DIY projects are popular, especially as people get their homes ready to put on the market. However, just because you’re not hiring a contractor to do the work, doesn’t mean you don’t need a building permit. In fact, building permits are required in most municipalities for any kind of repair, improvement, construction, modification or demolition work on a house.
While it may seem costly and time intensive, the permitting process and subsequent inspections help protect your family from safety risks like structural failures, fire hazards caused by electrical and heating systems, and electrical
shock. In addition, getting the appropriate permits can help you when it comes time to sell your home.
• The work you have done will be compliant with the latest
building codes and energy- and water-conservation
standards. Not only does this save money, but it also
makes your home more marketable.
• In many states, home sellers must disclose repairs or
additions to potential buyers. If they were done without
a permit, the buyer may demand that the seller get the
work permitted and inspected by the city before the
transaction can be completed, or ask for a reduction in
the sale price.
• In some cases, cities can force you to undo the work (or
parts of it) to ensure that the underlying components
were constructed safely. It’s easy to see how this could
complicate a home sale.
Even if you are not selling your home, you should be aware that some insurance companies will deny a claim if a fire originates in, or another problem stems from, an illegally constructed area. For many reasons, it makes sense to get the proper permit required by your local municipality for any home construction or repairs.