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The Vogin Team

South Florida Real Estate

By Howard Vogin | Agent in Boca Raton, FL

Making Changes - Do I need a Building Permit???

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Thinking of making some home improvement, changing your windows, doors, putting on an addition there are many reasons to obtain to a building permit and no reason not to obtain one.  Be smart, do your homework-call your local building department and see if you need a permit before you contact anyone for a bid.  Become an educated consumer and don't let the contractor tell you what is and is not legal.

Don't believe your friendly contractor who tells says "You do not need a permit, I can save you some money if we do it without a permit" What he is actually saying I may cut some corners, use unapproved materials or unlicensed workers, but that does matter, in the end If I Finish it will look pretty, and that is all that counts. 

What looks like a saving in the short run could end up actually costing you in the future for several reasons:
  • If you add square footage to your home and it is not recorded by your local property appraiser some lenders will not recognize the space and it will make it harder to finance for any potential future buyers.  Some lenders will not lend on a property regardless of the value if there was not final inspection on the work and so you might need to make changes or take it down to close the deal
  • Your insurance carrier may have a problem if a fire occurs in your home and they can attribute it back to the work.  They will more than likely deny the claim and not pay for damages.
  • If the local building authority does find the work, they could act in several different ways. They may ask you to file for permits and prove the work was done correctly, which may involve some opening of walls and paying some fines.  They could also just force you to remove all of the illegal work.  That would be a big waste
  • You have to ask yourself why a contractor would not want to get a permit.  If they are good at what they do, they know the code and know how to do things correctly.  If they want to skip the small step of permitting, what else are they skipping?  Are they doing it correctly, do they have a license, do they have insurance, will they finish the job - All important questions.

 In the end be safe, if making changes - get a permit and protect yourself and your family.


The Vogin Team is your one stop choice for all of your real estate needs. With over 10 years of experience in real estate we have the expertise and experience to give the professional service your desire. Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home in South Florida we can help you. Learn more at http://www.voginteam.com

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