Unpermitted Home Renovations: Consequences You Need to Know

Tools depicting unpermitted home renovations

What are the long-term consequences of unpermitted home renovations?

Are you thinking about a home renovation? Maybe you are doing it yourself or are hiring a contractor who is just starting or willing to work for beans?

It’s more common than you think. People want to make improvements to their homes, and they often want to start work right away. Others want the cheapest deal possible.

Here’s another scenario: The man down the street admits to smuggling lumber through his back door under cover of darkness to avoid having to pull a permit. He ends up never finishing the project. Then, has to sell his house to buyers who are okay with resuming the unfinished work themselves.

This brings up a good question: can you end up hurting your interests if you do unpermitted home renovations?

It might be what you are looking for right now, but in the long run, how could it affect you negatively?

You may or may not be surprised by how little anyone thinks about the long-term effects of unpermitted home renovations.

Long-term Effects of Unpermitted Home Renovations

Codes Are There for a Reason

Work not up to code may be dangerous.

Maybe your contractor is a licensed electrician and plumber, but more often someone not pulling permits isn’t experienced or licensed. It may not matter quite as much for something like drywall. However, electrical or plumbing work that isn’t properly integrated with the rest of your house is a disaster waiting to happen.

Yes, permits mean inspections, and they mean the work has to be done to code. That means the work at the end will be safe for you and your family.

Instead of thinking about permits and building codes as a necessary bureaucratic evil, think about those things as a stop-gap measure to protect the public.

Voiding Your Insurance Policy

You won’t be able to insure the unpermitted part of your home.

You may not think this is a big deal – surely nothing terrible is going to happen in that one basement room.

There’s where you’re wrong.

First of all, if something bad does happen in that one room due to faulty wiring or plumbing, you won’t be able to collect any insurance money to cover your losses.

We know that home damage doesn’t usually limit itself to just one room, either. If something happens to the rest of your house because of the unpermitted work, that can jeopardize the entirety of your coverage.

The insurance company may decide to drop your coverage altogether if it finds out you have unpermitted renovations, due to the risk.

Selling Down the Road is a Nightmare

As you might expect, selling your house could be a disaster. All of that liability you just incurred is something you will have to sell to the new owners because you have to disclose the unpermitted work you have done.

Once you disclose it, here’s what can happen:

  • Your buyers’ appraiser may drop the value of the home, causing their lender not to approve the loan amount. You may have to settle for a lot less money than you wanted to get for your house or spend cash to fix the problems before selling.
  • You could end up getting fined for unpermitted work once you try to sell, and the city finds out.
  • Your contractor could end up in trouble since unpermitted work is against the Contractor’s License Law.


Here at Renovations Roofing & Remodeling, Inc., we’ve built our business through excellent work, done the right way, and through the recommendations of satisfied customers.

We want our clients to get the best outcome, which means we don’t want to put them in this position in the future. We make sure we pull permits on our jobs and do all of our work to, or exceeding, industry standards.

Is your home located in Southeast Michigan? If you have any questions about fixing unpermitted work or remodeling your home, please give us a call today! We’re honored to help.

Call Now


Leave a Reply