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You are thinking of making a major renovation to your home. Perhaps it's time to create that master bedroom suite you long have admired or install that wrap-around porch? What is the first thing that should be done before getting down to business?
The correct way to begin a home remodeling project is to obtain the necessary permits for the job. Many municipalities request individuals obtain permits for a range of work on homes or other structures, such as office buildings. Permits are generally required for all new construction as well as specific modifications that will affect structural, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems. It's important to check with the local building office prior to beginning work to see which permits you will need before the project can begin. Permits are necessary whether a homeowner is doing the work or hiring an outside contractor.
Due to the cost and time involved with securing permits, some homeowners skip this step so they can begin a project promptly. However, this can end up being a costly mistake. Permits might seem like a nuisance, but they actually protect homeowners in various ways.
Permits provide a blueprint by which contractors and do-it-yourselfers must complete renovations. Because inspections will take place, there is no wiggle room. Shortcuts often translate into subpar work that may lead to malfunction and injury in the long run. Safeguarding against poor workmanship means homeowners can feel confident in the work being done.
As inspectors go through their checklists, they may notice things that were done incorrectly and will offer advice about how to mend the problem before it becomes a larger headache. If left unchecked, an electrical error could lead to a fire or another dangerous situation. Repairs that are not structurally sound may pose problems or deteriorate more quickly than structures that are constructed correctly. Furthermore, catching improper technique early on eliminates having to tear down and redo work, which can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor.
Sometimes work goes as planned even for homeowners who did not obtain the necessary permits. However, years later, when other work needs to be done, inspectors may discover homeowners never secured proper permits and inspections years earlier, leading to fines.
Furthermore, if work is done without a permit and an accident occurs, any damages or injuries may not be covered by a homeowner's insurance policy.
Permits are an important part of the home improvement process. Homeowners should not skirt the responsibility because the permit and inspection process is in place to provide protection to occupants.