If you are planning on remodeling, listen up! Unpermitted work is getting a crackdown, especially in our city and potentially yours as well. When you take on a remodeling project it may be more than simply changing out a bathroom fixture or a few lighting sconces. And you'll have to pay attention to more things than the color of the room. Getting permits for certain remodeling and renovation projects is imperative and may haunt you later on down the line when you go to sell your home. If you ignore local approval requirements, it could be a legal and a safety issue later on.
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If you're using a licensed and insured contractor, you typically won't have to get involved with the permitting process, but it's highly imperative that you ask. Most license contractors will do this for you and then collect any fees and requirements from you personally. But, if you do this yourself, it could pose problems later.
Every permitting process differs from city to city and even state to state but the purpose is the same; it offers the building department the assurance that all work has been done up to safety codes and requirements.
Even if you're unsure that your remodeling project needs a permit, it's important to ask. Most city officials will tell you that you need a building permit even for something as silly as replacing an appliance, but it's better to be safe than sorry. If you'd renovate something and do not get a permit, future buyers may ask about any remodeling work and they may verify permits. At the very least, their home inspector may ask for proof of permits. A buyer's appraiser may also want to see any permit records to check for the legality of home renovations. If no permits are found, lenders may likely refuse to make the loan. If any unpermitted work is discovered after closing, the home's value could be subject to a lawsuit.
Getting work covered under a permit is usually a very minimal fee, even sometimes less than $50. But it can delay a project or shut it down altogether if the work is done improperly. However, it can be more expensive to pay fines if you don't have the work permitted or if the work is deemed unsafe and you have to start all over.
Again, it's just a good idea to have any major remodeling work permitted. It covers you, the safety of your house, and secures a future sale.
Side Note: This is a big deal in Columbus and the city is cracking down on work that is unpermitted. Don't be surprised if a city inspector trolls your neighborhood looking for construction projects underway.
As a certified Realtor® for the top-rated Columbus Realty Firm - Vision Realty, with 32 years of dedicated real estate experience, I can help buyers, sellers, investors, short sale sellers and more find, sell or invest in the right property, at the right price, at the right time. Contact me anytime for updates and information on the Columbus OH Real Estate market.