National Association of The Remodeling Industry It's Home Improvement Ideas
Home Improvement Shopper
Home Improvement News and Information Center
Home Improvement projects require building permits
Serial remodels, or phased remodeling projects, can go over several months and even years.
National Association of the Remodeling Industry Home Improvement Tips on home remodeling
Selection Arrows Feature Articles
Dotted Line
Selection Arrows News Releases
Dotted Line
Selection Arrows Lawn & Garden
Dotted Line
Selection Arrows Browse Archives By Topic
Dotted Line
Home Improvement News and Information Center Follow H.I.T. on Twitter


Remodeling? Don't Forget To Pull Permits

Why homeowners should expect remodelers to pull permits for home remodels

Image of a home exterior berfore remodeling
Before: Alward Construction Company, Inc., Berkeley CA Residential Exterior Specialty
(HIT) - If a contractor asks a homeowner to pull his or her own permits, that should be a red flag for a homeowner to find a different remodeler, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). Relying on a contractor to navigate the permitting process can save homeowners time, money and stress.

"A reputable contractor should object to a homeowner pulling his or her own permits," says Darius Baker, CKBR, owner of D & J Kitchens & Baths, Inc. in Sacramento, Calif., and a certified member of NARI. "It’s part of the service that a consumer should expect when they hire a contractor."

Image of a home exterior after remodeling
After: Alward Construction Company, Inc., Berkeley CA Residential Exterior Specialty
Permits are the way cities regulate construction and help ensure that all construction is safe. The safety of the occupants of buildings is the primary reason for having construction codes, and the permits are an agreement that whatever work is being done to a home complies with those codes. Most government bodies adopt codes for construction, mechanical, plumbing and electrical, and in addition, there are federal, state and local laws that govern construction, such as those covering energy conservation.

Most home projects require a permit, and the permit and inspection process can be a tedious process. Although homeowners are allowed to pull their own permits, it is in their best interest to have the remodeler they hired do it instead. The first reason is the process of getting the permit will generate a flurry of questions from the local building department that the homeowner is most likely not qualified or prepared to answer. "The homeowner then has to run back and forth between their designer, contractor or architect to answer the questions, and that’s not an efficient way to spend time," Baker says. Having the remodeler talk to the building department when he or she pulls the permit will help speed up the approval process.

Image of a home interior berfore remodeling
Before: Harrell Remodeling Inc. with Segale Bros. Wood Products, Inc. and Fox Marble and Granite, Mountain View, CA Residential Universal Design
Second, if homeowners pull the permits, they—instead of the remodeler—will be responsible for the project and have to answer to local building inspectors during home inspections. Inspectors are going to look at details that the homeowner might not know how to address. The homeowner will then need to consult with their remodeler to sort out any problems the inspector finds. "In our experience, the remodeler can often correct those issues on the spot and get approvals," Baker says. "By not being responsible for the inspection, there could be several days or a week of delays."

Having a remodeler pull permits can also help the homeowner save money. A contractor may charge his client for three hours to get permits, but that charge includes all the back and forth discussion with the local building department and inspectors. "A homeowner who takes time off of work to get these permits will have to ask themselves, ‘how valuable is my time?’" Baker said.

Image of a home interior after remodeling
After: Harrell Remodeling Inc. with Segale Bros. Wood Products, Inc. and Fox Marble and Granite, Mountain View, CA Residential Universal Design
The contractor can also save money by negotiating fees. Permit fees are usually calculated by the value and scope of a project. If you have a good contractor, the contractor will know how to get the permits for the least amount of money. "A homeowner goes down there and says they are doing a $100,000 kitchen project, but if I go down there, I will tell the building department that they are only inspecting plumbing, electrical, structural or mechanical elements. It’s not their business to know how much the homeowner is spending on cabinetry or sheetrock," Baker says.

Overall, it’s always a good practice to rely on a certified remodeler to pull permits. "In my personal opinion, a contractor who wants to shovel off the responsibility of pulling permits on his client is a contractor who is being less than professional," Baker added.

If you are planning a home remodel, NARI Remodelers can help homeowners find contractors who will take care of the entire remodeling process. Log on to to find a remodeler in your area. For green remodeling information, please visit

About NARI:

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is the only trade association dedicated solely to the remodeling industry. With more than 8,200 member companies nationwide, the Association -- based in Des Plaines, Illinois — is "The Voice of the Remodeling Industry."™ To locate a local NARI chapter or a remodeling professional, visit NARI’s Web site at, or contact the national headquarters office at 800-611-NARI.

Courtesy: Home Improvement News and Information Center

Editors & Online Publications, click here to log onto our editor's site to download your favorite Articles ...

Clear Line

Clear Line Clear Line Clear Line Clear Line
Copyright 1999-2014 Home Improvement Time Inc. All rights reserved. Site design by Stewart Communications Inc.