Major home construction jobs and renovations require a permit from a local building department. Most home owners realize this when it comes to projects visible from the street. What many home owners don’t know is that in some jurisdictions permits are also required for major interior repairs and replacements, such as for water heaters and furnaces.
Because this work takes place inside the home, many contractors will fail to advise the home owner that a permit is needed, or tell home owners that they can save money by doing away with the permit. This is true, although the cost of a permit is usually a very small percentage of the job at hand. What these contractors won’t tell you is that failure to take out a permit in effect waives many legal rights of the building owner. If the contractor goofs up, the lack of a building permit may make it harder for the building owner to seek restitution. It may even leave the building owner subject to a fine.
Some jurisdictions go overboard with permitting, because they see it as a cash cow for their building department. This is annoying to those of us in the trades as well as a sneaky back-door tax on home owners. Nonetheless, whether we agree with a policy or not, our company abides by the law. If a permit is required, we will include it for the job at hand. This protects us and you.