Home improvement jobs can be expensive and time consuming and you may have to fund an upgrade with personal loans or even getting a second mortgage.
When you are already spending a lot of money on finance home renovationsIt can be frustrating to pay for permits – not to mention the hassle of applying for a permit and waiting for approval. However, the reality is that while you might be tempted to skip the permitting process, there are several important reasons why you probably don’t want to.
6 simple tips to secure a 1.75% mortgage rate
Safe access to The Ascent’s free guide, which explains how to get the lowest mortgage rate when buying a new home or refinancing. The rates are still at their lowest level in several decades, so take action today to make sure you don’t miss the chance.
By submitting your email address, you agree that we will send you monetary tips along with products and services that we believe may be of interest to you. You can unsubscribe at any time. Please read our Privacy statement and Terms and Conditions…
1. Most reputable contractors will require you to obtain the necessary permits.
You don’t need a permit for every home improvement job. Whether or not it is required for your job will depend on the building codes of your place of residence. Since local rules and regulations tend to reflect regional concerns, such as hurricane or tornado risks, you need to check the requirements where you live to see if you need to get a permit.
In general, however, more jobs require permits than you might think. For example, a permit is required to do most plumbing and electrical work, even if the work, such as repairing damaged pipes, seems insignificant. For major work such as extensions and renovations, you will also need a permit. You can find out the rules from the building office of your local municipality.
If you hire someone to do the job, you will likely have a hard time finding a reliable contractor who is willing to get the job done without the proper permits. Most professionals want to comply with the law, and they don’t mind working with a homeowner to get a permit.
If you find a builder or trader willing to ignore the fact that you are breaking the rules by doing work without proper permission, it should be a big red flag that they may also be willing to cut corners elsewhere during the project.
2. You may encounter a work stop order or tear off work that has already been completed.
If your municipality finds out that you are doing work that requires a permit and you do not have one, you may face a lot of problems.
Your local government may issue a stop-work order and force you to immediately terminate the project. It can take a long time and a lot of money in the form of fines and delayed permit fees to get things working again – if you can.
If the work you are doing is found to be in violation of local building codes or zoning regulations, you may be forced to take down improvements – in addition to paying fines. You would spend all the money you spent on the project, plus more, and end up with nothing to show for all your expenses.
3. You may have big problems when you try to sell your home.
When you try sell your house, you may have to inform potential buyers that prohibited work has been performed (depending on your state’s disclosure policies). This can scare off potential buyers because when they buy a home, They is responsible for any penalties or consequences of unauthorized work.
Even if you do not disclose the fact that you worked without the necessary permits, buyers may find out on their own. If they know that the home has been remodeled or that an extension has been added, their real estate agent will likely check to see if a permit has been obtained. If this is not the case, it is likely that buyers will not want to buy the potential problem.
Since you can lose the value of your home improvement money, find it difficult to find a buyer, and possibly end up with a builder doing substandard work, you may very well regret not just getting the right permits.