Pulling Permits 101

When we talk to prospective clients about doing a remodel or basement finishing project for them, the topic of pulling the required permits often comes up. People are often curious to find out what types of projects require a permit and when you don’t have to worry about pulling one.

Consider this your very short course in when pulling permits is necessary for a home improvement project. (The very, very short version of this course is: Yes, you probably have to pull a permit). Whether you have to pull a permit depends on the laws and regulations of each city. Most people realize that they need a permit for large remodel projects, but they might not realize that they also need one for things like putting in new cabinets and countertops.

The idea of pulling permits can be very intimidating for home owners--they envision a huge expense and hassle. And it's true that it is hard to predict how much a permit will cost, and waiting for permits can sometimes hold up a project you are anxious to get started on.

Why Pulling Permits Is Always a Good Idea

But don't let that initial hassle put you off from pulling the right permits for every project! If a city inspector (or interfering neighbor) gets wind that you don't have proper permits for your job, you can face fines. But even worse, they might require you to remove all work done on the project to date and do it all over again (with proper permits, of course).

This sounds like a pain, but ultimately it's for the good of you and your family. By pulling the permit and having a city inspector involved, you are ensuring that your home improvement project is done correctly. From wiring to plumbing, the city will make sure that everything is done properly and to code.

Pulling the right permits for the job also has impact down the road when you go to sell your house. Prospective buyers have to right to ask that proper building permits were pulled for all home improvement projects, and if they find out that you cut corners, it might turn them off from buying your house (and you would surely feel the same way for your new home!).

One way to take some pressure off and ensure that you have done everything correctly is to work with a professional contractor who has experience in pulling the right permits and can handle the process for you. A highly experienced local contractor will know the ins and outs of your city's laws and can get your new kitchen or basement project started ASAP!

For more questions about permits or the building process, contact Jeff Proctor at or Jason Brown at We're happy to answer any questions!