With home improvement shows and Pinterest being all the rage, plus having access to so many renovation-simplifying products in stores and online, it’s easier than ever to “do-it-yourself” and forget that some improvements and additions to your home require approvals and permits. It’s important to know that even if your home improvements are top-notch, any lack of development permits must be disclosed to potential buyers when it’s time to sell, and it’s possible that the time and money you saved at the time of development could cost you later.
Why are permits required?
The City of Calgary has processes in place to help ensure that home renovation projects comply with local bylaws and land use restrictions, building and electrical codes, and that they don’t impede on the safety of the home’s occupants or neighbours.
What types of developments require permits?
Garages, sheds, decks, fences, pools, basements, or any structural and framing changes like windows and external doors will likely require permits, as well as anything requiring electrical or plumbing work. In most cases, minor cosmetic upgrades will not require permits (like painting or cabinet remodeling).
Can I sell my home if I don’t have permits?
When it comes time to sell, you will need to tell your Realtor, and potential buyers, about any lack of permits for improvements or additions to the inside or outside of your home. In some circumstances, a lack of permits could create difficulties for a buyer trying to obtain a mortgage, or retroactive permits could be required, which can come at a great cost. But some buyers will move forward with the purchase even if permits are missing, depending on the types of improvements that were made and what their home inspection uncovers.
If you’re afraid the absence of permits will affect the marketability of your home or that costly retroactive permits will be required, you may want to have your own inspection done to get an idea of what the cost will be to obtain permits and fix any issues, or you may choose to “undo” renos or remove additions before putting your home up for sale if that is an option.
If you’re thinking about selling and have concerns about your renovations or additions, talk to your Realtor to find out your best options.
Written by CIR REALTY