Applying for a permit can be a hassle, but it is a very important step when doing many types of remodeling projects. You can encounter a number of problems if you don’t go through this process.
Why is it important to pull permits before remodeling?
The cost of permits varies depending on where you live. In some places, permits cost under $100. Other cities charge over $1000 to complete the process. While this may sound excessive for some projects, the cost of ignoring it can be a lot worse.
Many homeowners feel that permits are just another way for their local government to get more money out of them. However, there are a number of reasons they’re necessary.
Reduce Liabilities in a Disaster
You need to be very careful about following building regulations. If you don’t do your project according to code, then you can face serious problems in an emergency. Your insurance company may refuse to approve a claim if the problems have arisen due to poor workmanship.
When you apply for a permit, you’ll need to specify your plans in detail. The local building ordinance will only approve it if you meet all requirements. This will protect you if it’s ever necessary to file an insurance claim or defend yourself if another party is injured on your property.
Ensure Workmanship Quality
You should always make sure that your contractor is doing work properly. However, some irresponsible contractors and remodelers are not very good about following building regulations. You want to be able to collect damages if they don’t do their job correctly. Getting a permit is necessary to keep them honest.
Alleviate Concerns for Future Homebuyers
Pulling a permit is also important if you ever plan to sell your home. Potential buyers will want to make sure all work was done properly before committing to the largest purchase they will ever make.
Mike Paclik, a contractor in Austin, discussed the importance of permits for home sellers in an interview with BankRate. “Whoever buys the house will want to know if a permit was pulled to build that swimming pool or structure or whatever, and if it wasn’t, the liability goes back to the homeowner,” Paclik says.
The same principles apply for Massachusetts homeowners as well.
Are there projects that don’t require permits?
Well permits are very important for major remodeling projects, they aren’t always necessary. They are primarily intended for improvements that can affect safety or the longevity of your home.
What types of projects don’t require permits? These policies vary by jurisdiction. However, most municipalities will require a permit for simple changes such as painting or remodeling less than a quarter of your roof.
You’ll need to check with your local building and development department. They will let you know if a permit is necessary.