Building Without A Permit
Building permits are very important for any project. They ensure that your project is being built legally and is compliant with your city’s requirements. Not everyone likes going through the process of applying for a building permit though. And some choose to build without a permit. What happens if you build without a permit?
City Inspectors & Neighbors
Beginning construction without obtaining a building permit is a risk. Being caught can result in a lot of problems which often cost more than your original permit fee. City inspectors are out and about all the time visiting other sites that have building permits. They keep their eyes open for any home or building that looks like it is under construction to check and see if their project has a building permit. If a city inspector finds a project that is building with out a permit, they will notify the city and have the home red tagged. Or in other words, have the project shut down until a permit has been obtained. While that may not necessarily happen very often, it is still very possible. Besides city inspectors reporting you, your neighbors may also report you to the city. Especially any neighbors you don’t get along with. Anyone can call and look up a project to see if it has a permit. This unfortunately is not that uncommon. It is strongly advised to permit your project before you begin construction to avoid a lot of costly mistakes.
A fine may need to be paid for not having a building permit such as, undocumented permit fee’s, back property taxes, and any other additional fee’s. It is more expensive to pay fines for not having a permit than obtaining a permit for your project before you begin construction.
If your project doesn’t comply with your city’s building codes, the city may require you to tear it down. Building codes are put in place for the safety and wellbeing of you and anyone else that lives or enters the home or building. The city monitors compliance of these laws to ensure proper safety measures are followed. If the city doesn’t require you to completely tear down the project, you may have to tear walls out for an inspector to review the structural framing.
Selling Your Home
It is possible that you can/will have problems selling your home if you’ve done construction without a permit. People looking to buy your home may decide that they no longer want the home. You also won’t be able to add value to your home because the project was not documented, so you may not get as much money as you’re asking for. Something else to consider, your homeowners insurance may not cover any defects such as an electrical fire because you went outside of the law to complete the project.
Building without a building permit is very risky. Getting caught can result in you spending a lot of money to fix the problem. It is strongly recommended that you apply for the permit and wait for approval before construction begins to save you costly trouble in the long run. If you’re unsure what projects require permits talk to the city or an architect to find out.