Whether you want to build a new structure or make alterations to an existing structure, a building permit is a must. If you decide to risk it, you could end up paying an even greater price at the end of the day. It's important to note that there are zoning regulations, plumbing codes and electrical systems codes too. In other words, a building permit does not only pertain to the physical structure. If you have already started work and you do not have a permit, here's what you need to do.
The penalty for beginning construction work without a permit is currently equal to 50 percent of the permit fees for the building project. Do note that these rates can change each year so you should check with the local authorities if you are in doubt.
You will not be able to continue with construction work until you have paid the penalty and your project is approved. It's also important to note that there will be no rush placed on your application. You will need to wait the usual application period time frame regardless.
Undo your work
If the work you have already completed is not up to code, you will be expected to undo it. This means that it will cost you even more time and money at the end of the day. Some materials might be recoverable but there is always some form of loss in these situations.
More work than planned
You will most likely end up going over budget since the authorities could find that you did not account for certain building aspects. If you have not included certain mechanical or structural work, this could mean that your initial budget will be exceeded.
When selling your property or making an insurance claim, any structural modifications that were not approved can result in various legal problems. For example, your insurance policy could be voided if they do not find that everything is in order.
Remember, even if you hire a contractor, it is your responsibility as the property owner to pay any and all relevant fees/penalties. Whenever making any kind of renovations on your property, make sure that you have a permit drawing professional in your corner. It's not only about knowing which papers to file, but understanding building codes and regulations that apply to your area. Most property owners do not even know the zoning laws that apply to their property. Not to mention all the jargon that finds its way into the documentation you will be expected to submit.
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