Before you start knocking down walls and get knee deep in home improvements, make sure you have all of the required building permits. Obtaining a building permit involves completing an application with plans for the improvements, and paying a fee.
Even seemingly small home improvement projects may require a building permit. For example, in Nyack, like many other towns, installing a wood burning stove or fireplace would require a building permit, and failing to get the proper permit can result in a fine of up to $500 or 30 days in jail, or both. Also, a “Stop Order” can be issued by the Building Inspector if he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that the proper building permit was not obtained or the work is not being done in accordance with the building permit issued.
Permit fees are generally based on the cost of construction, and bills and invoices are normally required with the application to substantiate the stated cost of construction. This serves to prevent fraud and discourage homeowners from understating the cost of construction to save some money on the permitting fees. However, building permit fees can vary widely throughout New York, with little rhyme or reason.
The best way to save money in this process is to make sure you get the right permits the first time around. Failing to do so can result in steep fees and violations. While most reliable contractors will include obtaining the appropriate permits as part of their job, it is in your best interest to make sure your contractor is getting the right permits.
Bottom line: Make sure to budget for permit costs the next time you start a home improvement project. We at Klose & Associates can help you determine which permits you’ll need.