Tho I realize obtaining permits for remodeling say a bathroom protect protects the homeowner, I question if they are always a must particularly because they can run both cost and time up. I wonder how many here have bypassed obtaining one or more for such a remodel and thoughts in general. A friend experienced an I entire house remodel and I don't believe she obtained permits. BTW, a licensed contractor says all will be done to code.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Froo Froo,
I have seen it written on message boards that insurance claims will be denied if the work is done without permit. I do not believe that is true; at least I have never seen it. If someone thinks it is true please quote the policy.
In some areas there are no inspections. The permit is strictly an income producer for the jurisdiction. (Also so they know of improvements so they can raise taxes). Most people I know in these areas do not get permits
I think it is must more important that the work is done right but we can't see inside walls. The permit at least says someone else checked that it was all okay. That may be important to a buyer someday.
Possibly the worst that can happen is that an inspector would catch it when you go to sell. That could be a nasty mess if you had to get an inspection then. About the only time a home inspector would catch it is if it was a large remodel that was obviously a departure from the tract plans.
I have heard, too, that an insurance company could deny claims if it was obvious that no permits were taken, but I have never seen it happen.
I have done numerous small jobs without a permit for customers, but only if it was unlikely it would be caught. Some places, for example, even require a permit to replace a wall switch!
Story: When we did our basement finishing I called for an electrical inspection. The inspector was a royal pain but he hardly looked at the work; he was more interested in who did it. So when it came time to inspect the wiring for my study remodel, I didn't bother to call him. The final inspector didn't bat an eye when he saw there was no electrical inspection.
Where you'll get into bigger trouble for not pulling a permit is when you finish unfinished space or add on without a permit. If you remodel a bathroom and keep the fixtures in the same place you can probably get by without a permit.
If the house has 2.5 baths and 3 bedrooms and an unfinished attic or basement on the tax rolls and in reality it has 3.5 baths and a finished basement when you go to sell it will raise flags. Though I must admit I finished the basement in my first house over 25 years ago without permits and didn't have an issue when I sold the house and I didn't have a problem when I sold. I wouldn't try that in my current city/county though.
In this town technically I need a permit to change plumbing if I go beyond the trap on the waste side or beyond the shut off valves on the supply side. If I don't touch either of those I don't need a permit. Electrical to install a ceiling fan I need a permit, mainly to make sure we use the right mounting box. Permits are also required to replace a water heater or furnace.
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
I did some research on the Web under my township. What I found posted was dated 2006. It listed bathroom remodel under permits. Tho my plumbing fixtures will remain in the same spots, I am adding more lighting, a lowered ceiling, removal of tub, enlarging shower and addition of another outlet and exhaust fan. I just hope raising this with the township won't cause them to over charge us. We would feel more inclined to obtain necessary permits should it become an issue come resale in three to five years. Also, I read there may be trouble if an accident should develop and I try to recoup with my insurance co. Having not obtained permits. For peace of mind, it seems best tho I am skeptical of inspectors too.
If you trust your contractor (or yourself if DIY), and it is done safely and "to code", then you are probably fine (I'd make sure it is done right however).
Extensive Wiring changes, (not just fixtures and switches) and any added or moved/new plumbing lines or drains that are hidden in walls or under floors usually require permits here...just for your safety and future owners health/safety.
Appliance permits here with purchasing a new built in dishwasher, water heater, furnace and such... requires the permit be sold and paid with the item, and a record sent to the city/county requiring inspection.
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