In recent conversations with a professional remodeler and subsequent research on the internet, it has become obvious that there are more than a few remodelers who like to cut corners by ignoring the law when it comes to permits. Although not all remodeling work requires permits, most do. In choosing a remodeler for your home, I recommend that you find out whether the contractor gets the needed permits for doing the work.
In speaking with professional remodelers, all long time members of the Remodeling Council, they all said of course they get permits, “It’s the law.” They all pointed out that permits are for the protection of you, the consumer.
Gonzalo Garcia, president of JRG Builder and Remodeler’s and current president of the Remodeler’s Council said “This is a formal acknowledgement that the minimal building standards have been met.” Jim Nowlin, president of Remodeling Concepts, added “It ensures for the client that there is another set of eyes looking at the job to make sure that everything meets the code and is done right. It’s peace of mind for the client.” Tom Pellegrin, president of Third Coast Builders continued “Permits keep everyone honest. It ensures that that the job is being done right.” Ask yourself if it is important to you to have your project done correctly. Also ask yourself why a remodeler would want to avoid getting permits. Is it because they want to cut corners?
Perhaps they don’t want to spend the extra time and money associated with permits. Although it is true that there are extra costs associated with getting permits, it is also true that doing a project right will cost more money. Just keep in mind that if you are planning a renovation, you most likely want it to be done properly and you most likely want to use the remodeler who will do it the best the corners they may be cutting is permits.
Bruce Sommers, president of Ashworth Design and Remodeling, pointed out that “It’s good for both the contractor and the home owner to have a 3rd party inspect the project for compliance with codes. These codes include structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing, as well as energy code compliance and drainage codes.” If these codes are followed you will have a much better project and a potentially more energy efficient home. Lastly, John Gillette, president of Craftsmanship by John, added the following warning “If you do a remodeling project, and you remodeled your kitchen and did not get permits, and you have a fire a few years later, your insurance will be null and void.”
Although there are those who say ignore the law, remember your home and family’s future may be at stake. “It’s the law.”
The Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association is an organization of remodelers and industry professionals. We are dedicated to the promotion of excellence and professionalism within the industry, and public awareness of the Remodelers Council. We achieve this through education, certification and service to the membership, industry and the community. Members of the Remodelers Council give back to the Houston community by participating in an annual charity project. The Remodelers Council holds an annual Garage Sale at the September Texas Home and Garden Show with proceeds going to their local charity project. To join the council or to find a professional remodeler in your area, please visit the GHBA website.