Building Without a Permit, Getting Permits After the Fact, & Selling Without Permits
If you're looking to build on your property but attempting to do so without a permit, you may want to think again. That's
because building without a permit may have some consequences.
A permit may be required, depending on the city you live in and the addition you're making to the property. If you're
considering whether it's worth the risk, here are a few aspects to take into account.
COMMON REASONS FOR BUILDING WITHOUT A PERMIT
Here are some common reasons people often want to build without a permit:
Delays – Some cities are backed up in building permit applications and may take weeks to process. Homeowners
sometimes take the risk of adding to their space and even selling a house without permits to avoid these delays.
Convenience – Building a house without a permit is not ideal because it leaves the potential for an undervalued home.
Sometimes the new homeowners forgo getting a retroactive permit because it's easier to add to their home than going
through the review and inspection process before the permit application is even viewed.
Expense – Building permits aren't free, and sometimes homeowners or contractors may build sans permit to avoid
IS OBTAINING BUILDING PERMITS AFTER WORK IS DONE A
While you may have started the work before getting a permit, obtaining building permits after work is done may be a
possibility. However, that permit price may be more than the original price and you could pay more fees if the inspection
PENALTY FOR BUILDING WITHOUT A PERMIT
What happens if you build without a permit? The consequences of building without a permit typically come in the form of
If you want to avoid any "building without a permit" fines, consider the following situations before building an addition
without a permit.
Selling a Home Without Permits
When you fail to get a permit and later try to sell a home, you may lose out on the potential increased value you would
have received if you initially got the permit done correctly.
The home appraiser may not include the work in the appraisal. This lowers the home's value for future sales. Selling a
house that has work done without permit by the previous owner may also mean you'll face fines, and you may have to
get it redone so that it passes local building codes.
Building an Addition Without Permits
There are also penalties for building additions to your home sans permits if you're addition doesn't comply to local
standards and laws. Moreover, the penalty for building without a permit varies based on your location.
Building a Basement Sans Permit
What happens if I finish my basement without a permit? Always check with the city coding department to determine if
making a change to your basement sans a permit will cost you more in the end.
Building a Deck Without a Permit
When you build a deck, it may change the structure or appearance of your home. In some
Building a Structure Without a Permit
Structures may also require permits, too. For example, if you build a shed without a permit, you may not have to face a
penalty. For instance, the city of Houston exempts permit requirements for residential accessory structures, including
storage sheds, as long as they are less than 200 square feet.
However, if your city requires a permit for the shed, then you could face penalties. Building a structure without a permit
in the city of Houston may run the cost of the permit fee plus the investigation fee per occurrence.
FINAL THOUGHTS BEFORE BUILDING WITHOUT A PERMIT
The proper City of Houston planning and permitting is important if you want to avoid any potential extra fees or fines for
not getting a building permit in the first place. Instead, opt for getting a permit when you're adding an addition to your