Should I Apply For Permits When Renovating My Home

Should I Apply For Permits When Renovating My Home

Bryce Werllington

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Should I Apply for Permits when Renovating my home?

Should I apply for permits when renovating my home, finishing a basement or adding a deck, pool, shed, garage or fence?
The answer to this question is a absolutely YES. There is no excuse to not apply for the permit. The permit office will let you know what projects will not require a permit.

Will my propery assessment and property taxes increase?

Depending on the work that is being done to your home, you're property taxes may be impacted. Sometimes there will be no impact, other times the impact will be significant. Always contact your city or county building department and explain what you are planning to do. They can and will advise you exactly what is required and what the application process, the fees and inspection process is and possibly even if a permit is necessary. Your local municipality tax assessment office can provide a good estimate of what additional real estate tax will be imposed and by what amount your property assessment will increase based on your addition or renovation project.

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The Permit Process

Some municipalites require that a licensed contractor file for a permit, others will allow the homeowner to pull the permit if they will be acting as their own contractor. The permit must be placed in a front window during the course of the work. You must submit a detailed drawing and plan of the work that you will be undertaking. The permit office will provide you with detail information describing the necessary building, sheathing, excavation, electrical, plumbing, fire protection codes, etc. that must be adhered to. This detail will tell you what inspections will need to be performed by the inspector and when they must be done. Sometimes you will need to schedule the inspections well in advance, and other times the inspector may drop by unexpected. Some projects will require drawings that need to be drafted by a licensed architect or licensed engineer. Once the permit office has reviewed the plans they will issue the permit. A schhedule for the inspections will be issued. If you cover up any part of your project that needs to be inspected, you may be required to demolish the cover up to allow for inspection. By following this process you can be assured that your completed project will not subject your home and family to any safety risks or fire hazards. In addition, if you do not obtain the proper construction permits, you can be fined. Inspectors are trained to spot renovations. A pile of building materials, or a extra garbage at the curb or a delivery van at the property are giveaways. As technology advances, it will become harder to hide a project without a permit.

Refinancing Your Home

Some financial institutions will require a land survey to ensure that there have been no modifications to the home before they will consider extending the credit to you. They want to ensure that they are not at any risk in regards to the property that is secured against the funds that they offer to the home owner. In addition, the financial institution will hire an property appraiser to do a market appraisal on the home. If there is a significant difference between the tax departments records and what is in or on the property, that is another red flag for the lending institution.

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Permits & Selling Your Home

In addition, when you sell your home, your buyer and their attorney will request the permits and survey certificate. If you do not have them, they may likely ask you to obtain them. At that point if you did not get the permits, you will be a the mercy of your municipalites development office and tax assessment office. Your buyer will want to buy the house with confidence that all the necessary codes were adhered to during your renovation/addition project. The buyer may also to decline to make an offer and purchase your home if the necessary permits have not been obtained. Applying for and complying with all conditions of the permit at the time of renovation or addition; will save a lot of time and unnecessary stress and money when you proceed to sell your home.


There have been cases where an insurance claim has been denied because work was completed on a home without the proper permits, certified trades, or incorrect installations.

So for the safety of your family and a stree free future, always check with your municipalities officials before starting your project. Don't take a short cut, make sure you have the necessary permits, before you start. If you don't; eventually you will be caught and it will cost you more in the long run.

Byrce has many interests and enjoys sharing his research to help others make informed decisions. Bryce's latest interest is understanding how the internet can be used to help people from getting taken in by scams. So, Bryce Werllington regularly writes and shares his articles with webmasters around the world.

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