Should I or should I not pull a permit?

7 Replies

Hello BP world!! I am looking to finish my basement I am building two rooms, is it necessary for me to pull a permit? If not what is the point for pulling a permit?

Depends on the scope of the work and where you are.  Pull the permits if they are needed.  In my experience, the people who do the work to code will do a better job.  It will cost a little more in the short run.  But you won't have to redo it in a few years due to some issue (usually the reason the code requires it).  When you sell and show the buyer it was to code you'll get your money bake.  Plus you won't have to worry if your neighbor will call to complain--and you will be re-doing the work to code in the end. 

@Jose Hernandez do you ever plan to sell? If so, yes pull a permit. If you know what you’re doing and never plan to sell I see no reason to involve big brother in you personal home. Just gotta know what right looks like.

I don't think meeting code equates to pulling a permit. Of course projects should be built to code, but permits often to be just a money,-making scheme for cities. Has anyone ever really sold for less because a buyer was concerned about permits?

Around here the agents and attorneys have gotten big on the show me the permits and Certificate of Occupancy.

So it’s not that it may make you sell for less it comes up after the purchase price is agreed and you’re trying to get to closing.

Around here the city won’t issue a CO on existing space or house. Nevertheless the attorney insist on asking for one. The city Building department will tell you the house has one “implied” since it already exists.

That being said additions and /or finished basements are a big flag around here for permits. If the city field card doesn’t match up to what you have then you can be certain the buyers will be asking!

Personally I hate pulling permits because I see the process and know the inspections are 95% BS. If you have “regular” known tradespeople doing the work the City practically just signs off without even checking their work. So as the consumer you get no real value.

  Here's a story for you my friend just went through this last summer. He bought a nice primary residence about 15 years ago, and it had a huge unfinished basement. He later built it out with a bathroom, small kitchen and a bedroom. Nice construction, no issues to speak of.

   He had it listed with an agent, and they had the original plans for the unfished basement. So the buyers agent sees this, and then sees there was no permit pulled to do the work. Turns out the septic system wasn't built for the extra bathroom and kitchen, so he had to upgrade it for the amount of $15,000 if he wanted to sell it. But most likely if he pulled a permit, they would have had him upgrade it anyways. But that would have been an upgrade done with the basement build out years ago, not a surprise upgrade when they were trying to sell.

Yes. Do it right or don't do it at all. Building Inspectors serve a purpose. Unless you are a trained professional in electrical, plumbing, and structural construction, you are not qualified to say whether something is installed right or not prior to cover. It takes many years for professional tradesmen to get good at what they do and even they make mistakes. If your house burned down because of short-cutting the system, getting over-confident thinking you know it all, you are on the triple-barbed hook. If you got it signed off, and it burned down, the hook has no barbs.

Without a permit, most likely, it won’t pass the buyer appraisal when you try to sell it in the future; and it will cause problems selling it most likely.

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