Home Improvement Plans?

Home improvement plans? Two more things to consider.

First, is a building permit required? This question usually creates a lot of discussion, most of which seems to favor avoiding the process or downplaying the need as if it is optional.

The county has defined the work requiring a permit, and without question there are some gray areas and permitting does impact the financial and scheduling components of a project. Homeowner reasoning not to have work permitted may be shortsighted.

Often I hear a seller disclose, when asked, that the work in question was done without a permit but they are quick to point out that it was performed by a licensed contractor or a licensed tradesman. In most every case, the seller is unable to name the “licensed” person or company! It surprises me how often buyers proceed on hearsay and don’t attempt to negotiate an offset in price for the real or perceived added risk.

Second, the impact on the Guaranteed Home Replacement Cost feature of the home insurance policy. Have a conversation with the insurance agent before, during or immediately after the work is complete to be sure there is sufficient coverage in the event of a loss. Based on limited personal research, it appears that permitting (or lack thereof) is not a factor in determining insurance premiums and claim payout.

With that said, it is my personal belief that erring on the side of getting work permitted has little downside compared to the range of issues* that may occur from not pulling a permit when it is clear that one is required.

* potential higher sales price, less time on market, safety, etc.

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