May 29th, 2020. Zachary McKendry, Guest Writer, Owner of Sustainable Design Build
Do I need a permit for my remodel? This is a very common question. Permitting a project can cause some delay and added cost. The inspections take time out of the schedule. Permits cost money and time, and the inspectors may find something that breaks the budget to bring up to code. With all of these concerns why not just do the work and avoid the hassle?
Document Your Home Improvements
Firstly, permitting a project will document the work that you have done. This assures that the work you are paying for is of high enough quality to appease the code. If you plan on adding any square footage, upgrading some components that may need electrical or plumbing service, or repairing a damaged area, the permitting process assures that this work complies with modern building codes and meets the industry standards.
A Permit Proves Your Remodel Adds Value
Secondly, If you choose to sell your home in the future, the records created by the permit puts buyers at ease. A permit will document the upgrades, improvements, and changes you have made proving the additional valuation to the city. This translates to your ability to capture the value of these upgrades when selling your home at a later time. Often, a simple search will let buyers know if they are buying a renovation nightmare or a responsibly updated home.
Permits are a sign of a licensed professional
Further, The Internet and YouTube have given all of us the ability to research anything and everything. The internet’s vast offering of knowledge and “how-to” instructions allows all of us to learn enough to be dangerous. Even after a thorough online search, You wouldn’t perform minor surgery on your pet, would you? Why then would you put your home and possibly your own health and safety at risk, with un-permitted work? Continuing the theme throughout this article permits acts as legal proof from the city. Therefore, when a contractor pulls a permit you can confidently identify they are licensed by your local municipality.
Building Codes Determine if Your Remodel Needs a Permit
Yes, it is true not all work being done in your home needs to be permitted. For example, the Denver Building Code does allow for some exemptions in permitting (2016 DBFC 103.3). These exemptions are primarily limited to aesthetic upgrades such as paint, cabinets, and wallpaper. This also includes tile and flooring. There are a few exceptions like replacing lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, and simple mechanical work. Anything beyond these minor surface upgrades, your local municipality will likely require permits. This allows the local municipality to monitor the quality of work and holds contractors accountable to uphold the set standards.
A Permit is Proof of Security
While this isn’t a foolproof way to assure you are getting your money’s worth, it does add an extra layer of protection for homeowners. Contractors who do all their work without permits are more likely to be uninformed regarding best practices in installation. Also, this may raise suspicion that they do not take the necessary extra precautions for the following installation methods.
The next time you consider a project on your home, ask yourself, “Do I need a permit for my remodel?”. Think about the benefits of using a licensed contractor that goes through the standards of the city permitting process. This shows they are compliant and cooperating with the city and holds them accountable for the work they perform. At the very least, if you’re spending money to remodel or upgrade, protect yourself and your investment by pulling permits.
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