There is good advice, there is bad advice and there is very bad advice. Being told that you don’t need to get a building permit is very bad advice. In Sarasota and Manatee counties, almost all renovation work requires a minor or major permit.
• A small project like a Kitchen countertop replacement requires your plumber to get a permit for the sink and faucet trim-out. A minor bathroom remodel that includes vanity and lighting work requires both an electrical and a plumbing permit. Permits of this kind are obtained by the tradesman, are done “over-the-counter” or online, are relatively easy to obtain, and entail an inspection by the building department.
• Whole kitchen renovations, additions, and larger projects require building permits, and include multiple building trades – masons, roofers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, AC contractors to name the major inspected systems. These projects can entail up to 15 – 20 inspections by the building department. These permits require a thorough set of plans, and can take up to 2-3 weeks to issue.
• In most municipalities you can paint, replace flooring, install new trim, and replace some cabinets without a building permit.
• It’s usually the un-licensed “builders” that advise homeowners not to pull permits. These are the guys that have been getting caught in sting operations and fined.
• Homeowners who hire unlicensed contractors are placed at risk, because it is against the law to enable this behavior, and there are punishments for doing so.
• Sometimes unlicensed “builders” will convince homeowners to obtain an Owner-Builder permit, but there are limitations under this exemption: they are not allowed to act as your contractor in this scenario.
Find out how an architect can help make your project successful at “What’s in a Design?”