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.

  • James A
    James A Roswell, GA
    on Jun 23, 2011

    Does a contractor in Georgia have to be licensed to pull a permit?

    • Yamini LEED AP at Urbanmotifs
      Yamini LEED AP at Urbanmotifs Duluth, GA
      on Jun 23, 2011

      @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 contractor to get the work done for less by a unlicensed contractor. Homeowners are not aware of the costs involved in correcting a code error. the homeowner never accounts for this unforeseen costs that could have been avoided by hiring a licensed contractor in the first place.