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08.19.12

We were discussing this on another thread but I thought it deserves its own.

Homeowners SHOULD NOT pull building permits unless they are actually acting as their own general contractor.

In many states, a contractor must have the appropriate license to pull a permit but there are exceptions that allow owners to pull their own permits. If a homeowner pulls their own permit, if the inspection reveals something does not meet code, the homeowner bears the responsibility for the changes to meet code. If the contractor pulls the permit, the contractor is responsible. Good contractors know the code and can work with inspectors. Unless you know what you are doing, the contractor should pull the permit. If the contractor asks the homeowner to pull the permit that may be a red flag that the contractor does not have the required license to do the work.

While you may "save" a few dollars by not pulling a permit, you risk finding out that the work does not meet code, you will be asked at resale if there was unpermitted work on the home, and you may bring down the value of your home. Your "savings" may be very costly in the long run.

I'd love to hear from others on their response to consumers who want to avoid permits or who indicate that they have other bids that dont include pulling permits.

6 Comments Displaying 6 of 6 comments
  • James A
    James A Roswell, GA
    Does a contractor in Georgia have to be licensed to pull a permit?
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  • Yamini LEED AP at Urbanmotifs
    @James, yes, a contractor in GA needs to be licensed to pull a permit. as Kevin mentioned above a homeowner in GA can pull a permit as well if he is acting as GC for the project. Many homeowners are not aware of this and will pull a permit for the
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  • Kevin M. Veler, Law Office of
    James, that depends on the work. First, believe it or not, not every county in GA has a permit system. None of those counties are in the metro Atlanta area to my understanding.
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  • KMS Woodworks
    KMS Woodworks Nederland, CO
    As a home owner you are allowed to do many things to your own home ....electrical, plumbing, carpentry... doing this work on other people homes normally requires a permit. Just because you "can" doesn't mean you should. Replacing a light fixture or
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  • Kevin M. Veler, Law Office of
    Great comment! Let me add to the permit discussion that at least in GA, if the homeowner pulls the permit there are other limitations and the homeowner must supervise all work performed by all subs.
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  • Bernice H
    Bernice H Yakima, WA
    Just now reading this Kevin, wow! This is good to know, I may not ever have the opportunity to use info this myself, but it is really good to know! Thanks!
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Kevin M. Veler, Law Office of
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    Teresa D

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