March 9th, 2015

Why do you need a building permit?

It might seem like a great idea. Save a few bucks. Dodge the building inspector. Avoid inconvenient scrutiny. After all, you’ll be able to tell if your renovation or addition came out right. Right?Probably not. Your new kitchen or finished bathroom could be just what you imagined, but if the work was done without a permit, you won’t know if it was done correctly.Permits protect you and your home in three ways. First, in order to pull a permit, a contractor must be fully licensed and insured. You don’t want some license less guy showing up in a pickup truck with a ladder and a toolbox and start demo-ing your kitchen cabinets.Second, once the permit is pulled, your project’s plans are thoroughly reviewed by the building inspector to make sure they conform to the appropriate codes. The Building Codes fill a book over 1000 pages thick and dictate every aspect of your new space from correct ceiling height, hallway width, window size and thickness of insulation, to name just a few.Finally, periodic inspections of your renovation, addition or new home ensure that work is being done correctly. These inspections yield a Certificate of Occupancy, which allows you permission to use or re-use the space.The cost of a permit is negligible compared to correcting substandard workmanship. No legitimate contractor would ever persuade you from requiring a permit. Don’t be fooled, always insist on a permit. Make sure it is visible from the street during construction and ask for the Certificate of Occupancy when your project is complete.Your Contractor, Mike.