If you build or convert your home without a building permit there is always the ultimate threat. It is the fear that the county, city or municipality will resort to making an example of what happens to people who fail to get the right permits before making major changes to the structure of their real estate assets.
There is no good reason why it should get anywhere near that situation. In fact the building department has your interests at heart and can be a goto resource during your construction project.
A Short History Of Building Safety
Regulation of construction and buildings has developed over centuries to regulate best practice in the building industry and to make certain that there we occupy basically sound structures. Going back to the seventeenth century in Great Britain, the Great Fire of London devastated huge portions of the city of London and surrounding areas.
The King demanded an inquiry after the fact, which uncovered so many bad building practices that destruction had all but been inevitable. This led to the a watershed moment in the formation of building codes that require designs to limit and stop the spread of fire and other hazards.
The Phrase That Pays Is Due Diligence
Do not leave it to your contractor to determine whether or not you need a permit. It is your property and responsibility to carefully check and double check that you are following the right path.
When a project costs as much as a house, or at least a good sized extension there is much pressure to save money by cutting corners and skipping the important steps in planning your build. Don’t end up being that person who spends vast sums because they attempted to take the cheap and easy route, only to find that it is full of potholes that will cost you a fortune.
Keeping Contractors Honest
Any time that you make a change to the structure of your property you need to have the right permit from the controlling authority, usually your city or county. If you are in doubt or your contractor suggests that it is not necessary it is time to take the initiative yourself and contact the local building department.
With the right planning permit you have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that a building inspector will ensure that your contractor has done the work correctly and as agreed. In this way the planning department is actually on your side and a guardian against shoddy building practices.
The Building Department Is A Resource
Any time you undertake to modify the structure of a property you are going to be making an investment of both finance and time. Make certain that you have all of the right paperwork before you start and it will make a big difference in how your plan proceeds.
The building department is there for the good of the community and for your protection. Make good use of its resources to ensure you have good advice before you start and to have your project inspected on completion to ensure that you get what you paid for at the end of the job.