Did You Get a Building Permit?

Whether you are a new homeowner, a seller who is preparing to sell, or somewhere in between, it seems there is always a project just around the corner. Perhaps the fence needs replacing, or it is time for a deck off the kitchen, or you want to remodel the bathroom. Whatever the improvement might be, there is always the question of whether or not to get a permit.

Obviously the law requires it. But beyond the requirement it communicates to a prospective buyer that you have been thorough and that you have done the work correctly.

The Uniform Building Codes are updated every 3 years and each city has its own interpretation of the codes as well as its own special requirements. It is difficult for the average do-it-yourselfer to know what the current code requirements are. The ability to do the work to meet your own standards and perceptions of safety do now necessarily mean the work is in compliance with the building codes.

Full disclosure is the primary rule today in real estate. When you sell your home, work done without permits may come back to haunt you. The work may need to be redone, or the lender may not recognize the value of your improvement. In either case there is a cloud over the property that may leave the buyer wondering about the quality of other work and the burden that he may be taking on a future claims against the property.

Ultimately the extra time and money involved in getting a building permit is worth the effort. Having it indicates quality, not only for the specific job, but for the property as a whole. And it gives peace of mind to everyone.