You cannot minimize the importance of getting permits before doing renovations, especially if you want to avoid problems, delays, and extra costs. This is especially true if you begin your renovations and an inspector comes along and finds out that you began without the proper building permits. There is really no reason to take such a risk, especially if you are already spending so much money on renovations.
Beginning your renovations without the proper permits means that you will be risking hefty fines, legal fees, and even court costs if things should go that far. However, if you simply follow the building codes and zoning laws, you can avoid any and all problems in the first place.
If you are in a new area, you should make sure you know the building codes and zoning laws because they are probably different than wherever you came from. In fact, building codes and zoning laws will vary from city to city, county to county and state to state. This is something that you must keep in mind, especially if you are the type of person who likes to tackle things on your own.
Once again, the idea is to keep yourself and your renovation out of trouble so that it can go as smoothly and quickly as possible. If you are planning to do the project on your own, make sure that you research, learn and understand building codes and zoning laws.
If you do not have the time that is required for study and research, then perhaps your best bet is to hire a contractor to handle your renovations. A licensed contractor will be able to procure all the necessary permits to go ahead with your planned renovations.
However, do not just hire the contractor that turns in the lowest quote, or you may be in for a shock when and if the work is completed. You need to do some careful background research, ask for references, and investigate whether the contractor has been involved in legal disputes in the past.
In any event, when you get your quote, it should not only include the cost of whatever renovations you have planned, it should also include the cost of the permits. Once you look at several quotes and do some research on the different contractors, you should be able to find one that is right for you.
Whatever you do, try not to change your mind right in the middle of the renovation because it will cause delays and end up costing you more. Your contractor might have to request permits if the changes you make to the original plans are extensive. When you delay the contractor, you will end up paying for whatever time is lost because you cannot blame the delay on the contractor.
You should plan well ahead, think things through very carefully, and discuss the aspects of the renovation with your contractor so that everything is clear and well-understood. Lastly, if you do not minimize the importance of getting the right permits before the renovation, you will minimize the risks of violating building codes and zoning laws.
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