Buildings permits? Why would you want a building permit? That'll just cost me money and then the government will raise my property taxes.
Have you been told this lie? It's not true. Typically unless you are adding square footage to your building, your tax appraisal won't go up... and even if you are adding square footage your taxes won't go up until your next appraisal, which is typically every few years. I've never seen a tax appraisal as part of a permit or inspection process.
So why the myth? The myth was started by unscrupulous contractors trying hard not to have anyone check their shoddy work. Why? Because they are taking short cuts in their work... short cuts that the city inspectors would never allow. They won't allow short cuts for YOUR PROTECTION!
Permits are just a way for the government to maximize revenue. Right?
WRONG. It's been my experience that the permit fees usually don't even cover the ammount of time inspectors spend reviewing plans and visiting job sites. In other words the salary's of city inspectors and the building departments are subsidized by our taxes. This means the building department actually costs the government money to run, not a revenue generating source.
Permits are necessary to protect you. Permits are to ensure your contractor is properly licensed and insured to take on the type of work you've hired them to do. Permits are to ensure that the proposed work of your contractor is safe and to building code.
Don't skip out on the permit. If you are thinking of having any work done first contact the building department and ask if a permit is required. Ask what the permits fees are, or the permit formula. Permit price is often based on contract value.
Then ask your contractors who will be securing the permit. If the contractor tells you a permit isn't necessary or doesn't want to work with one this person is probably hiding something, or too novice to know any better. In either case you do you really want to hire someone who doesn't play by the rules? If they take this short cut, think of all the other short cuts they may take on your job.
Also ask up front if the contractor is to get the permit, are the fees included or will they be added to the invoice? It's good to know this upfront. For example I calculate my permit fees upfront and total them into my project values. I run a turn key operation and don't like submitting a low bid then adding on all the hidden fees to the invoice. Are the permit fees included or will they be additional?
Get those building permits! Get the job done right the first time so you don't have to pay to fix it later. Pay twice? No thank you. Do it right the first time.