A dirty little secret prevalent in the construction industry is the “with and without permit” price for the work to be done. While it might be appealing to save a little money upfront by not getting a permit, the problem with this approach is that you could get caught. When that happens and the inspector and/or code enforcement officer arrives at your door with a Stop Work Notice, you will have to pay a double fee for the permits.
Building codes are essentially construction standards that prohibit builders from cutting corners on hidden costs like fire safety, electric wiring, plumbing, and also insulation. Your insurance company and prospective homebuyers know this, so when it’s time to renew your policy or sell your home, that bathroom addition you did as a “weekend project” is not going to show up on any official records and will need to be permitted, and the cost will be higher than if you had obtained permits in the first place. You should also obtain a permit for the following reasons:
Building codes serve to protect life and property. If your neighbor’s house catches fire, you don't want the fire to spread to your house and threaten your family. Your permit allows the code official to reduce potential hazards of unsafe construction to provide for public health, safety and welfare. By following code guidelines, your completed project will meet minimum standards of safety and will be less likely to cause injury to you, your family, and your friends or future owners. Inspections complement the contractor’s experience and act as a system of checks and balances resulting in a safer project.
Property insurers may not cover construction or damages caused by work done without permits and inspections.
Make Selling Property Easier
When property is sold through a multiple listing association, the owner is required to disclose any improvements or repairs made, and whether or not permits and inspections were obtained. Many financial institutions will not finance a purchase without proof of a final inspection. If you decide to sell a home or building that has had modifications without a permit, you may be required to tear down the addition, leave it unoccupied or do costly repairs.