Part 2: Does your builder pull permits? (and why that matters)

Last post I talked about why whether your builder pays taxes should matter to you as a client. This time I am going to answer a related question: "why should I waste time or money pulling permits?"

Taxes are a hassle as a business owner, but they usually don't directly affect the scope or timeline of a specific project. On the other hand, permits are a hassle for a business owner and client alike. They take up space in the budget and therefore affect scope, and they can often seem to waste everyone's time. Why should it matter if a builder pulls permits or not?

First, I would say it's the law. And as a client, whether your builder obeys the law or not should matter to you. If your builder claims to operate with integrity but picks and chooses which laws he obeys, I view that as a major consistency issue. That is a strange definition of integrity -- choosing when it matters to be honest or not.

But likely more relevant to you as a client is the fact that you'll pay for it on one end or another. When you add on to a garage but don't pull a permit, when you sell a house an inspector will discover the illegal work. The outcome is either causing a future buyer to question the work done on your home, or losing the ultimate price per square foot you could achieve if you did the project properly from the beginning. The time or cost savings up front will never justify the potential loss on the back end when you sell your house. The builder you hire should be staunch on his policy of permit-pulling, or he shouldn't be trusted. Or hired. 

(*gets off soapbox*)

-- Tim