How Permits and Inspections Protect You
Obtaining permits and scheduling inspections might seem like more of a hassle than a benefit during your remodel process. In reality, these are a protection to 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.
If you still aren't convinced, here are some more reasons to make sure you get those permits:
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.
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.
Got a story about obtaining or *gasp* not obtaining a permit? Share it with us!