If you're thinking of finishing your basement to turn it into another room, then you are likely to need legal basement permits. What do you need to know about this process?
1. You Shouldn't Renovate Your Basement Without a Permit
Don't think that you can finish your basement without applying for permits. You might think that you can do this job without anyone noticing, but this isn't always the case.
If you remodel the space without permission, then you could be fined. In some cases, your county might tell you to take down the renovation and put your basement back in its original state.
Unauthorized builds also cause problems if you decide to sell your home in the future. You have to prove that you had permits for past renovation or remodeling work. If you don't have a permit for your basement, then buyers might not get mortgage finance approval from lenders. You could find it harder to sell your home.
2. You Might Need Multiple Permits
You might need multiple permits when you finish a basement. Generally, you'll need at least a building permit if you are making structural changes. You might also need a zoning permit depending on local regulations.
If your project includes electrical, gas, and/or plumbing work, then you might also need permits for each of these areas. In some locations, you might need a mechanical permit if you add or change ductwork for HVAC systems.
It's important to check the conditions of every permit you apply for. While some permits require an inspection after the completion of work, others need an additional inspection part-way through the project. You might also have to schedule work to factor in the timing of these inspections.
3. Your Contractor Can Manage the Permit Process
While you can apply for basement permits yourself, you can also ask your building contractor to do this for you. Licensed contractors can apply for permits.
This is a good thing to do. As well as reducing your workload, you'll get more help later if you have a problem with the build. Local authorities will find it easier to deal with workmanship that isn't up to grade if permits are in the name of the person or company that did the work.
To find out more about your local permit process, talk to a company like RDA Designs. They can give you advice on the permits you'll need or take over the process for you if you prefer.