How Permits and Inspections Protect You
If you’re in the process of planning a remodel, you might be asking yourself, “ what’s the purpose of building permits and inspections?”.
Getting plans drawn, submitting it to a city and other governing body, making changes if needed and waiting can feel like a long process. Not to mention the additional cost of paying for the permit. Then you have to call for inspections along the way and you may have to pay for more to make sure things are up to code.
After all that, obtaining permits and scheduling inspections might seem like more of a hassle than a benefit during your remodel process.
In reality, the purpose of building permits and inspections are to protect you as the homeowner!
In the State of Minnesota, our cities care about people having good, safe housing. Our state encourages maintaining your home and takes home construction seriously.
There are strict rules that monitor the construction industry and codes to keep the quality of work at a high standard.
The only way you can make the most of those high standards in our great state is to follow the laws and hire professionals who value following those rules in order to best serve you.
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We always pull permits and get inspections for our projects because we always want our clients to know we did things correctly.
What if you’re planning to DIY a home remodel? Is it still necessary to get permits and inspections?
If you’re asking us, we would say -Definitely!
Of course, not all home projects require a permit and inspections. The best way to check if one would be required for your project is to check with your local building department, usually you can find information online when you search the city’s website.
If you’re still wondering what the purpose of building permits and inspections for your home remodel project, here are some reasons to make sure you get those permits and inspections for your next home project:
1. The process of getting permits and inspections protects you from contractors who may not do work correctly or who may cut corners.
Let's be honest, if you knew how to do the work yourself quickly and for less money, you would probably do it.
When you hire a professional, you are assuming they are doing things correctly and not covering things up that should be fixed.
Having an inspection by a city inspector is a way to keep your contractor accountable to doing good work.
2. It makes sure everyone involved has a second set of eyes to check the safety of the improvements to your home.
There is often a general contractor, a subcontractor (such as an electrician or plumber) and the city inspector looking at each part of the home remodel project.
The more people involved, the more chances to make sure nothing important is missed.
Catching issues before moving onto the next phase of a project is vital to avoiding future damage to your property or injury to you.
3. It is the law.
If the city catches work being done or already completed on your property without a permit, they can stop the work, fine you for not obtaining proper permits and require the work to be redone or torn apart so it can be properly inspected.
Going through this process could cost you thousands of dollars for repairs and months of further work and inspections.
4. In most cities, contractors will have to have a license in order to obtain a permit.
In order to have a builder or remodeler's license in the State of Minnesota, you have to have a background check and verify your insurance limits meet the state requirements.
Having a properly insured and background checked contractor in your home is basic for the safety and security of yourself and your family.
5. When you sell your home you must list any improvements made to the property.
You are responsible for reporting work completed on your property honestly when filling out a Seller's Disclosure.
The buyers want to see that the work was permitted and done correctly.
In addition, when there is a home inspection, it is likely that incorrectly completed items would arise and repairs would have to be made at that time which can be costly and potentially delay the sale of your home.
6. Problems that arise as a result of unpermitted work may not be covered by your homeowners insurance.
This could open you up to a variety of safety issues ranging from flooding due to plumbing not completed to code, fires as a result of improperly installed electrical wiring, or worse.
Without insurance coverage for these issues, many homeowners would be out a lot more than a few hundred dollars it would have cost for the building permit on their project.
As you can see there are definitely good reasons to acknowledge the important purpose of building permits and inspections. Obtaining proper permits and having inspections of the work on your property is the easiest and most cost effective way to protect your largest investment - your home. It ensures you are hiring vetted professionals who are striving to do their best job for you. Keeping these reasons in mind, pull those permits and know that doing it right will pay off in the long run.
Do you have a story about obtaining or not obtaining a permit? Share it with us below?