To Permit or Not to Permit (a Remodel Job) ?

Obtaining a permit is a basic, fundamental step to a successful remodeling job….so the answer to the question above  is a definite YES!

I’d like to talk about why the permit process is so important from the contractor’s perspective….

As a contractor, I wouldn’t begin a project without a permit in hand.  Besides the fact that permits are required by law, there are some real benefits to the homeowner which sometimes can be overlooked.

First, a third set of eyes, very qualified eyes, look at the work. Inspectors from the respective municipality are looking out for you as the homeowner. They are making sure that the contractor is doing the work correctly and that the current residential building codes are being enforced.

Second, and this is a big one, IT IMPROVES SAFETY. Your permit allows the building department to ensure that potential hazards are avoided. This includes HVAC work, electrical work, gas line work, etc.  By requiring that  your project meets the minimum building code standards of safety, the inspection process can reduce the risk of fire, structural collapse and other issues that might result in costly repairs, injuries, fire and or even death. Inspections complement the contractor’s experience and act as a system of checks and balances that can result in a safer project. My experience as a contractor has taught me how much building codes are influenced by the fire department and how simple, code compliant work, can save lives.

Third, a permit and, moreover, the resulting certificate of occupancy, ensure that all work was done to code and the job was completed per the respective building permits requirements. This is very important as it tells everyone the job was done legally and correctly….everyone including potential future buyers of the home and insurance companies insuring the space which is being remodeled (including additions and basement finishes). It also  protects property values. Your home is typically your largest investment. If your construction project does not comply with the local building codes, your investment could lose value. If others in your neighborhood make unsafe or substandard changes to their homes, it could lower the resale values for the entire community.

Lastly, as mentioned earlier, it’s the law. Work done without a permit in place is subject to removal or other very costly remedies.

In closing, remember that some work may not require a permit. If you’re not sure just call your local building department and they will certainly know whether or not you or your contractor will need to apply for a permit.

If you have any further questions on this or any other remodeling issue please call Keystone Remodeling at 770-777-4077.



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