June 26, 2014

The Paper Chase

Building permits are an integral part of the complex web of public safety, property value, risk management and asset protection. Each county and city imposes its own ever-evolving building code to insure the quality and safety of construction. The permitting and inspection process, while sometimes daunting, works to assure both homeowners and contractors alike that work is being done in a quality fashion which will provide years of enjoyment while minimizing risk. This is especially important for owners of luxury homes, who often want features that may be challenging to get approved by local authorities.

Jake Morin, Construction Program Manager with ProSight Specialty Insurance, notes that in addition to safeguarding the current owner of a home, proper permitting of any work done actually factors heavily into the marketability and ultimate value of a home. If work was previously done to a home without building permits, it is the owner’s legal and fiscal responsibility to obtain those permits – often at a much greater cost than if they had been obtained when the work was performed.

Some of the most common types of alterations or improvements that require building permits are:

  • Making a structural addition
  • Installing a new roof
  • Blocking off or adding a door or window
  • Adding or relocating plumbing fixtures (sinks, toilets, showers)
  • Converting a garage or storage area to an air conditioned occupied space
  • Installing or replacing a central air conditioning system

In addition to these, the current trends in luxury home markets toward “going green” (solar panel installation, improved insulation or window placement, etc.), technology inclusion (smart home wiring, data cabling, sensor installation and placement) or home fitness builds (swim spas, saunas, workout rooms) could possibly require building permits.

Working closely with licensed professionals who are familiar with local codes and permitting processes is an essential consideration when planning even a minor home improvement. In addition to their ability to save time and money by doing it right the first time, they frequently prove to be an invaluable asset when problems arise. By combining the assurance of their knowledge with coverage from ProSight, you can rest easy and simply enjoy the final outcome of your build or renovation project.