Oftentimes, property owners and even Contractors contemplate whether they really need to pull a permit to complete a seemingly easy project. After all, permits do add to the cost of the job and they can sometimes delay the timeline for a completed project. So when is it ok to skip the permit? The answer is, never.

The common perception of acquiring a permit is that it’s the local governments way of collecting more money from it’s citizens and creating more paperwork and wasted time than actually needed. But the truth is, a permit protects the property owner, as well as the Contractor, in ways you may not have thought of.

For property owners, a permit insures that the work you are having done is completed properly and meets the current code for safety. When a permit is pulled, an Inspector will visit the job to verify that the work was done properly. If he finds anything that was done incorrectly, he will not give a final sign off until the issues have been corrected. When you don’t get a permit, and it turns out you needed one, you can be faced with delays that can cost you a huge amount of time and money to overcome.

Not having a permit will also expose you to unnecessary liability. If an Electrician catches your home on fire while on the job and there was no permit pulled for the work he was doing, your insurance company will probably not be made to pay for the damages because the law was broken.

Having proof of permits for improvements to your property is very important when it comes time to sell or refinance your property. Your property value could suffer if you can’t show that the improvement s meet the safety standards.

If a company offers to do work for you without pulling a permit, this should be a huge red flag. A Licensed Contractor values his license and his image far too much to do work illegally. A permit protects you as the property owner and holds the person providing the service accountable for their work.

One thing that Contractors often don’t realize is that doing work without a permit puts them at risk as well. Collecting an unpaid balance on work you completed may be harder if you didn’t pull a permit when one was required. Taking legal action to collect money on a job you did illegally probably won’t end in your favor.

It’s true that the cost of a permit is constantly increasing and the time delays are inconvenient, but the permitting process is a way to ensure safety and protect everyone involved in a project.