Pulling permits for a flip

2 Replies

Peace. Flipping a home and will be doing a full home renovation + adding central air and heating. I am knocking out one wall to expand the kitchen.....How important is it for the contractor to pull permits? I hear they are a pain. Can I do the job without pulling permits? Will this hinder me from selling the home? Is there an area to prioritize the permit? #help

@Simon Obas You need to be running your investments like a business, and a business would learn what is required in your area in terms of permits for work. Nearly all cities/counties require a permit for specialized work including electrical, plumbing, HVAC, roofing and other elements. Some areas want a permit for anything exceeding a certain dollar threshold. While it may be a "pain" to go through the paperwork and extra time, think of it in terms of liability. Say you remove a few walls, add the elements you referred to, and don't bother to pull permits and then an issue arises and/or some is harmed due to negligence. You can be held liable either way, but if you didn't pull permits when it's required you'll pay additional fees and penalties, and in many places they can shut down your project until you bring everything up to their standard. In this instance, most inspectors who come to sign off on elements of the job will overly critique you because they know you tried to do the work without them once, so they mike life even tougher on you.

Buyers WILL ask questions about the work. Any state with a seller disclosure form typically has a question(s) about improvements and whether permits were pulled (we do in WA). Unless you're truly doing a cosmetic only update (paint, flooring, trim, landscaping, etc.) don't take this short cut. Get permits, keep a good name, and remove the potential liability.

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