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sofrock7959 02-20-2008 11:22 AM

Got a question. i am about to finish my basement and have had many people tell me that i do not need a permit. i am well aware that a permit is needed, what they are trying to say is that i could get away with out it. What are the pros and cons of not getting a permit. i need to decided quickly, project must start soon, baby on the way and i need a new bedroom. Thanks in advance for all the help!!:thumbup:

rwk0930 02-20-2008 11:30 AM

The professionals on this site are going to tell you that you need to get one. I think that some things come into play here. Do you have E-gress windows? Or basement access? If you plan on including the sq. footage someday when/if you sell it then you might want to get a permit. I am in the process of finishing my basement right now and I did not get a permit, however, I am making sure that certain things are done to code. (i.e. GFI in bathrooms, proper plumbing, etc.) Since I cannot count this as liveable space when I do sell it, I can count it has improvements, and I still want it to be ok when an inspector goes down there to check it out. I have got 4 of my friends doing their basements and none of them pulled a permit but did everything to code. In fact, someone I know did pull a permit because he is very conscious of things like that and they turned around and added $100,000 to his tax bill. Again, I am not a professional, just a DIY, but this is the info that I have gathered myself.

I finishing my basement for my 1 yr old (and his toys), congratulations on your new baby!

steve1234 02-20-2008 12:22 PM

I'm on my 4th house, and have done a lot of work with and without permits. I have always filled out the disclosure forms when selling and itemized projects done without permits. In my area (in my opinion) real estate is in high demand, and people are more than willing to overlook such disclosure items. This has never been an issue for us. In other areas where a buyer might have a comparable option next door that is 100% permitted, this might be a bigger deal. I will say that I have permitted most all electrical work since this seems to be a more sensitive issue for people. I've skipped the permit process before because of the pain and cost of the permit, not to take shortcuts on the work. I think it is very important to do the work to local code.

Assuming the work is done to code: I would consider the impact of selling the house and the chance of "getting caught" in making the "to permit, or not to permit" decision.

sofrock7959 02-20-2008 01:49 PM

What do most of you do in regards to this. i am not worried about getting caught at all, its more or less to speed things up and save money. i do plan on doing things to code so that is not an issue. it seems to me that the thing they are most interested in is raising my property taxes. Also, when i sell the house i would need to tell the realitor that it was not permited? Thanks again for the help.

steve1234 02-20-2008 02:02 PM

I live in CA, and the pounds of paper required for a real estate transaction is nutty. One of the documents required is a disclosure statement, filled out and signed by the seller. This document has a bunch of questions and an area for a free form solo. One of the questions asks specifically about work, repairs, or modifcations done without permits. In my cases it has been nothing more than just a disclosure on what you know. The buyer then gets to evaluate based on what you disclosed. As I stated before, I've never had a problem (buyer coming back after the fact, or asking for a retro permit). However, I'm sure there are horror stories out there....

sofrock7959 02-20-2008 02:37 PM

Any one want to share a horror story or two, would really like to know what i wam getting my self into before hand. Also, what do most people do?

rwk0930 02-20-2008 03:58 PM

I think you are really over thinking this. If you read steve1234's post, I am sure you will be fine w/o a permit. Do you plan on advertising that space in the future as livable quarters? If not, I wouldn't worry about it.

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