Before you plug in those power tools and start a new home addition, you may want to check with your local municipality first. Yes, it’s true that you’re required to pull a permit before you can even add a new deck in the backyard. While it may seem a bit unfair that you need a permit just to take on a home remodeling project, the permit protects you and your investment. In the end, that’s really the most important thing.
Permits are no longer restricted to the professional contractor. DIY construction homeowners also need these permits to make sure that the home addition meets all federal, state and local building codes. These codes are put in place to protect you and the neighboring homes from fire, collapsed framing, electrical dangers and more if the addition was built improperly. If you refuse to pull a permit, then the municipality can make things very unpleasant and expensive for you.
First of all, if you ever plan to sell the home, then your addition needs to meet the same construction codes as the house. If it doesn’t, then there’s a chance that the buyers will pass on the home. Therefore, you want the addition to meet all legal building codes in order to protect your interests should you ever wish to appraise or sell the home. In addition, pulling a permit gives you access to a professional building inspector who can oversee your project during the construction phase. Having an inspector come in and check your work gives you peace of mind that the remodeling project meets all building codes and safety measures.
While the permit may cause you to hire a licensed contractor for some parts of your construction project, it’s more affordable than dealing with the municipality if you refuse to pull a permit altogether. If you bypass the building permit, then you risk receiving a cease and desist letter, fines and penalties. Worse yet, the municipality can order the deconstruction of your home addition. Overall, it really is best to check with the building inspector and establish what permits you’ll need before starting any home remodeling project.