Building Permits & Corrective Measures Step Ladder

Home Inspector with HomeRun Homes Inspection, LLC HOI#0000818



For clients who are buying a home where work has been performed without permits, I address the truth... If they buy that home, they inherit the work being done as substandard. More often than not (and most often always), there are problems that are visible. If there are visible problems, it's a safe assumption to address that there are hidden problems that can't be seen. The buyer needs to understand the realities of what the problems are, but most importantly, what they need to do in order to correct the problem.


I address the problems very simply. Always research your contractor, their history, their completed work, their ongoing work, etc...


PERMITS are a homeowner’s best friend. WHY? It weeds out all the bad contractors immediately. When interviewing contractors for renovation work and they say we don't pull permits. Well their job (the homeowner) is now easier because the interview ends right then and there. In my professional opinion, and as a consumer/homeowner, we are living in a real estate reality (past and present with older homes & new homes) where a lot of renovation & building practices have been done without the proper permits. This is across the entire spectrum (HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing and Structural). Now this problem is somewhat of a double edged sword because municipalities and their respective building departments, along with the CT. State of Consumer Protection (licensing division) are to some degree equally at fault. There is not a lot of enforcement when it comes to these two entities. Quite honestly it exists within the home inspector profession as well (inspectors who have let their licenses lapse and are still earning a living inspecting homes - just one example). So in the end the homeowner is typically the one left handling all the baggage that's filled with the problems.



Corrective Measures Step Ladder

1. Address the problem

2. Research the problem (source and/or hazards - potential long term effects)

3. Begin the planning process (solution)

4. Engage with the local municipality & inquire what is required (permits)

5. Assess the financial outlook (solutions costs)

6. Assess potential investment for future growth (long term cost savings; i.e. energy savings)

7. Interviewing & Hiring Process

8. Verifying that permits are pulled (physically checking with town hall)

9. Remain intimate & a fixture throughout the project

10. Be present during all the inspections (if there are multiples)

11. GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING!!! (Have an attorney evaluate the contracts if need be - fine print???)