Do I Really Need a Building Permit for This?

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When building a new home or business, it's essential for contractors to obtain a building permit and post it at the construction site. Without it, the city or town would shut down the project. But what about things like room additions, adding a deck, a bathroom or a new office wing? Do you really need to get a permit to improve your own home or business? The short answer is, yes. Here are 5 very good reasons why ...

  1. Your home or your business is likely your biggest investment. Failing to obtain a permit for an improvement may very well result in a loss in property value if the improvement doesn't comply with the codes adopted by your city or town.
  2. Your property insurer may refuse to cover work or damages to projects not completed with the required permit(s).
  3. When it comes time to sell your property, an MLS association requires the seller to disclose any improvements or repairs made to a home or business, and whether permits were obtained and inspections were done. That's because many banks and mortgage lenders will not finance a purchase without proof of permits and inspections. Many realtors have horror stories to tell about a sale falling through because the seller could not produce a permit for work done to a home or business. You could actually be required to tear down an addition or obtain a permit and bring it up to code before anyone can occupy it. Failing to get a permit in the first place could end up costing you a lot of money.
  4. A construction project or improvement done with a permit requires a final inspection. Passing inspection means that your addition or renovation project followed the building codes and meets the minimum standards for safety. That's important when you sell your property, but it's also important to you and the safety of your family and friends or employees.
  5. And the best reason of all? It's the law! Doing work without a permit may be legally subject to removal or other costly remedies.

Another thing to keep in mind is to obtain your permit before starting the project. In some areas, if work begins before the permit is obtained, permit costs increase significantly to serve as a penalty. It may take a little more time and hassle, but we recommend always checking with your local building official before kicking off any project. It’s the wise thing to do.