Should I get a permit for a basement bathroom?

mrmichaeljmooreOctober 12, 2009

We are planning on haveing a full bath (stall shower, toilet and sink) installed in our basement.

The basement is already finished, we would just be adding the bathroom.

NOTE: This is not a DIY project. Work will be done by licensed plumbers, electricians, etc.

A friend of mine owns a landscaping design business and in the off-season does contracting on the side. He onws rental properties, flip houses. He uses licensed plumbers and elecltricians for all his work. I've seen his work; it's top shelf stuff.

Now, to the dilemma......

My friend says I should do the bathroom without getting a permit.

He says the permit process is a huge PITA for my town (he would know because he lives in my town too). Plus, he said my taxes would go up.

I asked him, "what if I go to sell, what to I do?"

He said claim ignorance. Tell the inspector/realtor, etc. that the contractor said he got all the permits. He said most folks won't even ask about permits if the work looks done good and right. It is when the work looks like a hack job is when people start to ask questions.

He said we would take pictures of all the work as we went along to show any inspector if the issue came up.

He said if I had to pay a fine at the time of sale, it would be less than the increase in taxes I would've paid.

So, what does everyone think?

If I was doing this myself, I would definitely get a permit. But since all the work will be done by licensed guys (and presumably up to code) why not take the bit of risk and skip the permits?

thanks for the input.


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did you have permits for the finished portion of the basement....are your taxes higher already because of the finished portion...I thought they only go up if your couty reaccesses...

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 4:40PM
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The basement was already finished when we bought the house. I believe it was done with permits.

My county reassessed a few years ago. Not sure if they will raise taxes if I do the basement after it is completed or when they reassess.....but if I get permits the taxes will go up at some point...


    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 4:47PM
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well, we've decided to go with our gut and get the permits.

My friend (the GC) has no problems with doing that. And he understands my reasons for doing so.
Being a small business owner, he's just on a bit of an anti-government rant lately, and sees the permit process as a government revenue grab.....he's a good guy, definitely not an idiot.
He and all of the subs (plumber, electrician) are licensed and have no problem going the permit route.

Funny note though........
My wife and I were watching HTV the other night. Watching the show "Holmes on Homes."
Holmes is a contractor that goes around helping people out that get screwed over by shady contractors.
He was helping a couple who basically had their whole house torn apart to be remodeled. Well, the contractor did some really really crappy work......all sorts of construction, plumbing and electrical code violations......and ALL of it (according to the show) had been approved by inspectors.
"Holmes on Homes" ended up bascially ripping everything out and started from scratch....

With this permit debate issue in mind, my wife and I had a bit of a laugh when we saw that.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2009 at 11:29AM
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