Whether you’re doing a major home renovation (e.g., a new kitchen) or simply addressing a system in need of a repair or upgrade (e.g., a new furnace), it’s really important that you consider the long term implications of hiring licensed contractors and obtaining the necessary permits for the work. Yes, it’s tempting to do otherwise—I certainly know many competent handymen/contractors who do quality work without being licensed or pulling permits—but you’re sending the wrong message and taking unnecessary risks in a future real estate transaction.
Here are some good reasons to get permits up front:
Disclosure: When you sell your home, you will need to disclose anything you know about the condition of your home. As our forms get more detailed every year, it won’t be a surprise if you’ll be asked to disclose whether permits were pulled.
Due Diligence: Even now, most quality agents will request information such as permits as part of the Due Diligence section of our Contract to Buy/Sell. And there are online services available for a small fee that can provide a look back in time to see when permits were last pulled on a home. Explaining the absence of a permit is no fun and it’s an easy way to make a buyer feel queasy about a home.
Statement of Quality: Pulling permits and using licensed contractors for plumbing, HVAC, roof work, electrical, sewers, etc is a good way to give a buyer confidence in the quality of the work, much of which may be behind walls or difficult to fully inspect.
Liability: Should anything go awry after a sale, you want to be able to show that you used licensed contractors and deflect some of the concern that may arise. Shortcuts now could translate to very expensive issues down the road.