Why should I use a licensed contractor?
The main reason for a licensed contractor is any contracted person doing work who is not currently registered with the State Construction Contractors Board is doing so illegally. Would you want this type of person working on your property?
Another reason is the registration provides some protection to the property owner from being charged for work and materials not provided or paying twice for them (material suppliers and subcontractors can place a lien on your property if they do not receive payment from your contractor). There are also trade licenses for those persons doing plumbing and electrical work to provide some assurance that they have adequate knowledge and training in those fields.
The final reason is that state licensed contractors are insured, which is exactly what you want in any contractor you hire.
What is the cost of a building permit?
The permitting cost will vary depending on the size and cost of the project. Could be less than a $100 or more than $100K. This can be a complicated process and can be both time consuming and costly if you are not familiar with the process. Another reason to hire a professional to help you with your project.
Why not take a chance on working without a permit?
If there are workers, trucks and/or a dumpster at your job, it will be pretty obvious that something is going on. There is also usually more noise. The chances are you getting caught are pretty high and not worth the risk.
If you get caught working without a permit, the job will be “red tagged”/shut down, and your permit fees will be doubled.
I am planning a remodel of my home, should I get a building permit?
A decision not to get a permit could be very costly. Some homeowners are finding when they try to sell or refinance their home, prospective buyers or lending institutions want proof that alterations are in compliance with local codes. Without a permit and inspection on record, there is no proof. The homeowner must then apply for a permit with no guarantee that the remodel will meet the codes, and they face the possibility that the remodel must be redone or removed. This is costly and frustrating and could cause delays in refinancing or a lost sale of their home.
Another issue I’ve ran into is, work was done wrong and the owner can’t get a certification letter from a pest control company. Loan companies usually require a termite inspection and certification letter.
Georgia law requires that double permit fees are charged if you are caught working without a permit.
Projects that are permitted, inspected and performed by licensed contractors are far more likely to be done right, and the contractor is liable if it is not. The contractor doesn’t want complaints filed with state licensing board and they do not want to end up in court.