5 Reasons to Get a Permit for DIY Work – Irvine Real Estate – Irvine Homes for Sale

by Robert Mack on February 5, 2011

in Latest News, Sellers

When you apply for a permit for a home remodeling, a city inspector will visit your house to make sure you’re doing the work safely and up to current building codes. When you apply for a permit for a home remodeling, a city inspector will visit your house to make sure you’re doing the work safely and up to current building codes.

Skipping the permit can create a lot of trouble.

Lots of do-it-yourselfers skip the building permit when they put an addition onto a house, enclose a carport, rearrange the tub, toilet and bathroom sink during a remodel, or do other home-improvement work.

Still, if it seems like a hassle to run your plans over to City Hall and apply for a permit, consider the trouble you could find yourself in if you don’t.

Prescott’s chief building official, Randy Pluimer, says he meets too many unhappy homeowners who have to tear up what they’ve built when the city learns they neglected to get a permit before doing the work.  And he meets plenty who want the city to step into the middle of a dispute with a contractor who did a shoddy job—and it turns out the homeowner never got a permit for the work in the first place.

Here are five reasons why you should comply with the law and spring for a city permit when your home-improvement job involves building an addition, an enclosure or an outbuilding, putting up a tall fence, messing with electricity or plumbing, or moving or removing a structural wall in the home.

1. When you apply for a city permit, it triggers an inspection by a building official who will make sure the work complies with safety and other standards adopted by the city. Those standards usually are based on the minimum requirements, so the inspector isn’t going to insist on more than that. He’s there to help you keep your home and your family safe.

2. Most of us have nosy neighbors who can’t wait to let the city know that we’re remodeling without the proper papers. If the city gets wind of your unpermitted project after you’re already halfway—or all the way—finished, an inspector is going to visit you and ask to see the work. If you’ve drywalled over it, you might have to tear that drywall out to show him.

“We don’t go out and look for issues,” Pluimer notes, “but I get calls every day from a neighbor calling on a neighbor.”

3.  If you have a problem with a contractor and you reach out to the city for help, the first thing officials will look for is your permit. Pluimer says he’s had many requests from disgruntled homeowners who have asked him to “write up” an errant contractor who failed to get a permit, but it’s the homeowners who get “written up.” In fact, it’s your responsibility—not your contractor’s—to make sure all of the proper permits have been issued for work at your house.

4. When it’s time to sell your house, an unpermitted room won’t show up as square footage in official county records—which means your house might not be valued as high as you believe it should be. Plus, many buyers—and even realtors—are reluctant to deal with a house that’s had work done without a permit. There’s no guarantee that the work was done safely or up to current building and electrical codes.

5. It doesn’t happen very often, but failing to get a permit for home improvements can result in a stop-work order and fine of up to $2,500.

So no matter how simple your home-improvement or repair job may be, check with the city to learn if you need a permit.

even the smallest project needs to be done right!

Posted on Irvine Orange County Real Estate Market News

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Post by Robert Mack

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