License and Building Permits
Some feel that a building permit is like calling the IRS to see if you owe any money. Not a good idea. But we have strong feelings in favor of permits and licenses. They protect us all — from homeowners and contractors to cities and towns. While permits and licenses don’t guarantee anything, they do ensure a number of important things.
First, a license tells you a contractor has met minimum state requirements for competency and visibility — he’s registered.
Second, getting a permit ensures a building inspector will double-check his work, making sure health, safety and sanitation codes and other important rules are being met. You’d be surprised how many materials today don’t measure up to health and safety standards or are products that, if improperly installed, can be a danger. So if you plan to do it yourself, be careful, and if you hire a contractor, get one that’s licensed and insured. And always get a permit. Remember: a camel is a horse built by an unlicensed contractor.