Should You Pull Your Own Permit?
Here you are, the end of the road. You’ve gone through the process; the long nights of due diligence, the countless meetings with the city, the painful ups and downs of submitting your permit. But it is finally time, your permit has been approved!
Now just one question remains: Should I pull my own permit?
You may wish to pull your own permit for a number of reasons: to save money, your contractor is not licensed or is being paid under the table, they may not be certified to do the work, etc. However, for many reasons that we will get into throughout this article, pulling your own permit is a bad idea and, in some cases, illegal.
Depending on your scope of work, pulling your own permit means that in the jurisdiction’s eyes, you are the contractor for this project. Legally, you are now responsible for overseeing the entire construction project and are liable for any injuries or shoddy workmanship that does not meet building code. This means that if something goes wrong, you could be faced with heavy fines and hospital bills. In most cases, the permit should always be pulled by the licensed contractor that is doing your work for you. The only exception is if you are doing a minor renovation yourself or with a couple of friends that you are not paying.
In large scope projects that you hire someone else to complete it for you, then they are the ones responsible for pulling the permit. If you pull the permit yourself and then compensate someone else to supervise the project for you, then you are breaking the law in most jurisdictions.
A common scheme that homeowners do is pull their own permit so that they can hire a low-priced contractor that does not have the authorization to pull the permits due to lack of validity. Contractors that work on projects need to be licensed by the state and carry insurance. This is the law for the safety of the people that live in the building that is being renovated/built and for everyone who lives in it next. A building that is not up to code faces the danger of severely hurting anyone who resides in it. That is why inspectors will examine buildings when it is being sold to new buyers.
In the end, it is always best to follow regulations and hire a licensed contractor to pull your permit and do the work for you. The money you save hiring a cheaper and illegal contractor can result in triple the expenses on fines and hospital bills should anything go wrong. The risk is not worth the reward.
If you have any further questions or wish to talk through the permitting process with a professional, please call Permit Advisors at (310) 275-7774.