if it is touted in the listing. Don’t think you can hide it, permit info is typically readily available online or calling the permit office.  Your home sale price can be affected, depending on the size and scope of the unpermitted work.

Unpermitted improvements can also be a potential problem for your insurance company.  For example, any claims that concern an unpermitted improvement could potentially be denied.

A common issue I come across more than you think is that although permits were issued, there was never a final inspection by the permitting office. Many contractors also fail to follow through to the final inspection. The consequences of not passing a final inspection could potentially have the same effect as not having a permit at all. 

Regardless of the type of home improvement project you do, make certain the appropriate permits are obtained and finaled. The same applies when you hire a licensed contractor, make certain the appropriate permits are obtained and finaled.

By Dan Krell
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Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.